Catherine Carswell

Obituary of Catherine Rae Elizabeth Carswell

It is with great sadness, the family of Catherine Rae Carswell (nee Haynes) announces her passing on November 21, 2023, at the age of 63 years.


Rae was born, August 1, 1960, in Surrey, B.C. to her loving parents Bud and Dot Haynes.  At just six months old the family moved to Red Deer. Life was fun on the acreage, spending time with horses, dogs, going camping and of course going to auctions and rodeos.  Rae and Linda loved when Dad put them up on his red pinto horse “Paint”. 


Bud later took a job in Nordegg, as a prison guard, and now the family was living in a ghost town in the mountains. Rae and Linda played and investigated the old houses, graveyards and continued to ride Paint, who being an old mountain pony was their trusted companion.  Rae always said she loved her time at home with mom baking bread and having fun, the start of her lifelong love of baking.  


When Bud decided it was time to get into the auction business, the family moved back to Red Deer. Bud and Dot worked day jobs at Deerhome, now known as the Michener. They attended rodeos on weekends where Bud was the announcer.  Every weekend off they went, Bud and the girls all in their matching western shirts made by Aunty Glady, Buds sister. 


In 1968, Bud, Dot, the girls, and their family dog Suzie were always on the road, going on buying trips down to El Paso and Mexico City.  These trips together instilled a passion for family business, buying and collecting.  Being soldiers in the Salvation Army, Rae, Linda and their dad were in bands at the church, which grew their faith as well as the importance of supporting the community. Aunty Glady, Dot, Linda, and Rae were all proud members of the Eastern Star.  God truly blessed the family and was a big part of their lives.   


Rae always loved dolls, decorating, baking, and collecting.  Her memory was incredible, remembering items she had gotten as a very young girl, and the details of where she had gotten them. Moving to Oxbow Street Rae soon met Sheila Keim, and as Sheila had lots of Barbie Dolls, a true lifelong friendship began. 


A young neighbour boy, Shun Sonnenberg, soon became a fixture at the Haynes household, the girls adjusting to a little lively boy, who became a brother of choice.   


Having grown up with their cousins, Sandy and Clay Reid, life was perfect when the boys moved back up from Denver to finish their high school years with Rae and Linda.  During this time, they all worked together at the former Red Deer Inn Hotel.  When Sandy, Clay and Linda were planning their grad trip to Hawaii, Rae at the young age of fifteen convinced her parents to let her go along, this being her first tropical vacation she fell in love with palm trees, a love that lasted a lifetime.  


In 1976, Fred left Ontario, moving to Alberta for work. Two years later, he answered a phone call that would change his life forever.  Rae was phoning Kathy, a friend living on the upper level of a house, a young Fred, living in the basement suite answered.  Rae recognized his voice since they had met the week prior, this got him an invitation to a Halloween party at The Windsor that started it all.  From this point on, their relationship grew, both knowing they had met the one! They dated for 6 months, got engaged, and were married 3 months later.  


With Fred joining the family, he also joined the family business, and it wasn’t long before Fred was working the auction sales and growing his passion for antiques and collectables.  This common ground helped build the foundation of their relationship. It wasn’t all work though; their love of travel brought them from San Fransisco to The Grand Canyon and back to Ontario to visit Freds family. They loved spending time with friends, going dancing but most importantly enjoying each other's company, a quiet night in playing dice or tile rummy was just as good. 


Rae and Fred continued to work for the Haynes family business and soon branched out on their own personal endeavors, from running a sand blasting/painting company, or having their own antique store to now having run antique shows for over 30 years, these two did it all. Soon, not only the business was growing but their family as well. Having Kyle gave them the new role of Mom and Dad, and Bud and Dot Grandparents! With their new bundle of joy in tow the work didn’t stop, they now had their little side kick tagging along to the auction and antique shows, sneaking snacks, and selling decoy ducks “for a buck!”.  Katey was born in 1996, bringing even more joy and rounding out their perfect family of four. The family took many trips to the mountains for camping, always with the beach boys on repeat.  She also spent a lot of time baking with the kids in the family home, and her love of baking was certainly something Rae passed on to her kids.   


With some Ukrainian heritage coming from Grandma Dot, as young girls Katey and Alayne took up Ukrainian Dance. Rae was always there to help the girls look the part by braiding their hair, helping with make-up, and cheering them on as they gave it their all.  


Kyle started playing Lacrosse at age 11 and Katey followed soon after, which sparked a passion for Rae’s love of Lacrosse.  Rae was the #1 Fan, never missing a game or even practice, and even had the family business sponsor local teams.  She truly became a “Lacrosse Mom” a couple years later when she joined the Mom’s Lacrosse Team.  Rae played goalie and loved it!  Kyle even got to help Harold Albrecht coach her team. Most of the time both Kyle and Katey played goalie, and she would tell them “Be the Wall!”. Later once the kids had stopped playing the Lacrosse, Rae’s passion for sports transferred over to hockey.  Rae and Fred are avid hockey fans, more specifically Calgary Flames, making sure to catch every game cheering on her boys! 


Rae was a safe space, free of judgment or discrimination.  She was always there with open arms, ears and probably with a sweet treat or meal to top it off.  Not only for her children, nieces, and nephews but also their friends, everyone was welcome. She was the best teammate anyone could ask for.  Sometimes her willingness brought her into the role of designated driver. When Kyle and his group of friends were of age (and then some) she was still there keeping them safe and again fed, with the need of a McDonalds pitstop on the drive home.  She was easy to persuade, especially if you could sing her a fun song. 


Travel was true passion of Raes, whether it was a weekend trip, camping in B.C. or a week in Mexico! Rae was always in, especially if there was a pool or even better, a margarita!  A couple of trips that will never be forgotten were the Family trip to Disneyland with the Baggaley’s, where they pulled out all the stops, seeing everything from Santa Monica pier, to the Hollywood Walk of fame, as well as riding all the rides. A second, being a family trip to Mexico where Rae got to bring her mom Dot. This trip Dot insisted on going in the ocean. While the kids held her tight, they waded out into the waves and watching Dot’s smile grow made Rae so proud knowing that she’d fulfilled her mother’s wish. 


Rae loved shopping! “Shop till you drop”, she would say! This passion she shared with both Kyle and Katey.  They made many trips down to Great Falls, Montana, where they would do just that, shop into the early morning, looking for the best deals and making lifelong memories. Some trips it was just Rae and her kids, others they were joined by her parents, Bud and Dot, her sister Linda, and her children Thomas and Alayne. 


If you know Rae, you know her love language is Gifts, she loved finding the perfect item to make you feel special and loved, whether it was big or small, you know it was bought with thought and love. 


Another way she showed love was food! She loved both baking and cooking. Whether it was a night at home or at an event, you knew you would be eating well.  You could always count on her famous baked beans to make you feel right at home and follow it up with her amazing home-made cheesecake.  Rae and Fred were the perfect team in the kitchen, each having their own strengths! Their meals truly brought people together, using any excuse to bring out the fine china and gold cutlery to put on the finest of Christmas Brunches, or a night in for Chinese Food or sitting out on the back deck hosting family BBQ’s, sharing stories, and making sure everyone was included and well fed.   


An annual tradition that is loved by the whole family is when Christmas rolled around, that meant it was time for Christmas cookie decorating. So many cookies, short bread cookies, cream cheese sugar cookies, chocolate gingerbread cookies and usually 400+ of them! She would make sure to pick a day that worked for everyone, Katey and Kyle, Thomas and Alayne, and as the family grew, they had Kyle’s wife Emily join and now Katey’s son Kaleb is even taking part.  Always being reminded by Fred “detail”. It was a time to be creative, catch up on everyone’s year and to enjoy some (at times questionable) music, usually switching back and forth from Christmas classics to AC/DC.  If you think 400 Christmas was cookies a lot, there were just as many Christmas ornaments. Rae had so many Ornaments that they needed to be spread out over multiple Christmas trees throughout the home. Christmas is a time when Rae shined! With the giving of gifts, came the wrapping of gifts.  The family basement transitioned into a temporary wrapping station filled with wrapping paper, ribbon, and every colour of bow imaginable. After a day of wrapping, the family would pile in a vehicle and go for evening drives to admire the local Christmas lights. 


One of Rae’s greatest joys was watching her children’s lives growing with love and fulfillment.  In 2019, Rae’s family grew by one, when Kyle married the love of his life Emily. Kyle and Emily both share the passion of lacrosse, travel, and family business, with their business ventures often taking them to El Paso, similar to the trips Rae took as a teenager accompanying her parents and sister.  


Rae was then promoted to Grandma in 2021, with the birth of Katey’s son Kaleb.  Rae thrived in her new role, spoiling Kaleb with love and gifts as often as she could. Kaleb loved teasing Grandma with snacks and toys and was never shy to sneak sips of her iced tea, which she never minded.  At the end of each day Grandma was always there for a bedtime story, a hug and a kiss for her sweet little boy.  Although their time together was cut far too short, the memories that were made will live on and will be cherished by all. 


Rae will be lovingly remembered and forever missed by her loving husband of 44 years, Fred Carswell, their son Kyle Carswell (Emily), daughter Katey Carswell and beautiful grandson Kaleb, her sister Linda Baggaley (Jim), and their children Thomas and Alayne as well as stepfather Ken Walsh. Rae will also be missed by a large extended family, many loved ones, and close friends.  


Rae was predeceased by her father Bud Haynes and mother Dot Haynes, who were both pillars of the family as well as the local community and antique/auction business.  


Mom will forever be in our hearts, our laughter, and our stories. 


The family would like to thank the Doctors, Nurses and Specialists for the hard work and care that was provided in the previous years. Also, to our friends and loved ones, for the love, care and support that was given to not only mom but the entire family. 


A Celebration of Rae's Life will be held at The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 40 – Holmes St., Red Deer, AB at 11:00 am on Tuesday, December 5, 2023. This will be a time to remember and share memories with her loved ones and friends. 


In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Rae’s honour to either The Salvation Army Church & Community Ministries or The Red Deer Lacrosse Association.  


Condolences to Rae’s family emailed to Please indicate “Carswell” in the subject line.


Arrangements in care of


Meaningful Memorials Funeral Service


A locally owned cremation and funeral provider

serving Red Deer and all of Central Alberta





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