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May 20, 2019

5/6/2019 11:44:00 AM
Beuna May Carlson

Beuna May (Victor) Carlson went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Friday, April 26, 2019.  Her final phone call was to her daughter, Carol, in California upon arriving to the hospital in Wyoming, Minnesota.  During the ambulance transfer to a cardiac unit in the Twin Cities, she succumbed to a massive heart attack.  

Beuna May had just celebrated her 95th birthday with two parties in December 2018.  She loved parties, socializing, playing cards, hosting celebrations, politics, campaigning for causes she believed in, music, sports, travel, animals, people, her children and grandchildren.  

Born at home (above what was formerly the Lindstrom Bank in Lindstrom), Beuna May was the first of four children born to Arvid and Mabel (Palmquist) Victor.  As a pure-blooded Swede, Beuna May was born, raised and lived her married life raising a family in the city of Lindstrom.
Her roots in Lindstrom were deep being the proud daughter, wife and then mother of three generations of Lindstrom Mayors.  She enjoyed riding on the floats for Karl Oskar Days with her Mayor/Daddy Arvid, husband - Kermit and enjoyed watching her son Keith as they all three served for decades as seeking to make a significant impact on the city she so loved and forever claimed as her one and only home.

Because her Father Arvid was one of 10 children, Beuna May grew up with lots and lots of first cousins most of whom also resided in Lindstrom.  She loved to play with them and cultivated close relationships with them and became the only female to outlive them all.

Beuna May graduated from Chi-Hi and attended Macalester College in St. Paul, where, as an accomplished pianist and occasional church organist, she majored in music.  Beuna May became the first female cheerleader at Macalester College along with her good friend  “Ricky.”  Together, “Vicky,” and “Ricky,” kicked off the era of having female cheerleaders at Macalester College.

When World War II broke out, Beuna May became a dedicated writer seeking to send words of faith, support, encouragement, inspiration, joy and hope to the boys sacrificing their lives in battle.  Shortly after the War ended, a friend she had frequently written to during the four years he was serving, Kermit William Carlson from Wyoming, MN proposed to her.  He had been the first boy that her protective parents allowed her to ride with in his grandfather’s car.  Part of their courtship involved their mutual skill in ice skating.  The two of them were adventurous and loved to laugh, and had lots of fun together alone and socializing.

On September 25, 1948, Beuna May and Kermit were married.  Each summer, they traveled the United States during the month of August whereby, together, they made certain that each trip included visiting important historical places in combination with care-free fun (World’s Fairs, Disneyland, Hemisphere 68, ect).  

Their four children (Gregg, Keith, Kurt and Carol) were introduced to traveling the country and had visited most of the United States during the summers growing up in Lindstrom.  Beuna May was an active, hands-on mother who sought out leadership roles in almost every activity that her children were involved in.  A few of these included: Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts, Playground Supervisor, Band Mother, directing the Cherub Choir, teaching Sunday School along with Vacation Bible School all at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lindstrom.  When her two oldest sons went to the University of Minnesota, she became an ATO Fraternity Mother.  Attending football games where, as a family, six of them watched Gregg and Keith do their formations while playing in the marching band brought them great joy.  

After her three sons were out of the home, with only her 14 year old daughter remaining, tragedy struck.  In 1974, at the age of 50, Beuna May became a widow following the unforeseen death by suicide of her one True Love, Kermit Carlson.  He was Mayor at the time of his death.  The two of them had such a full social life together that it was devastating to be suddenly cast into being single with a young daughter.  

She sought to be independent. They had been a prominent couple, and this only deepened her feelings of loss, rejection and abandonment.  She battled alcoholism for decades, yet ultimately conquered it thanks to her strong faith, courage, determination and hope for a better, different, fresh start in her later years.  Beuna May inspired hundreds of people with her testimony of faith, hope and the joy she felt for all people.

As Beuna May pursued developing a working life as a single woman, her strong interest in politics provided her with opportunities to work in the Office of the Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota State Legislature and for Minnesota’s former Governor, Elmer Andersen.  She moved to Roseville where her daughter, Carol, and she could live together while she sought work and Carol attended the “U.”

After achieving sobriety, the second love of Beuna May’s life became her daughter, Carol.  From then on, Beuna May’s travel plans sent her out for long visits as Carol resided in Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, San Francisco and lastly, Orange County.  

  As a mother and daughter, the two of them were as close as any two could be talking daily and despite the miles between them, getting together in person very often.  Carol was her devoted daughter and having never married, Beuna May also was the love of Carol’s adult life.  The thought of being apart someday was unbearable to both of them.  

Beuna May’s dream, plan and heart’s desire the last 15 years of her life was to relocate to California where she would then claim California as her, “new home,” and live with Carol.  She spent months at a time in California.  Just two days prior to her death, Carol told Beuna May that she had booked a flight to fly back to Minnesota to see her for Mother’s Day.

Beuna May quickly replied, “oh good, then I will go back with you to live.  I will make sure my suitcase gets packed!”  Beuna May’s zest for life, love for her daughter, hope for healing and adventuresome personality knew no limits.  

Her final years were lived on the Margaret Parmly Campus in Chisago City, Minnesota.  Just days after Beuna May’s 90th Birthday Party in 2013, as she was packing to prepare for her trip to California to spend Christmas with her daughter, she fell and was badly injured.  This fall put an end to her mobility.  Yet, it never hampered or slowed her ability to get around in her motorized scooter.

Rarely in her room at Parmly, she was involved in  Bible Study, Black Jack, Bridge, Rummy, Trivia, Crossword Puzzles, Current Events, Bowling, Beading, Politics and Tongue twisters.  She seldom passed up an opportunity to get involved in some cause or activity.  

While visiting Carol in the various places she lived, Beuna May was unforgettable to people she had met only on one single occasion.  To this day, the woman who gave her a manicure once asks about her; the man who cut her hair; the neighbor of Carol’s in Oakland; the woman who cut her toenails – Beuna May’s child-like enthusiasm, zest for life and engagingly fun personality that made her unforgettable.  Her laugh was infectious.  Known for her endless energy and need for little sleep, Beuna May sought to make the most of her life.  She was a unique, colorful, effervescent, strong, interesting, committed Christian whose warmth touched the lives of many people who will fondly remember her forever.

Beuna May was preceded in death by her parents, Arvid and Mabel Victor; by her husband, Kermit Carlson; her brother Frank Victor and her two infant brothers, David and Charles Victor.  

She is survived by her daughter, Dr. Carol Carlson, her three sons, Gregg, Keith and Dr. Kurt and their wives, four grandchildren and many other family members and devoted friends.  

Funeral service details are currently pending. Arrangements by Grandstrand Funeral Home in Lindstrom.  Condolences may be expressed online at www.grandstrand fh.com.

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