Illinois College graduate and Trustee Emerita Pat Carlson Damsgaard '53 passed away on August 17, 2014. She will be remembered for her dedication to Illinois College and her passion for art.
During her time as a student at Illinois College, Damsgaard was a member of Chi Beta Literary Society. After graduating with a B.A. in history in 1953, she worked as a legal secretary in Chicago. She later served as alumni director at Illinois College in 1956 and also was a part-time student recruiter in the Chicago area. Committed to the alumni network, Damsgaard began alumni chapters in the St. Louis and Houston areas. She also was a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and later served as president of the Alumni Association. Because of her dedication to Illinois College, Damsgaard was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1996 and served on the Board until 2004, when she was named a Trustee Emerita, a position she held until her passing.
Damsgaard was a passionate artist and committed to teaching others about art. She attended Glasell School of Art in Houston, Texas, in 1968 and later received her teaching certificate from Washington University in St. Louis in 1979. She taught adult education and children’s summer programs in the Parkway School system from 1975-1990 and also taught middle school art classes during the school year. She coordinated and taught at the St. Louis Artist Guild from 1985-1987. During her free time, Damsgaard painted watercolors. She participated in art shows and sold her paintings for over 20 years. Her passion for art led her to establish the Carlson-Damsgaard Art Scholarship to recognize outstanding talent.
Damsgaard is survived by her husband, Conrad Damsgaard ’57; daughters Susan Damsgaard-Brand ’81, Kristine Damsgaard, and Elizabeth Damsgaard-Rodriguez; and grandchildren Rachel Brand '18, Zachary Brand, Jacob Rodriguez and Anna Rodriguez.
Visitation was held Friday, August 22, 2014 at the United Church of Christ in Town and Country, Mo. A memorial service was held at the United Church of Christ on Saturday, August 23, 2014. Contributions can be made to the Carlson-Damsgaard Art Scholarship at Illinois College or to the American Cancer Society.