Angela Rose Carlson packed a lot of living into her small frame. Born on Nov. 15, 1946, she was the only daughter of Frank and Emma Wells. She grew up in Castleford, Idaho, with her three brothers—David Wells, Jon Wells and Robin Wells.
She died on Friday, July 3, 2020, in Bingham Memorial Hospital in Blackfoot, Idaho.
Angela married Ron Carlson on Sunday, Dec. 25, 1977. They raised their children on the Carlson farm near Firth.
Survivors include her husband, Ron, and their three children--Kristine (Erick) Edwards, Kristofer Carlson, and Kurt (Jessica) Carlson, grandsons, Caleb and Dillon Edwards, her three brothers and their families.
Carlson was a passionate music educator, having received her master’s degree in music education from Lewis and Clark College. Besides teaching music in public schools, over the years, she taught hundreds of private strings and piano students and hosted multiple home concerts each year.
She played violin with the Idaho Falls Symphony for many years. Eighteen years ago, she started the Community Orchestra at Firth which boasts 60-plus members who come from Springfield to Rexburg. She was often heard saying: “Dust off that instrument you have in your closet and come join the orchestra.” Practice was most Saturdays as the orchestra prepared for the next concert, be it their Spring Concert, Fourth of July, Little Buckaroo Rodeo, Spud Day, the Veterans’ Day Assembly or the Firth Community Christmas Concert.
Orchestra accompanist Terry Anderson said, “She knew the value of community and always greeted friends and strangers alike, bringing people together. She also believed in real ‘thank-you cards,’ and used them constantly for the people in her life.”
“Angela brought all stripes and colors together through music, creating a big, loving family,” said violinist Faye Sauerbrun. “She was a treasure to our whole area.”
Concert Mistress Connie Clawson said, “She was a powerhouse of music ability and talent. She shared her gifts abundantly with grace and a dash of vigor. When you were in Angela’s life, you were on a magical whirlwind of enthusiasm and fun and you learned just by watching her capture the spirit of life in music and song. Her life was a melody of musical score of the very finest notes; counting was her mantra. “With her supportive and beloved Ron by her side, she was an indomitable force of what is right and good on this earth,” she said. “Angela will be forever in our hearts and missed by us all in every breath we take. In every downbow we make, we shall hear her say, ‘Watch me! And Hold it, Hold it and down!’
Clawson concluded, “May you know how much of an influence for good in all our lives you were, my sweet friend!”
Flutist Lanette Ehlers said, “Our dear angel Angela. I think she packed more goodness into her life than most of us would do if we lived to be 100. She was driven to serve and do good. She was a vibrant, passionate, compassionate Christian woman. She was not afraid to express her beliefs and she had a quick sense of humor.”
“She and Ron were the heart and soul of the orchestra,” Sid Tubbs, trumpeter and former Firth School District Superintendent, said. “Playing in the orchestra gave us a reason to practice.”
Saxophonist Richard Lindsay added, “She was a great lady. She taught many of us to be better by how she challenged us.”
“When I think of patriots, certain people come to mind,” Firth teacher and veterans’ supporter Stewart Portela said. “In this community, that person is Angela Carlson. Her passion, her love, her knowledge of this nation’s history and veterans’ service is unmatched. All her passion and enthusiasm positively affected many others. She was passion in action.”
Lisa Humphreys, director of the Idaho Falls Choralaires, wrote: “Oh, how we loved our dear Angela! She was a musical genius. Her kindness, passion for music, service, loveliest of friendships for all and a servant in the community has blessed our lives.
“She loved singing with the Choralaires, often commenting that it was her happy place. She arranged many violin and flute obligatos for our choir and was our violin soloist for several of our concerts. “Her eye for perfection was a bright light and positive influence in our choir. I feel each choir member would echo this line from a familiar song, ‘Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.’ She concluded, “We will miss our lovely Angela. Truly, heaven has received a beautiful soul.”
A graveside service will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, July 6, at the Riverview Cemetery near Firth. A celebration of life is planned in August at the Carlson Gazebo in the Firth City Park.