Bill’s Life Story Charles W. “Bill” Carlson was born on October 1, 1928 in Ross, California to Joseph and Sigrid (Wahlstrom) Carlson who had immigrated to the United States in 1926. After a brief return to Sweden the family returned to the US and settled in Napavine, Washington, where they farmed and Bill and older brother Henning graduated from Napavine High School, Bill graduated in 1946. Bill worked on the family farm until 1948 when he joined the US Navy, he was a mechanic on destroyers that patrolled the west coast during the cold war. He was very proud of his service and in later years attended reunions of the “Tin Can Sailors” to reunite with former shipmates. Upon returning from his service to our country Bill was set up on a blind date by his friend Werner Blaser. The beauty he would meet that day would go on to be his beautiful bride of 69 years, Adele Kuehner. Bill and Adele were married on September 14, 1950, they have three children Joe, Keith and Lee Ann. Bill and Adele took up family farming as their profession, raising chickens for eggs, cattle and strawberries. Many local kids had jobs picking strawberries for Carlson Farms. Through the years, former berry pickers would introduce themselves to Bill and Adele. In 1961 Bill decided he would go to college. While a counselor discouraged him in his pursuit, he forged ahead earning an Associate in Arts degree from Centralia Community College (1963), a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree (1965) and a Master of Arts degree (1974) from Pacific Lutheran University. Trips to Tacoma for evening classes often were a family excursion, going out to dinner, then class for Bill and shopping for the family. Lee Ann still has a pair of snow boots from one of those excursions. After graduating with his BA degree Bill began teaching in the Chehalis School District. Over the course of a 25-year career he taught 4th, 5th and 6th grades; he retired in 1989. Bill and Adele would frequently encounter former students and enjoy hearing where life had taken them; Bill was known to return home, retrieve his grade books and refresh his memory of students! Bill and Adele enjoyed traveling. Their frequent traveling companions were other parents they met while Keith and Joe were in Boy Scouts. This group of dedicated friends called “The Lewis County Chowder and Marching Society” had many fun adventures and over time would provide care and comfort to each other. They also enjoyed traveling to Alaska to see Keith and daughter-in-law Marie and grandsons Kacy and John, they so enjoyed the sight-seeing and fishing adventures with the boys. In retirement, Bill worked on the farm raising fabulous vegetable and flower gardens, splitting wood and reading history and Louis L’Amour novels. When Adele retired, they spent several years caring for her father before they became snowbirds and would retreat to California and Arizona until spring. They took many RV trips with groups and alone, making many friends along the way. One of Bill’s favorite stops on the drive south was the Orange Grove RV Park, where they could harvest citrus fruit. They would juice lemons and using a friend’s recipe would make delicious Limoncello. Bill and Adele enjoyed having family along. Granddaughters Shawna and Dana Carlson made frequent trips with Grammar and Papa Bill. Lee Ann and Mike joined them on a couple of excursions. One very memorable drive south in January had Mike at the wheel of the RV driving over Siskiyou Pass in a snowstorm with one headlight on the road and one pointing to the ditch, now that is family fun! Bill and Adele stopped RV-ing and drove to Arizona for several years. With travel winding down Bill and Adele refocused on gardening at their home near Adna where they lived next door to son Joe, daughter-in-law Kerrie and granddaughters Shawna and Dana. Bill focused on his grapes and the garden and Adele on flowers. Over the course of their busy life Bill and Adele managed his diabetes first diagnosed around 1965. Bill and Adele worked as a team monitoring his diet and medications; adopting new medical practices to make sure Bill would remain as healthy as possible. Bill lived a full and vibrant life; he weathered setbacks by working hard and calling on his faith to guide and sustain him. He was a kind and gentle man; unless you shot your brother with a BB gun! Over the past four years as Bill’s health has declined, Adele has lovingly and tirelessly cared for Bill. For the past 18 months caregivers in the home enabled Bill to remain at home and have tender loving care to the end. The family is very grateful to the team from Peace of Mind Home Care who cared for Bill and Adele. Providence Hospice proved vital care for Bill in his final days at home. Bill is preceded in death by his parents, brother and sister-in-law Henning and Maxine Carlson and nephew Jerry Carlson. Bill is survived by his loving family: Adele, his wife of 69 years; son, Joseph (Kerrie); son Keith (Marie); and daughter Lee Ann (Mike von Huene). Grandsons Kacy Carlson and John Carlson; Granddaughters Shawna Gray (Jacob); Dana Hallett and (Tyler). And his great-grandson who would make Bill’s face light up for the past year Locryn Hallett. Nephew Mike Carlson; along with numerous nieces, nephews and other cherished family members. A Memorial Service will be held September 7, 2019 at 11 am at Peace Lutheran Church. For additional information and to leave a memory of Bill, please go to Cattermole Funeral Home. https://www.cattermolefh.com/notices/Charles-Carlson • Contributions may be made to: • Evaline Community Scholarship c/o Evaline School District, 111 Schoolhouse Road, Winlock, WA 98596 • OR • Veterans Memorial Museum, 100 SW Veterans Way, Chehalis, WA 98532
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