Carolyn Ann Holsten

November 14, 1932 – August 4, 2022

Carolyn (Carol) Ann Holsten, 89, beloved mother and grandmother passed away August 4, 2022 at Salem Hospital. She was surrounded by the love of her daughter Sherilyn and granddaughter Tania.

Born on November 14, 1932 in Elmira, New York to parents Ralph and Christine (Capozzi) Fern, Carolyn was one of six children-Ralph, Betty Marie (Toro), Patricia (Lepore), John, and Joseph. She spent her childhood living on Carol Street in Chelsea right next to her grandmother Josephine Coronado (Little Grandma), her Auntie Mae, and Auntie Betty. 

There on Carol Street, multiple generations shared laughs and meals under the infamous grapevine and beside the cherry blossom and pear trees. Best of all, everyone gathered to enjoy Carolyn’s mother’s (Nonnie Cakie) scrumptious homemade pizza, cookies, and of course cakes.

In her early years, Carolyn loved going to the movies at the Strand Theater where her Auntie Mae worked. There she watched every movie she could and fell in love with glamour and fashion. As a result, even in her final days, Carolyn never left the house without a color-coordinated outfit, matching sparkly jewelry, and a matching purse. Her nickname among many family members was “Elizabeth Taylor.”

Carolyn’s true joy was dancing at the Ocean View ballroom on Revere Beach and in the Charlestown Navy Yard. There she danced The Jitterbug, the Fox Trot, the Waltz, and the Cha Cha; she often recalled that boys would line up for a spin around the dance floor with her. Concerned that his teenage daughter was out dancing practically every night of the week, her father would try to keep her home. Little did he know, she would sneak out of her bedroom window and have it her way. She paid no mind and could not be contained; she was having too much fun.

When she was nineteen she undoubtedly snuck out to a dance hall in the Charlestown Navy Yard where a handsome sailor, Robert Holsten of Walnut Creek, California, waited for his turn to dance.

Robert and Carolyn married in 1951 and went on to have three boys, Robert, Brett and Mark and one daughter Sherilyn Marie. 

Carolyn loved home-making, decorating, and cooking for her children; her most cherished recipes were macaroni and gravy, roasted chicken and mashed potatoes, and the most heart-warming and healing chicken noodle soup of all time. 

During Christmas time while living in Walnut Creek California, Carolyn would decorate the windows with canned snow so her children could have a white Christmas around the tree. Carolyn loved making special memories. 

After her children were grown and her husband passed, Carolyn joined the Jordan Marsh fragrance department where she took great pride in her work and reached record breaking sales numbers. She had a way of talking with customers and making them feel special and beautiful. There she made many girlfriends and enjoyed fun times.

In her final years, Carolyn had the loving care of her daughter Sherilyn and her granddaughter Tania, “the apple of her eye.” 

Carolyn is survived and mourned by a large group of family members and friends who love her dearly: daughter Sherilyn and granddaughter Tania; son, Robert and his wife Catherine (Cathy); grandchildren, Brian, Maggie, and Theresa and her husband Mike Rolle and two children Juliana and Isaac; brother, Joseph, his wife Christine and their children Ashley and her husband Jackie Amodeo, Joseph (Joey), Michelle (Mimi), and Casey; nieces and nephews, Hayley, Jacob, and baby Brielle Jolie (Ellie); brother-in-law Richard (Sonny) Lepore; niece Lisa Lepore Perry, her husband William (Bill) Perry, and their children Anthony and Arianna; nieces Christine (Chrissy) and her son Michael, Rosemary and her husband John Gray, their children Bethany and Danielle, and Pamela and her daughter Brittany Rose; daughter-in-law, Nancy Holsten; sister-in-law, Ottavia (Santone); Steven (Steve) and Betsy Perry and their children Brendan, Brian, Justin and his wife Christine, and Lauren; and exemplary family friends Paul and Linda (Conte) Lysiak and their children Jason (Leach), Matthew and his wife Kristin, and Rebecca and her husband Francis John LaRosa (Jay). 

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Christine; her husband, Robert; sons, Brett and Mark; brothers, Ralph and John (Johnny Boy); sisters, Betty Marie and Patricia (Pat); sister-in-law, Dolly Fern (wife of Ralph); brother-in-law, Guy Toro (husband of Betty Marie); and childhood friend, Joanne. They are all together now—dancing. 

Per Carolyn’s expressed wishes, she was cremated and will rest in peace with her husband, Robert, at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett. The Holsten Family will hold a funeral on Wednesday, August 24, 2022. 

Mass, held at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Everett, will begin at 10 AM, followed by interment at Woodlawn Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation to Urbanity Dance in Carolyn’s name. Urbanity Dance exists to inspire, engage, and empower individuals and communities through the art of dance and movement. 

If you wish to send flowers, the family requests that you only use Washington Park Florists in Chelsea. They will deliver to Our Lady of Grace the morning of 8/24 and understand the wishes of the family. For orders call Valerie: 617.889.1120.

Our Lady of Grace
Mass at 10:00 AM given by Father John Sheridan
194 Nichols Street | Everett, MA 02149
Small parking lot and on-street parking available.

Woodlawn Cemetery
302 Elm Street | Everett, MA 02149
Please park at the back of the Chapel in the Parking lot and do not block the entrance. When everyone has arrived, the foreman will bring the procession to Hillside plot 4453. If you arrive later, please tell security where you need to go and he will direct you.


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.

5 Condolences

  1. Nancy Holsten on August 9, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    My Mother in-law and Mom will be greatly missed,please send prayers to all the family.Love you Mom I’m sure you and Mark are in heaven together til we meet again ❤️ 💙 🙏

  2. Benae Taraskiewicz on August 9, 2022 at 8:12 pm

    Such a beautiful perfect obituary for an amazing woman. My friendship started with Carolyn as her just being a member of the credit union I work for. Over the years it grew into a special bond between us, I would just love to listen to her stories about her “grand ole days”. She was full of life, ALWAYS such a diva and fashionista! She had more spunk in her step and was an inspiration to me. I will be forever grateful for our friendship. My heart is breaking but I know this extraordinary soul is at peace. I love you Carolyn and will miss you deeply ❤️

  3. Brian Holsten on August 10, 2022 at 3:35 am

    I truly am hopeful the final rest of Granmother Caarole will awaken a light of truth within ourselves to help others to fulfill their dreams by community organization and the right iof choice on how to represent ourselves by our talented innovations. Her work for the USO reflected those positive attributes.

  4. Cathy Holsten on August 10, 2022 at 11:15 am

    Carol was an amazing person, a ball of energy, always go, go, go. I loved listening to her stories, even if some were told several times. She will be so missed. Enjoy it up there with everyone that went before you. I bet you’ll be making gravy for Mark and Brett. Love you

  5. Valerie from Washington Park Florist on August 11, 2022 at 10:38 am

    Sherilyn & Tania,
    I am honored that you felt comfortable with me, and humbled to be entrusted with creating your floral tributes to a woman who was very clearly, an incredible person. Her soul, while no longer residing on this earth plane, will live in the hearts and minds of all whose spirit she touched. May she continue to sparkle from heaven. Godspeed, Carolyn.

Leave a Condolence