Walter Carlson Sr., Lifelong Cle Elum resident died peacefully at home Monday night, November 11, at the age of 88. His companion of many years, Jennifer Armstrong, was by his side. He was born in Ellensburg on July 18, 1931. Walt lived on Hungry Junction Road with his family until the age of 6, attending the Woldale Grange School. His family then moved to Peoh Point where his father became a farmer and night watchman for the Traveler’s Hotel. Walt used to like to tell about milking 29 cows every morning by hand. Walt attended Cle Elum Schools, eventually graduating high school in 1951. When Walt was 8 years old he contracted polio, and spent 9 months bedridden in South Cle Elum where he gradually recovered. In 1951, while working at the Cle Elum Chevrolet Garage, he married Ida Albert (Cole), creating a family of 7 children. Next, Walt became the service and parts manager at the McKnight Motors Ford Dealership in Cle Elum until its closure in 1981. Next, Walt became the well-loved custodian and boiler man at the Cle Elum Grade School until his retirement at age 64. Many Upper County residents remember Walt from these years at the grade school. In 1978, Walt married Pansy Montgomery (Wolfe) with stepchildren, Brad Montgomery of South Cle Elum and Theresa Montgomery (Ellison) of Cle Elum, who remain close to this day. Years later, Walt became the defacto stepfather of Reid Armstrong of Bellingham, WA and Ryan Armstrong of Maple Valley, WA. Walter was a lifelong, avid, outdoorsman and golfer, mainly at Sun Country Golf Course. He rode snowmobiles starting in 1968 continuing to the present day. Folks will recall Walt’s famously large wood pile and his love for getting firewood. Walt and Jennifer went on many travel trips together and also enjoyed casinos. Those knowing Walter will recall his love for animals and his many dogs in particular. He and Jennifer spent many days roaming the local area with their dogs. His residence with his beloved dogs on #7 Hill, Cle Elum, for 60 years was known by many. He is survived by his living children, Richard Carlson of Booneville, AR, Karla Kindt of Tucson, AZ, Zoe Boose Carlson of Cle Elum, Walter Carlson Jr. of Ogden, UT, Barry Carlson of Cle Elum, Robert Carlson of Gold Hill, Or, and Marguerite McKenzie of Seattle, WA. Walt has numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren and step children and step grandchildren. His many friends and family will greatly miss Walt in their lives. At Walt’s request, there will be no memorial services. Any donations in memory of Walt can be directed to ARRF of Roslyn. Cascade Funeral Home of Cle Elum has been entrusted with caring for Walt's family.
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