A Memorial for Edna Agnes (Wilson) Thorleifson


Edna Ages (Wilson) Thorleifson, 88, of Lake Stevens, WA, died July 17, 2009, at Harborview Hospital of a stroke. She was born on September 25, 1920, in Great Bend, Kansas, to Joseph and Edith Wilson. The family moved to Washington in 1932 and homesteaded in Kittitas valley.

She graduated from Kittitas High School and Central Washington College, and also attended the University of Washington for advanced studies in education.

Edna met her husband George when she began teaching in Stanwood, Washington, in the 1940s. While teaching she purchased 80 acres in Yakima County that she cleared of sagebrush and rocks, planted in alfalfa, and then leased. She earned her private pilotís license and used her single-engine Taylorcraft for quick transportation over the mountains.

During World War II she continued teaching and also worked a second job for the railroad. She married George after the war while teaching in Kent, then they moved to north Seattle, Alderwood Manor, and finally Edmonds to raise their family. She was always guiding and directing her childrenís activities in 4-H and Scouting. She was a 4-H leader for projects in sewing, cooking, gardening, and poultry. Her Girl Scout troop attended the International Girl Scout Roundup when it was held in Idaho.

She retired after 30 years as an elementary educator and librarian, mostly in the Edmonds School District. She received the Golden Acorn Award while teaching at Westgate Elementary, partly for her work in outdoor education that took students for a week of group camp at Coronet Bay each year.

After retiring from teaching, they moved to Silvana where she pursued her hobbies of photography, travel, gardening, sewing, reading, and genealogy. She really enjoyed gardening, both raising flowers and delighted in having fresh vegetables. She belonged to the Mount Baker Camera Club and helped organize and became a member of the Stanwood-Camano Camera Club. She also was a member of Printmakers Critique. She had her own darkroom and part-time business until they moved to Lake Stevens in 1989. Her favorite overseas trip was to the Holy Land, and she really liked the wildlife, nature, and beauty of the United States.

Her interest and research in genealogy led Edna around the country where she was able to trace her ancestors back to 1005 AD. She became eligible and joined the Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Colonists, and the Magna Charta Dames and Barons. She organized the local Pilchuck Chapter of the Daughters of the American Colonists, and while State Regent for DAC she placed a national historic marker at the Mukilteo Lighthouse.

Edna is a charter member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 181 and a member of the Snohomish United Methodist Church. She was active in making quilts.

Along with her many interests, activities and hobbies, family was very important to her and always came first. She enjoyed all family activities, gatherings, and projects.

Preceding her in death are her brothers Melville, Morris, and Darus. She is survived by George, her loving husband of 63 years, and their three children Chris (Maggie) of Lake Stevens, Joanne of Marysville, and Tom (Paula) of Lake Stevens; five grandchildren Betsy, Britta (Bucky) Buchstaber, Katie, Heidi, and Erik (Laura); and five great-grandchildren Lucy, Crosby, Wyatt, Abby, and Griffin. She is also survived by her three sisters Ruth Shaff, Grace Hughes, and Brenda Smith; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A graveside service will be held for the family. A public memorial service will be held at noon on August 5, 2009, at Snohomish United Methodist Church, 2400 Lake St, Snohomish, WA  98290. Memorials may be made to the Snohomish United Methodist Church or a favorite charity.