Meet Mary Carlson

Mary Carlson

Although Mary Carlson retired in 1997 from the Erie VA Hospital, you won’t find her sitting idly at home. In addition to coming to the center for fitness classes, lectures and special events, Mary is also a teacher’s helper at Pfeiffer Burleigh School where the kids affectionately call her “Grandma.”

Mary is a retired nurse. She received her degree from Augustana Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago, Illinois in 1958. In 1965, she earned her BSN from the State University of New York in Buffalo. In 1981, she received her MSN in Psychiatric Nursing from Kent State University School of Nursing and finally, in 1990, she earned her Certification as a Clinical Nurse Specialist from the American Nurses Association.

During her career, Mary worked for Edinboro State University as an Assistant Professor in Nursing, Warren State Hospital as a Clinical Nurse Specialist and from 1984 until her retirement in 1997, at the VA Medical Center as a therapist specializing in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After retirement, Mary joined the faculty at Gannon University on a part-time basis. Mary has received past awards as a counselor in Stress Control. At the time of her retirement, she was awarded by the AMA as “Scholar of the Year” for her past research projects.

Mary has never married, although she shared that there was a very special love early on in her life, but he died in Vietnam. Mary contributes that life experience to her career paths which led to her role at the VA as a Post Traumatic Stress Counselor.

Mary is a member of Christ the Redeemer Lutheran Church and writes their newsletter, “Heavenly Father.” Mary is interested in photography, creative arts and literature. Mary Carlson has been a member of LifeWorks Erie since October 2009. Most days, Mary can be found at the center enjoying lunch, participating in one of the fitness classes, or engaged in lively discussion with other center members.