Dorothy “Bugs” R. Carlberg, nee Bartos

Dorothy—or Bugs, as she was known growing up—was born at Mary Thompson Hospital in Chicago to Edward George and Rose Martina Agatha Bartos on 16 September, 1928. She graduated Good Counsel High School in 1945, at which time she and her friends would frequently go dancing—usually with young servicemen—at the Aragon and Trianon ballrooms in Chicago. From there she briefly attended DePaul University, where she met Victor Carlberg. The two married on 19 August, 1950. Together they raised 5 children in La Grange Park and Westmont.

For How Dot, as all her grandchildren lovingly knew her, family always came first. She would involve herself with virtually all of her children’s activities, from ballet and baseball (where she would sit in the bleachers, scream excitedly at the top of her voice, and surreptitiously smoke cigarettes) to Pet Parades and peonies that the dog ate. When any of her kids stopped by, even when they were grown, she would always offer them food or items like toothpaste and soap (she kept a closet full of toiletries just for those visits). If any of her kids forgot to visit, she and Victor would go hunt them down. But she was even more devoted to her grandchildren, once leaving a Jamaican vacation early because she missed her grandkids too much—and she loved Jamaica (and all of the Caribbean, from Reggae music to genips and stray cats).

Dot spent much of her later years investigating her eastern European roots, especially her Polish ties, which entailed several trips to Poland. Her childhood familiarity with the Polish language became a new-found friend and greatly facilitated her genealogical studies. One of the difficulties with researching parish records in Poland was deciphering the beautiful handwriting in which many of these records were kept. Vic, of course, kept the database for this study. She missed her ancestors greatly and populated the walls of her house with their many pictures.
She loved music all through her life, frequently singing while working around the house, whether church hymns, Donovan songs, Neil Young, childhood rhymes in several languages, and especially the songs of her youth and early adulthood. She was in particular a big Bobby Vinton fan, always boisterously singing along when “My Melody of Love” came on the air.

Dorothy is survived by her five children: Sandy (Gary), Tom, John (Sheila), Tim (Maureen), and Sue. She will also be dearly missed by her seven grandchildren: Vanessa (Matt), Erica, Matt (Mandy), Anne (Phillip), Aeryn (Andrew), Jennifer (Josh), and Dave. Those grandchildren have added thirteen great-grandchildren to her legacy. Preceding her in death were her parents, her husband, and her son Geoffrey.

Dorothy was smart and sassy, wacky and witty, boisterous and bling-y, and she once almost read a book. A bright, quick laugh that filled the room has quieted, but its echoes reverberate still.

Visitation Monday, August 27, 2018 from 9 A.M. to Time of Service 10 A.M. at Hitzeman Funeral Home, Ltd. 9445 W. 31st Street, Brookfield. Funeral 10 A.M. Interment All Saints Cemetery, Des Plaines, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorials appreciated to Ronald McDonald House Charities, 110 North Carpenter Street, Chicago, IL 60607.  Information 708-485-2000 or

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  1. Diane Janes condolence:

    Beautifully written obit., and what a full life Aunt Dorothy had. She was such a sharing person. I wish I had gotten to know her better in life. Who knew she loved Bobby Vinton songs? We all could have been singing along with Dorothy. All of her close family and friends will miss her terribly. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Ed Turek condolence:

    That was a thoughtful and informative obituary; it covered the full description of Dorothy’s character. She was lively and had a ready smile and clever quip.
    May she rest in peace.
    Ed Turek (Sheila’s dad)

  3. Janice Turek condolence:

    I had the pleasure of spending time with Dorothy when she was living at John and Sheila’s home in Ft. Atkinson. I was instantly drawn to Dorothy and her child-like enthusiasm and quick wit. She took such delight in just the simplest things. She was always wearing her sparkly and fun bling and had such a contagious smile. I will miss her.
    Janice (Sheila’s sister)

  4. Gay Davidson-Zielske condolence:

    This beautiful tribute fills in the small details in the impression I had immediately upon meeting Dorothy late in her life. Here was a lady whose feistiness I could and did appreciate. I feel honored to have been able to share my colleague John’s mother ( and my colleague Sheila’s mother-in-law) for a little while. She and I shared a love for glitzy jewelry and I was delighted that she liked my gift of one particularly outrageous ring. She will be missed by many.

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