Cover photo for Frances Marilyn Karlsen's Obituary
Frances Marilyn Karlsen Profile Photo
1932 Frances 2023

Frances Marilyn Karlsen

February 15, 1932 — October 16, 2023

Brush Prairie

Frances Marilyn Christopher Karlsen was born on February 15, 1932 in Minneapolis,
Minnesota. She was the oldest child of Rudolph and Ellen Christopher. She died on
October 16, 2023 at the age of 91 years old.
Frances is survived by her nine children -- Timothy (Carol) Karlsen of Brush Prairie, WA,
Kathleen (Gary) Matson of Vancouver, WA, Susan (Juha) Tyni of Battle Ground, WA, Paul
(Sarah) Karlsen of Brush Prairie, WA, Barbara (Michael) Metz of Vancouver, WA, Duane
(Shelly) Karlsen of Brush Prairie, WA, Lisa (Craig) Sunnarborg of Battle Ground, WA, Ann
(Derek) Olson of Brush Prairie, WA, and Peter (Leah) Karlsen of La Center, WA, along with
52 grandchildren, 86 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren. She is also
survived by one sister, Nancy Seppala, of Greer, SC and a sister-in-law, Marilyn
Christopher of Battle Ground, WA. She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years,
Kenneth Karlsen, their infant son, Joey, their grandson, Adam Karlsen, her parents, Rudolph
and Ellen Christopher, and her brother Tom Christopher.
Frances was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN, where she graduated from Patrick Henry
High School. After graduating, she received a scholarship and attended one year of college
at the Minneapolis Art Institute. In her early 20s, she moved with her family to Seattle,
Washington and worked in the secretarial pool at Seattle First National Bank in downtown
Seattle. At church services in Astoria, Oregon, she renewed her acquaintance with Ken
Karlsen, when a group of young people made a side trip to the Astoria Column. They were
eventually married on October 29, 1955. They lived for a few years in Seattle where the
two oldest children were born, before finally moving to Southwest Washington where they
raised their family and lived for the rest of their lives.
Frances was a homemaker, content to raise her children and busy herself with cooking,
sewing, gardening, and all the busyness that comes with raising a large family. She and Ken
were quick to practice hospitality and hosted a lot of people for overnight stays, dinner, or
just general visiting and Christian fellowship. In her later years, she loved when all her
children and grandchildren came to visit and they continued hosting all the special
celebrations like Thanksgiving and Christmas with large numbers of family gathering in
their home. They especially enjoyed getting away to the beach where they would go from
place to place, walking for many miles along each beach they came to.
As a lifelong member of the Apostolic Lutheran Church, her faith was especially important
to her and she took a special joy in attending church services. In her later years, as her mind
diminished with dementia, she continued to eagerly look forward to Sunday when it was
time to go to church. As she slipped further away and forgot many parts of her life, the
Word of God, prayers, and words to precious hymns and songs remained with her. Even in
her last days, the words to old hymns would come forth as she sang along with others. “Thy
word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11

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Frances Karlsen Service

Monday, October 23, 2023

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