Mary Alice Carter

4 entries
  • "Rest in peace my friend and to the family the Kaiser Nurse..."
  • "Mary was just the neatest lady. I have know her about 35..."
    - Orpha Grimsrud
  • "I grew up with Mary's son George and have fond memories of..."
    - Larry Bash
  • - Becky
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September 24, 1922 ~ September 20, 2017

Mary Alice Carter passed away peacefully into the arms of her Savior, on September 20, 2017. She was born in Monango, North Dakota on September 24, 1922, to William and Nellie Dawson. She was the 5th of 7 children.
Mary was taught about hard work at a very early age. She would go to the cannery with her sister and peel tomatoes, and would have to use a wooden box to stand on because she was too small to reach the sink. Often when the child labor inspector would show up, they would hide her, because she was not old enough to work. Later in her life she would work at Del Monte in Vancouver, during the season when fruits and vegetables needed to be canned. In 1961, she went to work at Blue Bell potato chips in Portland, OR. Here she worked 26 years until her retirement in 1987.
She was a member of the American Legion, and a member of the Teamsters Union, where she was the first woman to serve on their board. She was a Democrat through and through, and often interesting conversations would happen at family gatherings. After she retired, she also volunteered at the YWCA in the women's shelter. She was a frequent visitor to the Luepke Center, where she enjoyed dancing and playing cards. She was a member of First Congregational United Church of Christ. Education was very important also, at the age of 63, she went and took the test for her GED and hung the certificate on her wall as a reminder to her family of the importance of education. She was only able to finish 8th grade.
In 1940, she married Leroy A. Carter, whom she met when she came to Vancouver from North Dakota to visit a friend. They were married September 28th and were married for 57 years until Leroy's death in 1997.
Mary is survived by her daughters, Marcella Schurman (Alan) and Bonnie Dick (Ken), and son James Carter; son-in-law Steven Perry and daughter-in-law, Judy Carter; and her brother Phillip Dawson of Tacoma, WA. She had 13 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, 32 great-great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Roy (1997), her daughter Rebecca Perry (2009) son, George Carter (2011), her parents, sisters Marie Dawson, Marcella Harkins and Leona Amos; and brothers JD Dawson and Gene Dawson.
There will be a Celebration of Life September 30, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. at the Schurman Iron Ranch, 23100 NE 10th Ave., Ridgefield, WA 98642.
Please sign her guestbook at

Published in The Columbian on Sept. 24, 2017