OBITUARY

Helen Mary Carlson

October 16, 1923May 8, 2019
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Helen Mary Carlson, loving mother and grandmother, passed away on May 8, 2019 at the age of 95. Helen was born to Jesse and Gertrude “Stevens” McLean at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Yakima, Washington on October 16, 1923. Helen would always say the bill was $17.95 for a two week stay in the hospital back then, so her parents got their money’s worth.

Growing up, Helen lived on the McLean apple and cattle ranch in Cowiche, WA. She went to Cowiche Grade School and graduated from Cowiche High School in 1941. She played baseball on the boy’s team and was quite the popular star athlete while at the school. Helen then went into Nurses Training in 1941 at St. Elizabeth Hospital and graduated in 1944 as a Registered Nurse. She was in the Army as a Second Lieutenant Nurse during WWII as well.

Helen was the Head Nurse in the Polio Ward during the polio epidemic and learned how to operate the iron lung and hot pack machines. During that time, she also came down with polio, but was able to beat the disease and still be there for all of her patients. She then was hired as the Head Nurse on the Psych Ward for many years. After that, she was the Head Nurse of the fourth floor at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.

Helen met her husband, Glenn “Swede” Carlson, while he was a patient at the hospital. They were married for 44 years and Glenn preceded her in death. She was devoted to who she called her most precious person and took care of him when he became ill in his later years.

She was a member of the Washington and Yakima Nurses Association. Helen took up bowling in 1954 and held offices in many leagues and was President of the Yakima Women’s Bowling Association. She was nominated for Bowler of the Year and her team placed second in state. She continued bowling almost up until the time of her passing. She had many friends in the Senior Citizen League and thought they were all the greatest people in the world.

Helen had three children, Michael Carlson from Seattle (deceased), Lynn Carlson from Yakima, and Gary Carlson from Glendale, CA. She also had one grandchild, Breanna Carlson-Decker from Yakima, who meant more than the world to her. Breanna took care of her grandmother, and no one had a closer relationship than they did. Helen was the eldest of five siblings, Peggy Prendke (deceased), Larry McLean (deceased), Betty Petras, and Carl McLean. She had several nieces and nephews that she was fond of as well. Helen also took care of her special aunt Mary McLean who lived to be 100 years old before she passed.

Helen enjoyed being an avid reader, jigsaw and crossword puzzle solver, and had a wonderful sense of humor. She would keep her family and friends entertained with her quick wit for many hours on end. Helen was loved by so many of her friends and she will be forever missed by her family who cherished her so much.

In lieu of flowers, please make any donations to the Yakima Area Arboretum in Helen’s name. A visitation service will be held on Friday, May 17, 2019 from 4 PM to 8 PM at Langevin El Paraiso Funeral Home. Graveside service will be at Terrace Heights Memorial Park on Monday, May 20, 2019 at 10 AM.

  • FAMILY

  • Helen had three children, Michael Carlson from Seattle (deceased), Lynn Carlson from Yakima, and Gary Carlson from Glendale, CA. She also had one grandchild, Breanna Carlson-Decker from Yakima, who meant more than the world to her. Breanna took care of her grandmother, and no one had a closer relationship than they did. Helen was the eldest of five siblings, Peggy Prendke (deceased), Larry McLean (deceased), Betty Petras, and Carl McLean. She had several nieces and nephews that she was fond of as well. Helen also took care of her special aunt Mary McLean who lived to be 100 years old before she passed.
  • DONATIONS

  • In lieu of flowers, please make any donations to the Yakima Area Arboretum in Helen’s name.

Services

  • Visitation Friday, May 17, 2019
  • Graveside Service Monday, May 20, 2019

Memories

Helen Mary Carlson

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Richard Boyd

May 17, 2019

Helen was a rare gem.
Every picture that I saw had Helen with a smile on her face.
She was a great example of the greatest generation. She gave much more than she took.
Richard and Deborah Boyd

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