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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday July 22nd 2024

Carol Ann Armstrong Pass, 1942-2024

A Tireless Advocate for her Community is At Rest

Excerpted from a eulogy read at the memorial and tribute held for Carol Pass on Sunday, June 9, at the East Phillips Community Cultural Center.

Courtesy of Longfellow Nokomis Messenger

Minneapolis lost a ‘powerhouse’ on Tuesday, May 28, 2024 when Carol Ann Armstrong Pass, 81, of Minneapolis, MN, died at 3 a.m. – fittingly the time of night she usually stopped studying or working on community projects.
Moving through the world with a sense of purpose, Carol was a tireless advocate for her community. She served as president of the neighborhood organization, East Phillips Improvement Coalition, for 20 years, and most recently she helped found and was on the board of the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute. She raised the funds to build the East Phillips Cultural and Community Center, and for numerous housing initiatives in East Phillips, striving to bring happiness, resources, and attention to the community.
Carol was born to Robert and Jeanne (Thurber) Armstrong on Aug. 30, 1942 in Minneapolis, and graduated from Mound High School. Raised on a farm along Lake Minnetonka, she carried a love of horses and animals into her adulthood. She married Brad Pass on Dec. 18, 1971, and dedicated herself to raising their two sons. Being married to a pilot meant that Carol operated independently much of the time and then demonstrated her flexibility to pivot to family life when her husband was home. She could be both very independent and part of a team, depending on what was needed.
Carol attended the University of Minnesota and Bethel College. She taught philosophy at the University of Minnesota, Bethel College, and Augsburg College, and challenged her students to ponder difficult questions. A free thinker and feminist, in her early years Carol spent summers working at Glacier National Park, rode a little yellow Honda motorcycle, and played the guitar. She sewed her own bell bottoms and other items of clothing for the Great Northwest Gentleman’s Apparel and Antique Company store she and Brad owned in Dinkytown.
She was proud of having worked to stop many environmental injustices, like the garbage burner and the Hiawatha Public Works Expansion Project, and birthing the East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm project at the former Roof Depot. She and Brad also owned houses on their own to create quality affordable housing.
When she became afflicted with Parkinson’s Disease towards the end of her life, Carol maintained her sense of humor and drive, attending Zoom meetings from her home and using her connections to encourage people to do what was right. Carol inspired all who knew her.

For the full remembrance of Carol’s life visit the Longfellow Nokomis Messenger at:,74455.

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