On November 27, at high noon, seven members of the Manson American Legion, Post 108 gathered at the home of Leonard Carlson on Summit Boulevard, where he has lived since 2004 to honor, say goodbye and wish him a Happy 90th Birthday. The honor guard marched down the driveway and ending up on the front porch where they sang Happy Birthday. Leonard moves to the Kenmore Retreat Home on November 28 to be closer to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Joining the American Legion Honor Guard were Clyde McCullough, Brian Strausbaugh, Norm Manly, Carole Hanson, Craig Pittson (Santa), Jim Young and Allen Carnahan. Leonard has been part of the American Legions since 2015 and has been an active member in Manson, Post 108 helping serve our community.
Leonard was born on December 7, 1930 in Astoria, Oregon and has one younger brother, Larry. He spent his youth southeast of Astoria, up the road from his grandfather's family farm on Tucker Creek, which runs into Youngs River before it enters the Columbia. Leonard says "I could hear the ocean from where I grew up!"
He joined the Air Force after graduating Astoria High School in 1948, and became a Staff Sergeant at age 19. He was based at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage, Alaska, the home of the Headquarters, Alaskan Air Command and Alaskan NORAD Region.
After receiving an honorable discharge from the Air Force, Leonard attended Oregon State University, graduating in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. Upon graduation Leonard was immediately hired by the Boeing Company where he enjoyed a very successful 40-year career, retiring in 1992.
Leonard and his wife, Frances, also from Astoria, were married for 60 years. Unfortunately, Frances passed away after a short battle with cancer on October 13, 2013. Their family includes two sons, David and Michael with seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. What are Leonard hobbies, books, books and more books; salmon fishing; world travel, and as for joy, besides family, his 30 years as a gentleman farmer on seven acres bordered by the Snoqualmie River near Fall City, Washington. Most recently spending six years perched atop Summit Boulevard, watching morning sunrises and evening sunsets reflected gloriously by the azure waters of Lake Chelan, with neighbors and visiting friends. A place he daily greeted, "it’s another day in Paradise."
Post 108 Vice Commander, Brian Strausbaugh says, “We are really going to miss Len. We wish him the very best with this new adventure in his life.”