Jessie Eula Carlson, 100, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 in Turlock, Calif.
Jessie was born in Lee on Oct. 26, 1912. When she was a small child her parents and other relatives homesteaded in Yocum Valley near Lakeview. She had fond memories of living in a small log cabin, built by her father, and where she would play with her brother in the open pastures and forests around her home. Yocum Valley was where she started school, but later lived in other towns in Oregon. When she was in high school her family moved to Stockton, Calif. where she later met and married Alvin Carlson on Dec. 6, 1930.
Al and Jessie lived in several small towns in the Sierra Nevada foothills with their two daughters. During this time Al operated a dragline for a gold dredging company before purchasing property in Patterson, Calif. next to his parent’s apricot farm. He grew several cover crops, including alfalfa, before planting an apricot orchard, and Jessie was active in driving tractor for hay baling and storage, as well as putting out boxes for apricots. After WWII they built a new home where they raised two daughters, and after they were grown, Jessie spent summers with her grandchildren coming for visits. All Jessie’s family and friends remember the sun-dried apricots that they would receive every year, and the wonderful chicken dinners and angel food cakes which she made on the farm.
After Al died in 1963, Jessie moved back to Lakeview near her childhood home of Yocum Valley where she rebuilt a small home and reconnected with her childhood. Later, she also lived in Salem, and Eureka, Calif. to be close to her daughters. Grandma Jessie made a quilt for each grandchild for their wedding day, and one or more quilts for each grandchild as they came along. Also, she knitted many, many pairs of slippers for all the family.
As Jessie was growing older, she moved to a retirement community in Turlock, Calif., where she served the on the resident’s council and later in the community store. Her favorite pastimes where walking quickly, playing harmonica and writing poetry. Her poems were often published in the community newsletter “Village Voice” and spoke of her childhood, nature and slower times. She was often asked to play harmonica for church services. She also loved to play the harmonica for the caged bird kept near her room.
Recently her family celebrated her 100th birthday with her on Oct. 26, 2012. She was very proud of this milestone. Now that she has gone to be with the Lord, we all remember Jessie as the woman whose ability to walk quickly and her will to live is an inspiration to us all.
Jessie is survived by two daughters; seven grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; eight great-great grandchildren.
Graveside services will be held at Patterson Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 at 11 a.m.