Anita K. Carlson, 74, died peacefully August 14, 2019 surrounded by her family, after a tenacious battle with lung cancer—throughout which she retained her ferocity, humility, wit, and acute sense of dark humor.
There will be no funeral services per her request; instead, she has joined her late husband Gary, at Science Care.
In lieu of flowers or donations, honor her memory and “Do the right thing, even if no one is watching.”
Born at home March 29, 1945 to Floyd Wesley and Ila Viola (Surgeon) Bunn in Willamina, Ore., she attended high school in Salem, Gresham, and Willamina, Ore. and Dupree, S.D. She would go on to earn her degree in accounting at Portland State University in Portland, Ore. Her hobbies included reading, sewing, puzzles, collecting, gardening, politics, roller skating, and going to the movies on dollar popcorn Mondays and bargain Wednesdays.
She was the owner of Side Show, a hole in the wall, dive-bar, and second home to many. There, she bartended alongside her husband, daughters, granddaughters, and dear friends for nearly 34 years. She fostered an eclectic family within the community that cherished her, from the students of Hobart and William Smith Colleges to a loyal army of multifarious locals, all of whom fondly referred to her as “Ma.”
Free-spirited, intelligent, vibrant, intrepid, selfless, clever, strong-willed, and fervently guided by the Golden Rule, she encouraged others to be decent human beings—sometimes utilizing a Super Soaker to do so.
She was predeceased by Gary Carlson, her husband of more than 40 years—and as she said, “the best one” — and her son, Donald Alan Cole. She is survived by her daughters, Heidi LeMaire (Bruce Bowser), Angela Liberatore (D. Scott Demmin), Sonya (Josh Kerlan); grandchildren, Mia Kerlan (Jeff Smith), Madison Kerlan, Sam Liberatore, Elle Liberatore; and brothers, Ken (Edna) Bunn, Fred Bunn, Wesley (Mary) Bunn, and Bill Bunn; and too many nieces and nephews to name.