Cover photo for Careen Dee Porter's Obituary
Careen Dee Porter Profile Photo
1938 Careen 2023

Careen Dee Porter

June 10, 1938 — August 6, 2023

Careen Dee Porter was born to Kenneth Frederick Carmichael and Josephine Rauzi on June 10, 1938, in Canon City, Colorado. Our mom passed on August 6, 2023, at the age of 85.

Mom was a curly-headed brown-eyed girl named after a Gone with The Wind character. As a child, she had a dog, Bing, whom she loved and named after the famous Bing Crosby.   The family moved to Denver, and during this time in Denver, her younger brother, "Butch" (Ken), was born. After she completed the second grade, the family moved to Cortez, where her father managed The Toggery, and her mom, worked as a nurse at SWMH. 

From an early age, our mom was musical by nature. Among her many journals, she writes, "When I was 5, my mom said, Careen needs a piano, dad replied it is too expensive. The next Sunday, my parents paid $75 for the wonderful Schumann Cabinet Grand Piano I own today."  When she was 8, "Mom said, Careen will have voice lessons, again Dad replied that they couldn't afford it. The next week I started voice lessons."  Then later, “Careen will be in band, to which Dad replied, “We can't afford it."  Soon, I had a flute and was in beginning band."  Her high school band teacher, Buford Wayt, became a mentor and role model to her for the rest of his years. Later in life, she was pleased when Buford asked her to assist in painting a mural at the Cortez Cultural Center. She also enjoyed their time singing together for many years in the Coraliers.

Grandma Jo and Grandpa Ken were instrumental in building Saint Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Cortez and raised Mom in the church. On either Saturday or Sunday mass, you could hear the beautiful music as she played and sang on the organ donated by her parents. Mom loved playing for both the Cortez and Dolores parishes. Mom had an amazing ability to transpose any song into a singable range and play with great musicality and feeling. Many have shared with us how they loved hearing her play and sing and often recollect how special it was for her to play at a loved one's wedding or funeral. In addition, Mom taught piano lessons for many years; her students included her children, nieces, and grandchildren.

Mom received her teaching degree from CU Boulder. She went on to teach while our dad Stuart, finished schooling at CSU. Mom began her teaching career with the Montezuma-Cortez School District when they moved home. In 1964 Danny was born, soon followed by Cara in 1965. After some time off to raise the family, Mom returned to teaching. During her career, she taught fourth-grade, special education, and her last fifteen years she spent teaching music. Mom's Principal, Gene Sparks, shared with her that Mom was one of the fortunate ones, getting to do what she loved all day long. Former students have told us she was their favorite teacher, and several have attributed their love for music to her music classes. One former student even shared how Mom inspired him to pursue a career in music education. Mom retired after thirty-one years in education, where she made many treasured friends among students and colleagues.

Mom loved knowledge and games of trivia. You wanted to avoid finding yourself on the opposing team. Mom also enjoyed British mysteries, a good book, and crossword puzzles. She rarely left the house without a puzzle book, in case she had to wait somewhere.

Mom also loved her crafts and hobbies. She was so talented, and there was little she could not do: leather work, jewelry making, sewing, calligraphy, toll painting, true needlepoint, cutwork embroidery, applique quilting, knitting, and her final love, card making. Mom was also a true "foodie". You would be hard-pressed to find a woman who loved to cook or loved food as much as she did. Mom collected recipes, cookware, and cookbooks. Anytime we traveled, she searched for a new cookbook or unique restaurant (one that could be talked about for years to come).   Among her specialties we will miss are dilly bread, vegetable beef soup, stuffed green peppers, chicken noodle soup, and gingerbread man cookies, just to name a few.

One of mom's greatest joys was caring for her grandbabies, Noah and Tessa. Mom was so proud of them! Our mom had a fierce and loyal love for her family and friends. Careen is survived by her two loving children Danny Porter (Paulette) of Lewis and Cara Rieb (Dennis) of Cortez. Grandchildren Noah and Tessa Porter, and Sidnie and Rylee Majors. Brother Ken, "Butch" Carmichael (Cheryl) of Farmington, NM. Careen is also survived by her former sisters-in-law, Ardy Ptolemy and Nancy Porter, and all her beloved Carmichael, Porter, and Ptolemy nieces and nephews.

We will miss our mom every day!

Funeral Services will be Aug. 24th, 10am at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church.

To order memorial trees in memory of Careen Dee Porter, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, August 24, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Mountain time)

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish

28 E. Montezuma Ave, Cortez, CO 81321

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