Mrs. Betty Carlson

Betty Carlson - taken in 1995

Betty and Dave at Betty's Retirement - Great Family Gathering February 10, 2002

Dave Carlson - taken in 1995

    In 1922, a little baby girl was born to Harley Hallgren and Louise Tjernlund Hallgren, daughter of Rev. Axel Tjernlund, one of our former pastors.  (See Church History, 1916)
    As a little girl, Betty Lou had curly blond hair.  They attended the Swedish Baptist Church on Flanders Street.  She quite often went to the Women's Mission Circle in various homes with her mother along with "little Evans" and his mother.  This was before Temple was built.  (This year 2002, is the 75th anniversary of the completion of the building we now worship in.)   Betty was introduced to the Women's Ministry very early!
    The Temple young people were a very active group.  They even printed a paper called "The Temple Trumpet."  The girls had "pajama parties" and on one of these occasions they met at Marj and Phyllis's home (because it was the biggest).  Betty, along with Maydora Westerlund Johnson, Dorothy Carlson Bishop, Viola Anderson Christiansen, Marion Johnson (Earl's sister) and Astrid were in their pajamas and sitting around the big family table in the kitchen, when who should crash the party but Dave Carlson and Earl Johnson!
    Betty's mother developed Rheumatoid Arthritis at that time so Betty did a lot of the cooking.   After high school graduation, she worked for many years at Meier and Frank in the office.  About this time there was a young man named Bob Weibe, who said he needed help with math and got Betty to help him.  Another young man, Dave Carlson, was there too and he was the son of the church custodian.  About that time Dave Carlson and Earl Johnson took off  for Bethel, and soon after that they joined the Navy.  The boys came home from WW11 and settled down with jobs and got back into church activities.
    Betty often assisted the church secretary at various times.  The Columbia Conference often held an all-conference get together during the summer at Lake Retreat - our summer camp.  In 1949 Evans and I were newlyweds and we always went to these celebrations.  Dave brought Betty to this one.  (They had been dating unbeknownst to us.)  As we were heading down the hill to the dining hall, here came Dave and Betty, arm in arm and absolutely radiant.  I asked Betty what was going on and she smiled and said, "We're engaged."  That's all the details I can tell you on that subject.
    After Betty had her own home she was always entertaining, when she wasn't busy with little ones, Mary Beth, Ann Louise, and little Peter!  It got crowded in their house, so they moved into a beautiful brick home large enough to share with the three H's: Harley Hallgren, Father; Helen Tjernlund, Aunt; and Helen Hallgren, Aunt.  Betty and Dave managed the whole tribe quite well - 3 Senior Citizens and 3 children.  Peter loved that house.  He was a very busy little boy who must have driven those two maiden aunts crazy.  One time Peter decided he was Superman and stood at the top of the stairs to the second floor and actually tried to fly!  Not too much damage, but a scare for his Mom and Dad. 
    Betty held various offices in the Women's Mission Circle.  The Temple women are all great cooks, and we all helped at the big church dinners, showers, etc.   She also was a deaconess and because of her experiences with "older seniors", she enjoyed visiting and helping.  Betty and Dave sang in the choir for many years.  They were also administrators at Oregon Baptist Retirement Homes and it was at this time she taught ceramics and made the manger scene that we have displayed every Christmas.
    When the new Day Care addition was built Betty Carlson, Katie Koerper, Heather Anderson Neafie, Jane VanRyn and myself (Marilyn Nelson) served as the New Kitchen committee for the Upper Room.  We had a wonderful time planning the new kitchen.  Mr. Ken McCarthy, who donated the kitchen to Temple, and his daughter, who sold and outfitted large professional kitchens, completely outfit the kitchen. 
    Dave and Betty owned a little restaurant for a time and she gained valuable experience there as well as working in two different eating establishments.  You are all witnesses to all the wonderful meals Betty and Katie have prepared.
    Betty's Diner continues to be a wonderful asset for Wednesday night activities.

    Copied from the account written by Marilyn Nelson and presented at Betty's Retirement Dinner on February 10, 2002 in the Upper Room at Temple Baptist Church.  Marilyn also personally stated to Betty, "You have the gifts of hospitality, mercy and service, and a great quilter!  I am so fortunate to be your sister in Christ.  You are an inspiration to me! 

    "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
                                                                                                                               Hebrews 12:1-3

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