Florence Ada Carlson, 98, was born to Oscar and Ada Brown on Nov. 28, 1916 in their homestead cabin in the Huntley Butte community, Stillwater County, Montana.
Florence passed away in her sleep in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2015. After graduation from Columbus High School in 1935, Florence was employed in the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) office in Columbus, and worked four seasons in Yellowstone Park. It was there that she met her future husband, Glenn Carlson from Iowa, also a Park employee.
They were married July 5, 1939, made their home in Columbus, and there they raised their four children. She returned to work for the USDA farm offices and later retired with 20 years to her credit. Before her marriage, Florence played violin in a dance orchestra with her sister, Helen, Earl Nott and Grant and Earl Rader.
Florence was a member of the Community Congregational Church in Columbus, Stillwater Rebekah Lodge #125, the Stillwater Historical Society and the Columbus Junior Homemakers.
She loved to travel and went on several trips and tours including many areas of the United States as well as Norway and New Zealand. Her hobbies included genealogy, local history, oil painting and various crafts. She delivered Meals on Wheels for many years, finally retiring from that when she was over 90! Her proudest achievement was compiling and publishing a directory of the Columbus Mountain View Cemetery from 1903-2003.
For nine years she was the designated historian for Stillwater County on the website of the Montana GenWeb Project. As such she replied to inquiries from innumerable researchers from across the country. She also wrote a weekly column for the Stillwater County News. In 2005, she was honored by her church at the Mission Fair for her many years of community service.
Florence lived in Columbus, Stillwater County for most of her life. In 2008, she moved to Billings where she lived at Westpark Village, Tendernest, Chapel Court at St. John’s and Rimview Square N at St. John’s.
The family wishes to thank the many people who enriched her life and who cared for her these past six years. Special thanks go to the Nurses and staff at St. John’s for their kindness and care over the last year.
Florence was preceded in death by her husband, Glenn, in 1977 and her parents in 1979 and 1981. She is survived by her sister, Helen Gilstrap, of Rohnert Park, California. She is also survived by her four children, Bill (Jane) Carlson of Billings, Marie (Ken) Haag of Huntley, Ken (Pam) Carlson and Chuck Carlson of Columbus. Florence is also survived by seven grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, one great great grandchild and seven nieces.
There will be a family memorial get-together later this summer. Should one desire, memorial contributions may be made to the Museum of the Beartooths, P.O. Box 1, Columbus, MT 59019, the Community Congregational Church, 138 4th St. North, Columbus, MT 59019 or to St John’s Lutheran Ministries, 3940 Rimrock Rd, Billings, MT 59102.