Kenneth Carlsen

May 20, 1924March 21, 2013

Ken Carlsen passed away on March 21, 2013, at the age of 88.

Ken was born in Seattle on May 20, 1924, the second child of Norwegian immigrants, Gustav and Borghild Carlsen (Borghild Ringdall). He grew up in the Highland area of Bellevue, along 156th, when it mainly consisted of farms and dirt roads. His father died when he was young and his mother sold eggs to support his family. He graduated from Bellevue High School in 1942, where he was active in sports, playing baseball and football.

In 1943, during his first quarter in college, Ken was drafted. He was proud to serve his country during World War II as a member in the Army Air Corps, stationed in the Asiatic Pacific Theater. He was stationed on New Caledonia and he recently told a grandson that it took over 6 months for the Army to come get him after the war was over.

Ken returned to Bellevue and in 1948, Ken married Dorothy Boston, at Highland Covenant Church in Bellevue. They had their wedding reception in the log Highland grange, now the Highland Community Center.

Ken graduated from University of Washington School of Pharmacy. After Al Thompson’s retirement he and a partner purchased “Thompson Drug” which was then located in the open-air Bellevue Square. Eventually, Thompson’s moved next door to the first QFC store in Bellevue Village. When Thompson’s was purchased by Bartell Drug in [1996], it has been in business for 50 years and was the oldest member of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce. Ken was well known in Bellevue as a kind, gracious and humorous gentlemen who knew and liked practically everyone.

Ken was passionate for Husky Football. He rarely missed a home game, and he had a sizeable number of purple sweatshirts and baseball hats. He loved to travel with family and friends, from fishing trips to remote rivers in Alaska, to exotic adventure cruises around the world, to visiting relatives in Norway

Ken was a charter and life long member of Highland Covenant Church. Ken lived his later years at Covenant Shores with many of the friends he made at Highland Covenant Church. We wish to thank Covenant Shores for their wonderful care and dedication to him. Ken was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy, his infant son, Ronald, and sister, Geneve Hutchison. He is survived by his children, Kenneth J Carlsen, Richard C. Carlsen (Serena), David W. Carlsen (Vicky) and Lori Carlsen. He also leaves seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

There will be a memorial Service at Highland Covenant Church in Bellevue on April 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

Please sign the guestbook at


  • Graveside Service Saturday, April 6, 2013
  • Celebration of Life Saturday, April 6, 2013

Kenneth Carlsen

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Marillyn Carlton

April 9, 2013

My thoughts and prayers have been with the Carlsen family since hearing of the loss of Kenny. He was a very close lifetime friend of my late brother, Bill Stevenson. I recall Kenny as a "standout" in high school and had the pleasure of participating in a wide variety of activities with him. We also stayed in touch during the war years. After he met Dorothy, we enjoyed watching each other's families grow. He was a superb pharmacist and we continually relied upon his expertise while at Thompson Drug. Kenny was such fine person in every way and will be missed by me and all who knew him.

Margaret Kimssey

April 6, 2013

Dear Lori, Ken, Rick and David,
I was sorry to learn of your Dads passing but we know he is once again with his dear Dorothy. And it was good to know he didn't linger on for a long time.
I am so so sorry I can not be with you all to celebrate his life on Sat. It is my great grandsons first birthday party and its at the exact same time. My throughts and prayers will be with you all.
I have some long ago times of association with your Dad in one way or another. I worked for your Grandmother Ringdall when I was in Junior Hi in the lunch room, then I worked for the Thompsons and your Dad in the first Thompson's Drug in Bel-Sq and moved to the newer and bigger store in the Square. When I married, my Mom, Betty Kimsey took my job and continued to work for Ken for over 25 years. Then in 1989 I married a classmate of your Dads, Bill Burnell and I too learned that "Porky" was his name. They played football for BHS, together and had gone to school since Highland Grade School. Their friendship continued til Bill's death in 2007. The last years they kept in touch via the ROMEO's lunch group.
Many many memories. I can still hear his booming voice across the store when I'd walk in to work saying "HEY MAGGIE" ,he knew I hated to be called that.
Again my thoughts and prayers are with you.
With love,
Margaret Kimsey Burnell
BHS 1955
Thompson's Drug 1956-57

Tony Aries

April 4, 2013

Sad to hear of Ken's passing, and my condolences to his extended family. Ken and I go way back to Highland School and Bellevue High, where he was affectionately known as "Porky." His gentlemenly manner and sense of humor will be missed.

Ed McKee

April 4, 2013

Ken,I know you have just changed addresses from where you were to a special spot in Heaven with Dorothy
You are a great friend, and I will miss you until we meet again.

April 2, 2013

My condolences to the Carson family. Ken and I graduated from Bellevue High the same year - 1942. Rosanne (Stevens) Nelson.

April 2, 2013

We offer our condolences to Ken and Dorothy's children and grandchildren. Our friendship with them both goes back to shcool days in Bellevue. Ken's steady and kind friendship and his quiet humor will be missed by many. God Bless.
Stanly and Ruth Donogh

April 2, 2013

My condolence to the Carlsen family. My family grew up next to Ken's in Highland.
My Grandad was Alfred Swanson who sold the Highland property to my Uncle John, John was Ken's step dad.
Fred Anderson San Jose Ca.

Joel Baker

April 1, 2013

I'm sorry to hear of Ken's passing, and extend my sympathy to all of his family. I attended Highland Covenant Church and always made it a point to talk with Ken often, as I appreciated his sense of humor and kindness. Peace.