Kristy Wade-Carlson

Kristy Wade-Carlson

1951 — 2011

Kristy Wade-Carlson passed away at home surrounded by her family on Sept. 22, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

During her illness Kristy did not complain. Instead, she tried the best she could to protect the people she loved from the effects of her terrible illness.

This was typical of the way she treated those whom she loved. The family was and will remain very proud of the way she faced up to her battle against a terrible enemy.

Kristy lived most of her life on San Juan Island.

She graduated from Friday Harbor High School, Class of 1969. Kristy was a cheerleader and a very popular student.

After graduating, Kristy attended The Fashion Institute in Portland, Ore. After receiving her degree she was recruited by Meier and Frank department store to work in their women’s fashion department.

It wasn’t long before she grew homesick and moved back to ‘the island’.

Eventually, Kristy used her training and skill as a make-up artist while working for Nordstrom’s downtown Seattle and Northgate stores. Later she went to work for the Snohomish County Superior Court system, working as court clerk. She held the same position for many years in the San Juan County court system on San Juan Island.

Living on the island made her very contented and happy. As it is with many of us, island life was in her blood.

Kristy was born into a very old island family. Her great, great grandparents, Steven and Lucinda Boyce, were among the first white settlers in the San Juan Islands.

She felt at home with the land and the island people. Kristy loved the close friendships and unique way of life that can only come from island living.

Though it was cut short, Kristy was blessed with an abundant life.

Kristy always wanted to travel. The chance came when she married John Carlson. Kristy and John journeyed to many places in Europe and China. Together they visited some of the greatest cities in the world: London, Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, Copenhagen and Shanghai, to name some.

One of the highlights of her later years was the trip to Iceland, made with her parents and many of her Icelandic relatives, where she experienced the homeland of her great grandparents, Gisli and Frida Gudjonson.

Kristy was preceded in death by her grandparents Leith and Beryl Wade, whom we all knew as Gram and Papa.

Gram and papa were the most important influence in Kristy’s life.

While raising her from early teens to adulthood, they instilled in her a set of guiding values that helped her throughout her life. What they taught helped develop the depth of character that made her a fine woman and an outstanding wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter and friend.

Kristy is survived by; husband John Carlson, son Justin Martel, daughters Tara Martel-Hulse (Marty), Kaitlin Wade, Alexandra Wade, grandchildren Eve and Ryder Hulse, father John Wade, mother Cora Dickey, brothers Jan Wade and Mark Wade (Lynn) and sister Karen Melzer (Mark). In addition, Kristy leaves a large number of loving relatives and friends.

Kristy lived a good and productive life. She was a brilliant, funny and beautiful woman with love and kindness in her heart. She lived comfortably, but most importantly she had love in her life. She loved her family and friends, and they loved her in return.

The family wishes to thank everyone for the kind visits, calls, cards and emails. We all appreciate the food and support given us during Kristy’s final days.

Kristy will be greatly missed but fondly held in the hearts of many. As a family, rather than say goodbye, we say farewell dear one, we will see you again.

Services will be held, 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 at Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church followed by a short graveside service at Valley Cemetery. A reception will be held at the Grange Hall in Friday Harbor. Service arrangements are under the care of Gillies Funeral Home in Lynden. You are welcome to share memories of Kristy at our online guestbook at

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Kristy Wade-Carlson to the San Juan Historical Museum P.O Box 441, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.

— Family of Kristy Wade-Carlson