Our dear and precious mother went home to be with Jesus at the age of 96 at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017.
She died at home holding hands with her daughter and son-in-law, which is exactly how she would have wanted it.
Born Elayne Josine Carlson, Jan. 29, 1921, in Wittenberg, Wis., to Martin and Josine Carlson. She was raised on a farm with her brother Bernie. She attended school in a one-room school house and later graduated from high school in Minneapolis.
She worked five years as a live-in housekeeper, nanny and cook to earn tuition money for nursing school, which she began in 1942. She attended three years at Swedish Covenant Hospital Nursing School in Chicago, Ill., earning her RN degree.
On June 8, 1946, she married her childhood sweetheart, Harvey Charles Larsen, in a Lutheran Church in Wittenberg, Wis. Their first daughter, Lynette Anita, was born July 14, 1947, in Rhinelander, Wis. After moving to Clatskanie, Ore., their second daughter, Judy Bernadette, arrived on June 26, 1948.
In 1949, she began working as a nurse for Dr. Wooden, where she truly enjoyed her patients in an office setting. In 1952, the family moved to McKinleyville, Calif., where she continued her office nursing career, working for Dr. Bux and Dr. Frank, retiring at the age of 65. In 1991, Elayne moved to Oak Harbor to be near her daughter and family, where she attended First Reformed Church the entire time and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Elayne was of Norwegian, Swedish and Belgian descent. From the age of 3, she spoke Swedish and Norwegian fluently, learning especially from her beloved Swedish grandmother Grandma Carlson. Of prime importance to Elayne was her relationship with God and cultivating the attitude of gratitude in her every day life.
She was a joy, and she made it a practice to pray every morning, “Thank you, Lord, for the gift of another day and help me to enjoy every moment of this day that you have given to me.” She loved living in Oak Harbor and always felt this was her favorite place in all the world.
What she cherished most was her beloved family and friends, gardening, cooking, sewing, knitting, preserving her family history and heritage, hospitality, singing, reading and corresponding with loved ones via hand-written letters.
She was beautiful inside and out, known to speak to perfect strangers just to cheer them. She knew how to make everyone feel loved and exceptionally special and cherished. She was known for her sense of humor, wit, charm and spunky personality. One phrase Elayne enjoyed sharing with everyone she met were the words, “Jeg elsker deg,” which means “I love you” in Norwegian/Swedish.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, daughter Judy and brother Bernie. Those left behind include her daughter Lynette Tompkins; son-in-law Jeffrey Tompkins; granddaughters Shonda (Knowlton) and Koren (Faust); their husbands Jeremy Knowlton and Nick Faust; five great- grandchildren, Ethan, Reagan and Jordan Faust and Shrade and Jessna Knowlton; nieces Cheryl Seaders and Brenda Smith; and step granddaughter Erlen Marsh.
A simple graveside service was held at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, at Sunnyside Cemetery presided by Chaplain David Lura. Charitable gifts may be made to First Reformed Church, 250 SW 3rd Ave., Oak Harbor, WA 98277 or Hospice of the Northwest, 227 Freeway Dr., Suite A, Mount Vernon, WA 98273.
Arrangements entrusted to Whidbey Memorial Funeral and Cremation Service. An online guestbook is available at whid beymemorial.com