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Linwood Ray Carlson

Lin was born on October 18, 1950 in Rochester, NY to Frank and Fern Carlson. He grew up with younger sister Roberta around New Bethel Baptist Church in Indiana where their father served as pastor. Summers were spent with family in Wisconsin and Lin assisted his father with canoe trips for juvenile offenders in the Boundary Waters. Lin attended Purdue University and received his BS in Sociology and afterwards moved to Seattle where he earned his MSW at the University of Washington.

Lin fell in love with the mountains of the PNW and frequently climbed mountains on the weekends. He met Carli MacColl at Youth Eastside Services and fell in love with her. Their lives were enriched by their children Ethan and Zandi, both graduates of Nathan Hale High School where Carli was active in many school volunteer and arts programs. Their many school concerts, musicals, and sporting events filled Lin with love and pride. They made wonderful family memories at their Hood Canal cabin and bicycled the STP together. He worked 22 years at Seattle Public Schools developing drug prevention services and supervising programs and departments to help students overcome barriers to learning. He was particularly helpful in finding funding and appropriate tools for Health Services and the school nurses. Lin and Carli enjoyed volunteer work, locally and abroad, including Kenya and Tanzania. After Carli’s untimely death, Lin returned to Kenya, this time to observe access to education 

Lin was blessed to find love again with Meg Wakeman while hiking and sharing interests in church activities and the outdoors. Sauk Mountain was a favorite destination and in the winter they sought out snowshoeing destinations. Among their travels, Meg and Lin enjoyed exploring Eastern Europe and hiking in the highlands of Scotland, as well as many hikes and fall color drives throughout Washington. Family events and holiday gatherings were very special and Lin appreciated giving toasts at his children’s weddings. 

Advocating for peace and social justice were very important to Lin and University Baptist Church provided many mission opportunities. As a Global Citizens Network (now Xperitas) volunteer, Lin had rich experiences with communities in Tanzania, Mexico, and Kenya. Ethan joined him for a GCN trip to the Tibetan refugee settlement in Nepal. RESULTS, a grass-root advocacy organization, gave Lin a voice with others around the country to call on elected leaders to strengthen global efforts to end preventable childhood deaths and help families lift themselves out of poverty. Locally, he served on the Jet City Stove Works Board to help Tanzanian partners distribute a clean burning cookstove to improve the lives of women and young children.

Lin is survived by his wife Meg, his son Ethan and wife Liz, his daughter Zandi and husband Aaron and their daughter Logan, Meg’s daughter, Alex, her husband Nathan and son Solomon, and her son, Peter, his wife Liz and a soon-to-be-born granddaughter, his sister Roberta and her husband Dave and their family, as well as many other much-loved family and friends. We would like to thank Dr. Amir Modarressi of Bellevue Kaiser Permanente, their Palliative Care and Hospice staff and his respite caregivers for care that valued his comfort and dignity. He was loved by so many and his warm, peaceful nature will be missed very much. A memorial service for Lin will be held Sunday, July 1, 2018 at 3 pm at Seattle First Baptist Church, 1111 Harvard Avenue in Seattle. In lieu of flowers, gifts in his memory can be made to RESULTS, CaringBridge, or a social justice charity of your choice.


A lovely life well lived.
Gathering love and sharing it.
Gordon Macdougall

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