Lillian Carlsen, 97 passed away on Sunday, September 24, 2023, at the Prairie Senior Cottages in Albert Lea. A Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, September 28, 2023 at 11am at the Round Prairie Lutheran Church, with a visitation starting at 9:30am. Pastor Kent Otterman will be officiating.
Lillian was born June 6, 1926 on the farm near Emmons, MN to Ernest and Mable Jensen. She completed the family joining a sister, Marian. She grew up with the usual farm chores of milking cows, picking eggs, gardening, and helping around the house. After attending country school down the road, she went to Emmons high school where she played trumpet in the band.
After graduation, she worked at Emmons State Bank and lived with a family in Emmons. During World War 2, she and Sandy Carlsen went to Minneapolis to work. At a dance in Albert Lea, she met Roy Carlsen, getting married when he returned from the war on June 14, 1946. They built a small house on the Carlsen farm and were blessed with two children, Julie Mae and Steven Roy. California looked like the place to go as Roy’s two sisters and their husbands were already there, so they packed up and headed out.
Lillian worked at Hunt’s Food in the fruit cocktail plant for a couple of years before returning home, stopping at Disneyland and Knotts berry farm on the way. They traded houses with Roy’s parents, and Lillian was once again helping milk the cows and gardening. She got a job at Wilsons as a secretary in the employment office until Roy’s repair business got busy, leading her to become his bookkeeper and staying home.
Lillian was very active in Round Prairie Lutheran Church. She taught Sunday school, helped make mission quilts and was in Ladies' aid, Circle, and Bell Choir.
She loved being a wife and mother, but being a grandma was the best. She didn’t miss many of her grandchildren’s activities or concerts.
Lillian and Roy spent many of their winters being snow birds; sometimes in Arizona, sometimes in Texas. They were also kept busy and entertained by square dancing and going camping in their motor home with friends over many summer weekends.
In later years they moved to Thorne Crest retirement home until Lillian moved to Prairie Senior Cottage where she lived for 9 1/2 years. Alzheimer’s took over and slowly we lost our mom and grandma. Every time we visited it seemed we lost a little more. What a terrible disease! We miss her. She is again herself in heaven, where we will meet again.
Those left to cherish her memory are daughter Julie (Carlsen) Wallin and husband Douglas; son Steven and wife Christine; grandchildren Mark (Amy) Wallin, DeAnn (Mike) Read, Karen (Gabe) Beal, Janet (Eric) Sparrow, Brian (Kelli) Wallin, Peter (Katie) Carlsen, Paul (Sara) Carlsen; 15 great-grandchildren; 4 great-great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and friends.
Preceding her were husband Roy Carlsen; sister Marian Gooden; and grandchildren William and Kylie Sparrow.