Sunday, June 29, 2008




It's only Sunday and already several of my readers have reminded me that my normal Friday/Saturday post is late!  I suppose I should be honored that some need their  fix of Kernal Ken on time, although I'm sure most can live without my weekly rant for a day or two.  There is a reason for this week's delay.

Tomorrow, 30 June 2008, is a special day for our family.  It has to do with the legacy that has been left for us.

First, the Queen Vee and Compound Eye of a Dragonfly will represent us at the funeral of Victor J. Nelson.  With most of his family at his bedside, Victor, 90 years old,  graduated with honors from this life on Thursday, 26 June and went home to live with our Heavenly Father.
 A Utah State graduate with a degree in zoology, a World War II Navy veteran,  a master builder and craftsman as well as teacher in the building trades, and a 27 year member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Victor's greatest accomplishments were in the lessons of life, of love and of kindness he left for his children and grandchildren.

And here is the impact.  Victor leaves behind seven children, two step-children, 35 grandchildren and 78 great grandchildren.  That's 122 people who know PERSONALLY of the skills, the character, the faith and the kindness of this one man, and countless more who will hear his story in years to come.  Well done, Dad, extremely well done...

Monday, 30 June is also a special day on my side of the family.  It is the 100th birthday of my Mom, Helen Mabel Christine Johnson Carlson.

Known as Moline, Illinois' "Fastest Woman" (for the right reasons), she was a track standout in high school and at The Chicago Normal School of Physical Education, where she earned her teaching degree and lots of championship trophies.

Her wedding to 2LT Gunnar Carlson was covered by cub radio reporter (later President) Ronald Reagan, but the glamour of a military wedding was quickly eclipsed by the cold of Northern Wisconsin where her husband commanded a CCC Camp, the scorpions and floods of Panama, the continuous moving in the pre-war Army and her husband's departure for the war in the Pacific.

May brought her two sons to occupied Japan on the first ship to carry "MacArthur's Pioneers."   Later, she and I travelled to South Vietnam to join my Dad who was one of 85 Americans in that country in the mid 1950's.  With my brother and I both returning during the war, the Carlsons  are one of the very few who can say that the entire family, Mom included, served in Vietnam.

An inspirational, devoted mother and a loving, generous grandmother, May passed her earthly test and peacefully departed in  2001 at age 93.  Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, although not as numerous as those of Victor Nelson, have been left with her inspiring story and example of duty, sacrifice and love of Country.  Her life, as that of Victor, will remain legend.  Well done, Mom, and Happy Birthday!

And as for you anxious readers, I'll see you on the high ground!


Anderson Zoo Keepers said...

Yeah you have a really cool family. I'm sorry to hear about the passing of Victoria's dad - but I know it was his time. I look forward to seeing you in a few days. Brighter times ahead hopefully!
Oh - head over to my blog and submit some interview Q's for the big T. I'm sure you can come up with some fun ones.

Tobi said...

That's an amazing tribute you did for both Grandpa Nelson and your Mother. I appreciate you taking the time to blog about both of them.

The Dragonfly said...

Well said dad. We'll report tomorrow on the goings on. Love you.
Samantha (on Julie's computer.)

The Queen Vee said...

It's been a glorious weekend filled with lots of family, laughter, tears, reminiscing,and too much food. Today we celebrated dad's life. It was such a lovely funeral I thought I wouldn't have minded going myself. Thanks for the tribute to both of these wonderful parents.

Anonymous said...

This is nice dad.