A Sacred Moment


Charles Richard Carlson

May 11, 1929 - February 17, 2017

Loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend

Charles “Ole” Carlson passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, February 17, 2017, in Sultan, WA from natural causes.  Charles was the fourth of five children, born to Charles August and Celeste Florence Russell on 11 May, 1929 in Havre, Montana.  At the age of two his family moved to Vista, California, where he grew up and graduated from high school in 1947.  He was known by many different knick-names depending on the relationships through family, military and employment, but Ole and Boppa were his most commonly used names.  He was the captain of his high school football team and voted the student body president.  He met Nellie Charlene Blackburn, his future wife, while in geometry class at school.

Ole enlisted in the United States Army right after high school and married Charlene a year later on 13 June, 1948. They were blessed with five daughters, Caren Meek, Carolyn Carlson, Connie Hausdorf, Cynthia Cook and Cathleen Dent.  During his military career, they traveled the world with their five children living in San Diego, CA, Yokohama, Japan, Pacifica, CA, Germany and Seattle, WA where he retired from the US Army as a Sergeant Major in 1968.  He served with honor in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars.  After his military retirement, they remained in the Seattle area where he worked at Rainier National Bank and served as a part time police officer.  In 1977, Ole and Charlene moved to Sultan, WA where they lived the rest of their lives as active members of the community.  They bought a local video store and named it 7 C’s in recognition of their family name.  This store introduced them to the entire community.  He was a loyal and dedicated member of the local Masonic Lodge for over 30 years.  He volunteered his free time by reading books once a week to a second grade class in Goldbar, WA.  In 2011, he was selected by the community to be in the local Shindig Parade as the Grand Marshall.  Ole and Charlene were married for 63 years when Charlene peacefully passed away in 2012 of natural causes.  Ole continued to serve in his volunteer positions in the community.  Ole Carlson and Marlene Wilson met through their various community involvements.  A very good mutual friend recommended they go out on a date.  This quickly blossomed into a stronger bond and on January 26, 2013 they married surrounded by their close friends and family.  They continued to unconditionally love and support all of their family and friends while traveling together on adventures around the world to include a cruise to Alaska, a cruise through the Mediterranean Sea with stops in different European countries, and another cruise in the North Sea.  Together they traveled the United States to see their loved family members and to explore the country.  They also enjoyed volunteering their time in the service of others at local organizations such as the Sultan Visitor Center and the Senior Center.

Ole and Marlene enjoyed participating and performing in the community theatre and fun adventures such as zip lining and white water rafting.  For years, Ole was an active member of the acting community and starred in multiple TV commercials, a few movies and training videos for businesses such as Boeing.  He  loved to spend time tending to his riverside property in Sultan where he would spend hours working in his wood shop creating wooden ornaments, pens and other trinkets for family and friends, fishing the Sultan River behind his house with his grandchildren and tending his garden.  He loved to tell stories and to make others laugh with his endless repertoire of jokes.  He always took creative opportunities to teach, or to share life lessons with everyone that he met.  He loved to host family events at his property especially on the 4th of July.  Ole never shied away from a challenge but saw those as opportunities to grow and become a better individual.  Ole, known as Boppa to his family, loved to teach his grandchildren and great grandchildren all the things that he knew about the world. He loved to take his grandchildren, and later on his great grandchildren for rides on his riding lawnmower. 

Ole was a loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend and he was often asked for his counsel, advice and expertise by those who knew him.  He was a very social person who was devoted to serving others in his lifelong goal of striving to make the world a better place for those that he knew and loved.  He initiated the motto of “Practice Random Acts of Kindness, Senseless Acts of Beauty”, a philosophy he was more than proud to promote and live by.  His loving laughter will be missed by his family and friends. Ole was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife Charlene and his two older brothers, Carsten and Vernon, his older sister Jean and his younger sister Sarah.  He is survived by his wife, Marlene; children: Caren (David) Meek, Carolyn Carlson, Connie Hausdorf, Cynthia (Richard) Cook, Cathleen Dent; their 23 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren.


A Memorial service will be held on March 11, 2017 at the Sultan Senior Center located at 617 1st Street, Sultan, Washington at 1pm, with a graveside service following at the Sultan Cemetery.

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