Cover photo for Carole Joan Flatau's Obituary
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1935 Carole 2020

Carole Joan Flatau

January 21, 1935 — October 2, 2020

Carole Joan (two syllables, if you please) Paulson Flatau, was born in Sioux Falls, SD, on January 21, 1935, to John and Dorothy Paulson, the fourth of five daughters and one son. Carole died in Knoxville, IA, on October 2, 2020.

Her family moved to Valley City, ND when Carole was an infant. Valley was 'home' for the rest of her life, regardless of other addresses. Her mother was widowed when Carole was 10, leaving Dorothy a single mother with two young girls to rear. Carole always gave her mother great credit for their upbringing. She learned the value of work, and education, and a bargain, under her mother's watchful eye. Carole never forgot that she was "a child of the depression."

Carole had an actively typical mid-century childhood. Her Faith in the Lord was absolute. She was involved in Church youth and music groups, excelled in scholastics, and participted in curricular and extra-curricular programs. Music became an important part of her life at an early age.

Graduating from VCHS in 1953, Carole met and married Donald Flatau in 1954. She continued her education, graduating from VCSTC in 1960. While pursuing her degree, she took the time to have two of their children, (Christine and Neil) and began a lifetime as a Mother, and Professional Plano Teacher. Two more children, (Carrie and Alan) made the family complete.

Carole continued to grow her student class, while always looking to improve her teaching skills. She joined State and National Professional organizations, and became Nationally recognized. As a local musician, she was a Church organist, Service Club Pianist, and Arts Promoter.

In 1985, Carole accepted an executive position as Keyboard Instruction Editor for Columbia Pictures Publications, in Miami, Fl. It was a big leap for a small-town girl, but she had what it takes to face the Corporate world. She missed her piano class, but students found her. She always was a Teacher. She always planned to return to Valley City, and her home, and after 15 years in Miami, she did.

In Valley City Carole resumed her home-town life. Teaching piano, playing Church organ, giving lectures and programs, and volunteering. She remained active in National music organizations, traveling extensively to promote music education and keeping American Folk Music alive.

Noting a need for new teaching pieces of quality and value, Carole started Noteworthy Publications, a music publishing company, from her home. She wrote songs, edited and arranged, and started building a catalog. She recruited and commissioned writers and composers, including her daughters, to write music. Other family members supplied artwork and computer skills, and the company succeeded. Many Noteworthy Publications pieces were chosen for the National Federation of Music Clubs Competition Brochures. Noteworthy Publications is no more, but the legacy lives on, with the catalog in the hands of a new publisher. Her accomplishments continued to be recognized, and in 2010 she was inducted into the VCSU Music Hall of Fame.

In 2018 Carole had to leave her home due to the ravages of dementia. This past year she has been living in a nursing home in Knoxville, IA where Christine and Carrie live, and could visit daily, until the pandemic. Carole maintained a positive attitude until the end.

Carole is survived by two sisters; Myrtle Elmore, and Janet Morris: daughters Christine Meyers (Lee), and Carrie Kraft: sons Alan (Audra Zdnich), and Neil: 6 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews, regular and grand. She loved them all. She was preceded in death by her husband Donald, her parents, and 3 siblings.

Services are pending.
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Pierschbacher Funeral Home - Knoxville

, IA

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