Carol Paulsen Rapp was born Christmas morning 1925 to Catherine Soloviow Paulsen and William Edward Paulsen in Yonkers New York, the first of three children. She passed away in peace on October 20, 2017 at the age of 91.
Music was an important part of growing up and at the age of 13 her Uncle Gordon Paulsen invited her join the choir he was directing and where he was organist at the Nepperhan Avenue Baptist church. She sang in that choir until she was 19 and the choir became so well known that they were invited to sing at the 1938-39 World’s Fair many times in the Temple of Religion, which was such an honor.
After graduation from the Yonkers High School of Commerce in 1943 she landed a job at AT&T in NYC. She attended classes at NYU at night and also attended classes offered at AT&T. After changing jobs several times she ended up working for Shulton Inc., makers of Old Spice products in their advertising department as Asst. to the Advertising Manager, having taken special courses in printing and printing processes and became a member of the Advertising Women of New York City.
At 19 she attended a Christmas Eve service at St. Bartholomew’s Church on Park Avenue. she was so thrilled with the music and service that she told one of the users who happened to be in one of her classes at NYU how much she’d like to sing with them and he told her to go audition. She spent the next 6 years singing second soprano. It was a 60 voice paid choir and that experience was a real highlight of that part of her life.
She left NYC to marry and had three beautiful children: David Allen, Catherine Ann and Robert Chester Morton. she worked for the Director of the Extension Service in Auburn Alabama while her husband got his engineering degree. His work took them to Cocoa Beach Florida and in 1963 they were divorced. After a year working as secretary to the principal of the children’s elementary school she was able to obtain a great position for the Department of Defense Manned Space Flight Support Office in 1964. It wasn’t until 1965 that she started receiving flight information on the phone from an interesting voice at NASA in Houston. Several months later she met the man behind the voice, John Franklin Rapp USAF when he came to Patrick AFB Florida for a conference before a Launch and little did she know then that he would become the true love of her life and faithful friend forever. A few months later he was sent to Vietnam as an adviser and pilot for the Vietnamese Air Force for a year. The Cocoa Beach Community United Church of Christ kept her busy as their soloist as well as her children and her job at Partrick Air Force Base
Major Rapp returned from Vietnam and was assigned to his old job at PAFB with duty at NASA in Houston, Texas. After an extended courtship, they were married on August 16, 1969. They lived in Clear Lake City, a suburb of Houston. In 1977 they moved to Missouri, building a house on the now 100 year old Rapp farm in Valley Center where they have had the most wonderful, blissful life together. They have traveled extensively, visiting the Rapp family in Germany and all of their scattered children. They especially enjoyed the fellowship and love of their church family at the Valley Center United Church of Christ where they both held important offices and tried to work hard doing the lords work. The farm has been a wonderful place to retire where Truman Lake has given them great fishing and camping and they have enjoyed all of God’s provisions.
She especially loved when all of their children and grandchildren came to visit. Their family stretches from coast to coast, often even further but it only meant for more travels or a chance to use the RV. They watched their children and grandchildren grow, but sadly lost both Cathy and David at young ages to illness. However, strength, hope, and the support of our church brought us through, and we were able to pass that support on to their children.
Carol was a powerhouse of strength, intelligence and support. When her grandchildren called for advice she was ready to give it. She understood the importance of a simple life and enjoying the little moments on the farm or on the phone with her children and grandchildren.
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