Carol Mae Nelson was born in Chicago to George & Doris Nelson September 29, 1933. Her sister, Arlene, joined the family May 18, 1939. The family moved to the Seattle area in 1945.
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She met her first husband, Les Kramer, where they both attended classes at Central Washington University. Married in March, 1954, they made their home in Kennewick, Washington, and started their family with daughter Kathleen. After moving to Edmonds, Washington, sons Kurt and Todd joined the family. Along with raising the family, Carol also worked in Edmonds at NW Fur Breeders. Outdoor activities were a cornerstone of family life. Carol enjoyed the frequent camping and hiking adventures, ranging across the northwest from south Oregon to Banff, Canada. Winter weekends were often at the Washington Alpine Club, near Snoqualmie Pass, where she enjoyed downhill skiing.
In 1968 Carol took a turn at country life near Arlington, Washington, where a menagerie of farm animals formed. While farm duties became part of daily life, outdoor trips didn’t stop. Ski trips to Mt. Pilchuck and Mt. Baker were popular with the family, and Carol advanced from rope tows to chair lifts. A favorite camping destination was Baker Lake. Carol would invite other family members to increase the fun for all. While keeping the family busy with farm chores and adventures, she also worked to advance her professional life. A job at Everett Community College grew to full time, and she eventually became the Science Dept. Secretary before retiring after 20 years.
The marriage ended during this period, and Carol eventually married Halton Smith. They married at “The Little White Church On The Hill” in Silvana, Washington, June 10, 1978. In 1989 Hal & Carol took a two year cross-country trip, enjoying many of the states. They eventually settled in Surprise, Arizona as “Snowbirds”. When summers grew too hot in Arizona they would ride out the heat in places like Ocean Shores, Washington and Rexburg, Idaho.
Sadly, Hal passed away August 1, 2003, after 25 years of marriage. Carol continued her travels, taking several cruise and motor coach tours with friends to destinations including Sweden, Australia, and Panama. She moved to Utah in 2017, where she could be close to her daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Carol took her final rest Saturday, March 2, 2019. She is survived by daughter Kathy Ardmore (Terry), sons Kurt (Susan), and Todd Kramer, sisters Arlene Thomas and Joyce Perry (Micah), brothers Mark (Kathy) and Ed Kossian, grandchildren Derek (Lindsey), Aaron (Hailee), Brett, Courtney, and great-grandchildren Abbee, Brynn, and Stella.