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Elva Leva Carlson

(Nov. 30, 1913 – July 5, 2013)

Leva Carlson died at Powell Valley Healthcare on Friday, July 5, 2013, after a brief illness and a long life. She was 99.

Elva Leva Rutherford was born at the family home in Dwyer, Wyo., on Nov. 30, 1913, to Harry Tilden Rutherford and Lillian Jennie Rutherford. She graduated with the class of ’32 from Wheatland High School and attended her 80th class reunion last year.

Leva met C. Oscar Carlson in Wheatland, and they were married on Nov. 9, 1933, in Torrington. They moved to outlying communities near Rockford, Ill., where their children George, Carl, Chuck and Ila were born. Their son Jack was born in Wheatland and daughter Kathy in Torrington.

They returned to Wyoming, where she and Oscar purchased a farm west of Yoder. Leva loved Wyoming, always singing the state song up until about a month ago.

Leva spent many of her years as a homemaker and helping others doing extensive wallpapering. After Oscar’s death in 1971, she went to work at the Valley Mercantile Furniture Company in Torrington, and then served as weekend clerk at the Yoder Post Office.

She moved to Yoder from the family farm in 1970 and then to Powell in 1994 when she developed macular degeneration. Leva loved to crochet, making well over 100 afghans and dolls that she gave to family members.  

In her later years, many knew Leva for her love of collecting and sorting state quarters.  She could tell you the order that each of the quarters were minted and shared numerous quarters with many family members. Her initial goal was to live until the Wyoming quarters came out and, having met that goal, she moved the mark to living to 100.

Although she came short, Leva loved the Lord and realized that she wouldn’t make it to November. She gladly left to meet her maker.

Leva joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Torrington and then transferred membership to Powell. She belonged to a close friend group of 12 ladies established as a “Christmas Club,” where the ladies shared company once a month and brought their projects to work on Christmas presents for family members. This close-knit group stayed together until age began separating them.

Leva spent many years attending graduations, weddings, etc., having 23 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great grandchildren. Leva had seven different five-generation photo ops in her lifetime.

Leva will be remembered at a memorial service in Wheatland on Friday, July 12, at the First Christian Church of Wheatland (95 19th St.) at 3 p.m. She will be laid to rest in her final resting place next to her husband of 37 years.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her spouse, Oscar; and brothers and sisters Myrtie Call, Earl Rutherford, Florence Vermilyea, Carl Rutherford, Erma Vermilyea; son Jack T. Carlson; and great-granddaughter Samantha Carlson.

Survivors include her children: George H. Carlson of Carlsbad, N.M., Carl O. (Carol) Carlson, Jr., of Yoder, Charles W. (Ann) Carlson of Columbia, Mo., Ila Mae (Ray) Valentine of Old Town, Fla., and Kathy L. (Bob) Parsons of Powell; sister-in-law Helen Rutherford; many generations of grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

You may honor Leva with a memorial to one of your choice, or Wheatland Old Grads, the Gideons or NW-Child Evangelism Fellowship, in care of Kathy Parsons, P.O. Box 533, Powell, WY, 82435.

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1 comment

  • posted by Rowena G. Cochran

    September 07, 2013 1:00 pm

    I am so sorry - I just found out today (September 7, 2013) in church that Leva had passed away...she was a DEAR SWEET PERSON and I loved her...my own husband passed away in January - so I know there is a big hole in Leva's family as in mine. She wanted to live until she saw our SDA church on Bent and 6th filled again. Bless the family and keep growing in Christ.

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