Nature 08

Ina A. Carlson

November 13, 1924 ~ November 11, 2021 (age 96)

Obituary

Ina A. Carlson, of Horseheads, NY, died on Thursday, November 11, 2021. She was 96 years old. Ina was recently pre-deceased by her husband of 75 years, Frederick Carlson, of Horseheads, NY. She was also pre-deceased by her brother, Ray Anderson, of Falconer, NY, and by her sister, Elsie Anderson (Dick) Strong of Jamestown, NY. She is survived by her daughter Melissa Carlson (Frank) Allmaier, of Beaver Dams, NY; her daughter Hilde (Michael) Tingey, of Vestal, NY; her grandson Jonathan (Maria Walker) Allmaier, of Bronx, NY; her granddaughter Alexis Allmaier (Matthew) Seltzer, of Chappaqua, NY; her grandson Michael Tingey, of Wappingers Falls, NY; her grandson Russell (Melissa) Tingey, of Vestal, NY; and her great-grandson Clyfford Allmaier, of Bronx, NY.

Ina Hildegard Anderson was born on November 13, 1924, in Jamestown, NY, to John and Amanda Anderson. John and Amanda had each emigrated from different parts of Sweden, and Ina grew up speaking Swedish as her first language. As a girl, Ina saw herself as a tomboy, and she enjoyed playing sports, including softball and basketball. Her natural athleticism was apparent even in her later years—into her early 90s, Ina loved a game of catch or frisbee at family picnics.

After graduating from Jamestown High School in 1942, Ina began working as a secretary at the WCA Hospital in Jamestown. There, she befriended Florence Carlson, the hospital’s telephone switchboard operator. Florence prevailed upon Ina to write to her son Fred, who was serving in the Army overseas in World War II. This wartime epistolary romance led to a marriage of 75 years: the couple married on July 14, 1946, a few months after Fred returned home from the war.

Ina and Fred first lived together in Alfred Station, NY, where Fred was attending college on the GI Bill. They grew much of their own food and raised some livestock together, and Ina worked as a secretary to a local attorney. In the early 1950s, they moved to Webb Mills, NY, where their first daughter, Melissa, was born. A few years later, after settling in Horseheads, NY, Ina began working as a secretary at the Chemung Canal Trust Company in Elmira, NY. She remained employed there until her retirement.

 

Ina lived a quiet, modest life, but she did, in her 80s, finally get to fulfill her lifelong wish of visiting Sweden—the land of her parents’ birth and the place that formed an important part of her identity. In 2006, she traveled with her family to her father’s birthplace in Öxabäck, Sweden. When she arrived in the remote Swedish village, where none of the locals spoke English, she surprised her family with her still-fluent command of Swedish, despite the fact that she had not spoken the language since she had been a little girl. Her unexpected proficiency in Swedish allowed her to converse freely with the Öxabäck residents she met, one of whom took her to see the site of her father’s childhood home—by then, simply a meadow in a forest.

Ina will be remembered by those who knew her as a person of rare grace and kindness, as well as for her delightfully surprising wit. She did not direct attention toward herself, but she was nonetheless the emotional center of gravity for her small family. Ina brought an infectious youthful spirit to the time she spent with the people she loved; her own deeply sincere, quiet enjoyment of these moments made them enjoyable, and meaningful, for her loved ones too. She loved games of all kinds, especially Scrabble and card games like gin rummy or Authors; she loved music, and she played the piano and the Hawaiian lap steel guitar, and sang with a clear pretty voice; she knew how to ennoble the little things in life by paying attention to them and enjoying them; she made ordinary experiences into things to be treasured. Ina lived a long life; for those fortunate enough to share part of it with her, it was too short.    

Family and friends are invited to visit the Walter J. Kent Funeral Home, 858 Lake St. at Washington Ave., in Elmira, NY, on Saturday, November 20, 2021 from 10 am to 11 am. Her memorial service will be held there at 11 am. Committal prayers and interment will follow in Montour Falls Cemetery, Montour Falls. The family would like to thank Bethany Home Care at Appleridge for their ongoing support and concern, and the staff at Bethany Manor for taking such good care of Ina in her final days. They professionally and compassionately provided comfort to her and to her family. Condolences at www.barberfuneralhome.com

To send flowers to Ina's family, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Saturday
November 20, 2021

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Walter J. Kent Funeral Home
858 Lake Street
Elmira, NY 14901

Memorial Service
Saturday
November 20, 2021

11:00 AM
Walter J. Kent Funeral Home
858 Lake Street
Elmira, NY 14901

Committal
Saturday
November 20, 2021

12:00 PM
Montour Falls Cemetery, Montour Falls

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