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Lena C. Carlson, 93, of Ladysmith went home to be with her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012.
She was a charter member of Ladysmith Baptist Church. She was born and raised on a tobacco farm in Straightstone, and graduated as valedictorian of her high school class there.
After leaving Straightstone, she lived in Washington, D.C., where she met her husband, James L. Carlson. After their marriage, they moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., and started their family there before returning to Virginia, where Lena and her husband opened a family restaurant in Ladysmith. She spent much of her life working in the restaurant while raising five children. She was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who loved her family unconditionally and enjoyed family gatherings.
She was preceded in death by her husband, James L. Carlson Sr.; grandson Danny Thornton; granddaughter Julie Carlson; daughter-in law Maureen Carlson; special friend Fred Lisbon; and all of her siblings.
Survivors include son James L. Carlson Jr. (and Janet); daughter Nancy Appleton (and Hank); sons Robert Carlson (and Frances), William Carlson (and Sandra) and Barry Carlson; grandsons Troy, Adam and Stephen Carlson; granddaughters Natalie Drawdy and Kristy Carlson; and eight great-grandchildren.
The family extends heartfelt thanks to special friends and caretakers Ethel Wilson and Barbara Bylilly.
All of Lena's children and their families are grateful for the undying love and constant devotion that her son Barry gave his mother in her final years.