Marysville's Ione Carlson celebrates centennial birthday

Ione Carlson  - Courtesy Photo
Ione Carlson
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

MARYSVILLE — Ione Carlson has lived in the same house on Beach Avenue since 1934, and on Feb. 19, Carlson’s family is inviting her friends and relatives to celebrate the century of history that she’s lived through, 77 years of it at the same address in Marysville.

Ione was born on Feb. 16, 1911, and raised six children with her husband, Chester, from the rustic home and former chicken ranch where she still lives. Chester was a mechanic at an Everett Chevrolet dealer and passed away in 1968, but their children have given Ione 22 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren over the years. Carlson’s daughters have lauded her for supporting her grandkids and great-grandkids in all their academic and athletic endeavors.

Carlson worked for 15 years in the Marysville School District in food service, until she turned 65 years old. Even after her retirement, she continued to volunteer in the classroom at Cascade Elementary, as well as at the Marysville Library. As land grew more expensive and her own kids grew up and moved out, Carlson parceled out her family estate, since she no longer needed as much room. Marysville Historical Society President Ken Cage, one of Carlson’s neighbors, noted that the surrounding land was largely rural when she and her husband first moved to Marysville, which only boasted roughly 3,800 residents at the time.

A few years ago, the Marysville Historical Society filmed Carlson’s recollections of times past in Marysville. For all the changes she’d witnessed, the development that made one of the biggest impacts on her life was the interstate highway connecting Marysville to Everett, which brought an influx of business and residents to the former logging town.

“It’s getting too populated,” Carlson said. “You can’t stop progress, but I like it the way it used to be.”

Rather than railing against such changes, though, Carlson focuses instead on what she sees as the many positives in her life, with her family foremost among them. She’s also built up an extended family of sorts in the broader community, with memberships in St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Altar Society, the Marine Corps Auxiliary, the Marysville Historical Society and the Maryfest organization. She’s also a lifetime PTA member who’s received the Golden Acorn Award.

According to her daughters, Carlson spends her time off from community work sitting in her garden, with her cat in her lap, watching the birds and the squirrels come and go. They claim she knows the names of all the birds that visit her.

Carlson’s birthday party is scheduled from 1-4 p.m. on Feb. 19 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, located at 4200 88th St. NE in Marysville. The event is intended specifically for her friends and family.

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