Frances Eleanor Anderson was born to Esther Mae (Sutherland) Anderson and Leander Anderson on July 20, 1916, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Frances grew up with her younger brothers, Earl and Douglas, in South Minneapolis amidst many relatives and friends. She always enjoyed sports and athletic activities, excelling at swimming, tennis, and field hockey. A true Minnesotan, she embraced the winter sports and loved tobogganing and ice skating on outdoor ponds. She graduated from Central High School in 1934, where she had involved herself in many campus activities. She earned a special distinction by winning a typing contest for her excellence in speed and accuracy.
Involvement with the church was a centerpiece of life for Frances and her family. She was confirmed on April 26, 1931, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Minneapolis and was an active member for many subsequent years. There she met Lewis Siewert Carlson when both were single young adults. Lewis joined the Army during World War II. Culminating their courtship, Frances joined Lewis in Denver, Colorado, where they were married at Augustana Lutheran Church on December 12, 1942.
The Army life took them to various places over the years to come. Daughter, Jeanell Elaine, was born in 1945 in Winfield, Kansas. Son, John Daniel, was born in 1946 in Denver, Colorado. Son, James Everett, was born in 1949 in Omaha, Nebraska. Following a four-year assignment in Marshall, Minnesota, the family moved to Giessen, Germany, where they lived during 1957 and 1958.
The time in Europe offered opportunities for interesting travels. Of particular note was the opportunity to visit Sweden, where the family connected with relatives who had remained in Sweden during the immigration period.
Upon return to the U.S., the family was stationed in Colorado—the place Frances and Lewis had dreamed of calling home for the years ahead.
Frances served as a nurse’s aide for a time. She then pursued a career as a school cook. She served as a head cook at a couple of elementary schools and also served as the president of the Aurora Public Schools Food Services Association. Membership at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church was central to family life during these years, and many lifelong friendships were forged there.
Following the death of Lewis in 1978 and her own retirement several years later, Frances moved to Colorado Springs in 1982—to be close to family—where she resided until her death on October 18, 2020.
The years in Colorado Springs were filled with lots of cooking, reading, swimming at the Y, participating and serving as an active member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, volunteering at Memorial Hospital, showering love and food upon children and grandchildren, and nurturing friendships among her community at Heritage Park Condominiums. Frances loved playing games with friends and family, doing jigsaw puzzles, and making Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy a part of her day. She enjoyed watching sports on television—especially the Broncos, Minnesota teams, and the major tennis tournaments.
Ever the learner, Frances always kept her trove of reference books within easy reach so that she could check something out in an atlas, a dictionary, a law compendium, a medical encyclopedia, etc. Bible reading and meditations were a part of every day, as were prayers; she, as her mother Esther before her, was a prayer warrior. Her organizational skills and attention to detail remained razor sharp throughout her life. She cooked, baked cookies, and maintained her own home until shortly before her death at the age of 104 years. She was residing at The Retreat at Sunny Vista during the pandemic period, until the time of her death.
Frances is survived by her children, their spouses, seven grandchildren, five great grandchildren, and a number of cousins, nieces, and nephews. She rests in peace with her Redeemer, interred alongside Lewis at Fort Logan National Cemetery.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Frances Eleanor (Anderson) Carlson, please visit our floral store.