Norma Kelly Carlsson

March 11, 1915 ~ April 16, 2022 (age 107)


NORMA HASSELTINE KELLY CARLSSON, born in Walkerville, Ontario March 11, 1915 , passed away on Saturday April 16, 2022.

Yes, your math is correct, she was 107. 

A remembrance in reference to Norma in her college yearbook read, A box where sweets compacted lie.
Norma was the second daughter of Reverend Arthur E. and Alice Kelly. The family moved to
Ogdensburg, New York, when she was ten . She spent many summers on her dearly loved St Lawrence
River, tenting with her family and relatives, fishing for pickeral with her Dad, swimming with her sisters,
and boating through unpredictable thunder storms which would force them onto the Islands. Norma
vividly remembered Euphemia, an inner city child, part of the NYC Fresh Air Program, who visited them
for several summers. In the winter the girls skated on their flooded tennis court at the parsonage in
Ogdensburg, New York.
Norma graduated from Chicago Baptist Institute in Sociology, however she attended her favorite
McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, for two years prior. Rev Kelly thought she was enjoying too
many social activities, and decided the Baptist Institute would be best for her. While in Chicago she
worked several years with disadvantaged children. She often taught them plays to perform, and helped
their mothers with nutrition. When Norma went back to Ogdensburg she rekindled her relationship with
Charles Carlsson, who lived in Ogdensburg and attended the Baptist Church. He had graduated from
Babson College, Wellesley, MA, in Business and was working at the Bank in Ogdensburg. They were
married on June 14, 1941 and soon after Capt. Carlsson was deployed to Europe where he served in
England, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, and Czechoslovakia. Their first child, Sandra
Hasseltine, was born on December 23, 1942, just prior to him leaving. Then during a leave Norma
became pregnant with their second child, Gretchen Christine, whom Charles first saw when she was
fourteen months.
After the war Norma and Charles settled in Tacoma, Washington, where they raised their family. Norma
was a staunch Republican and worked for the Republican Party in Tacoma, as well as at the voting
booths. She was a PTA volunteer, Brownie and Girl Scout mother, and still had time to do some oil
painting ,piano playing, cross stitching, and gardening. Norma loved flowers and raised beautiful roses,
such as Mr. Lincoln, Touch of Class, Ingrid Bergman, Tropicana and so many more . The family attended
the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church where she was active in Sunday School and Out Reach. Norma and
Charles lived part-time in Williams Lake, B.C. when Charles worked for Cariboo Pacific. It was there that
Norma continued her oil painting with the Canadian artist, Mrs. Cowen. In 1974 they purchased a
beautiful beach house in Longbranch, WA. The family spent many days combing the beach and having
barbecues. It was a reflective time for everyone who visited. The Carlsson's were also snow birds, but
moved permanently to Sun City, Arizona in 1990, where Norma continued her French lessons and oil
painting classes. Norma and Charles celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary (Flag Day) at their
daughter"s home in Gig Harbor on June 14, 1991. All the family and friends attended and it was a
glorious occasion.
Norma"s husband, Charles, preceded her in death on March 17, 2002. She continued to live in Sun City,
AZ, but later moved in with her daughter, Gretchen, in Vancouver, WA and finally in Gig Harbor, WA,
where she was so happy in Sound Vista Village Retirement Center with all her wonderful caregivers: Lori,
Jenny, Linda, Vee, Shawna, Christina, Lorelei and staff-Penny, Jeanette, Sharon, Dianna, Leah, Jesse, Gail, and
Hospice RN Anna and Tamara and so many more. She will be lovingly remembered by daughter, Sandra Mory, whose husband, Roy,
passed away in September 2010, and her daughter, Jennifer Hawkins, passed in June 2018; daughter
Gretchen O"Halloran, son-in-law, MIchael; six grandchildren, six great-grand children, and two great great
grandchildren. Her sisters, Doris Kelly, Elaine Snyder and Alice Shepard all preceded her in death.
Norma loved the United States, but her heart was in Ontario, where she had grown up. She was so
happy when she was able to visit Brockville, Walkerville, Renfrew, and Hamilton. Mother was the eternal
optimist and always said, Everything changes! Live for today, not the past . We all loved her so much.

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