Mardella Lee Carlson, 56, of Coeur d’Alene and formerly of Summerville and La Grande, died Oct. 28 at Kootenai Medical Center. A memorial service is planned for Friday at 1 p.m. at the La Grande Nazarene Church. Daniels Chapel of the Valley is in charge of arrangements.
Miss Carlson was born Feb. 8, 1950, in La Grande to Dale L. and Valera L. Robinette Carlson of Summerville. She grew up on the family farm and was active in local 4-H clubs and in Girl Scouts. As a child she loved picking huckleberries in the nearby mountains with her family.
She attended elementary school in Imbler, and her remaining education was at La Grande in a special education curriculum. She graduated with a modified diploma from La Grande High School in 1969 and proudly marched with the class at graduation.
After high school she lived with her grandmother, Lola Robinette, and worked as a dishwasher at the Royal Cafe in downtown La Grande. In 1971 she moved to a private group home in Boise, and during the rest of her life, she lived in group homes in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
In 1996 it was discovered that she had an inoperable brain tumor that had been the cause of her special needs at birth and throughout her life.
While she was able, she always came home for holidays, especially Christmas. She was always talking about her family, and they made trips to visit her as often as they could.
Survivors include her mother, Valera L. Carlson of Island City; siblings and their spouses, Lawrence “Larry” D. Carlson of Kuna, Idaho, Karen and Robert Douglas of Ontario and Durinda and Matt Burrows of La Grande; six nieces and one nephew; four great-nieces and one great-nephew; and numerous cousins and other relatives.
She was preceded in death by her father; grandparents, Lawrence V. Carlson and Zilla E. Carlson Choate and Otto T. Robinette and Lola J. Robinette; and stepgrandparents, Mary O. Hayes Robinette and Dillard R. Choate.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Pinewood Care Center, 2514 North Seventh, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, 83814.
The Observer, Obituaries For The Week Ending Nov. 11, 2006, Published: November 11, 2006