Erica Carlson passed away the morning of May 31 at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane with all her children present, after a fulfilling 88-year journey on earth.
She was born in Priest River, Idaho on Oct. 1, 1923, one of seven children to Gerhard and Lilly Kempff. Her earlier years were spent in the woods surrounding the Priest Lake Experi¬mental Station, where her father worked as a forester. Later, she moved with her family several times throughout the coun¬try before settling in Spokane, where she graduated from Lewis and Clark High School.
Looking for more adventure that a larger city might offer, she moved to Seattle and began employment for Boeing, working as a crew leader on an assembly line. It was during this em¬ployment that she met her future husband, Robert D. Carlson. They were married on Jan.10, 1946 following his service in the Navy during WWII.
Erica would move several times with her husband in con¬nection with his position as a fisheries biologist technician, fi¬nally settling down in Kenmore to raise their four children. Following the death of her husband in 1994, she returned to the eastside of the mountains in 2000, moving to Northport to be closer to her family.
Erica is survived by her four children, Chris Carlson, Ephrata; Gerhard Carlson, Northport; Ted Carlson, Newport; and daughter Roberta Sebastian of Spokane, as well as seven grandsons and two grand-daughters.
Erica was a woman of great spiritual convictions, investing much of her life and talents with bible classes, teaching the word of God, directing choirs, and serving with the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League.
She had an insatiable appetite for knowledge, keeping many magazine companies in business. She was an artist, a gar¬dener, an eternal optimist, and was always ready for an ad¬venture. She had a unique sense of humor, and commonly introduced herself as “Erica the Great”, which none would dis¬pute. Perhaps her greatest achievements were directed toward her family. She was a devoted wife and a loving, nurturing mother who built a solid foundation for her children.
She was laid to rest next to her husband on June 11 at Purdy & Walters at Floral Hills Cemetery in the Azalea Garden.
A memorial service is being planned in Northport on June 30. Please contact Gerhard Carlson at 509-732-6150 for details.
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