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Elsie Vivian Bloomquist, 96, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, November 22, 2011, with her family by her side, at the Ray Hickey Hospice House in Vancouver, WA. Elsie was born September 18, 1915 to Charles and Alice (Sherwood) Merry in Seattle. She was raised on Vashon Island along with her siblings Ralph and Alice. Elsie was a hard worker as a youngster, picking berries to raise money for her education. After graduation from Vashon High School, she attended Washington State Normal School Bellingham, graduating in 1936 with her teaching degree. The only teaching job she could find was in the small Columbia Gorge town of Carson, WA. There she met a handsome local trucker, John Bloomquist. They married on July 4, 1942. John went off to fight in WWII shortly after the birth of their first child, Lynda. After the war, sons John and Raymond were born to the family. Elsie kept her teaching credentials active by substitute teaching. She, also, wrote The History of Carson in 1946 which features interviews with local pioneers. After husband John's passing in 1957, Elsie updated her teaching certificate and completed her 25 year teaching career as a 4th grade teacher at Carson Elementary School, retiring in 1975. Elsie had a life long passion for learning and a great sense of adventure. As a young unmarried woman she, and several of her other friends traveled to Hawaii and Alaska by steamship. After her retirement from teaching, she traveled extensively throughout the world, visiting 6 continents. She attended over 87 Elderhostel's (now called Road Scholar) learning, among other things, to snowshoe and play the ukulele. Elsie continued to pick berries, especially huckleberries, driving her VW Beatle to that secret spot in the woods where the juiciest berries grow. She would pick gallons in the fall. Her flower garden was a well appreciated Carson attraction. Crafting, quilting, bunko and potluck dinners were other interests. She was a longtime member of Easter Star. Elsie was a gracious hostess and a good neighbor to those who had the pleasure of her friendship. Elsie moved from Carson to Vancouver, WA after her 91st birthday. She has resided at Fisher's Landing Assisted Living for the last 4 years. She is survived by her children Lynda Bloomquist of Palo Alto, CA, John (Jan) Bloomquist of Poulsbo, WA, Raymond (Margaret) Bloomquist of Battle Ground, WA. Her grandchildren Stacey (Eli) Johnson of McMinnville, OR, Carla Bloomquist of Cordova, AK, Sonia (Mike) Aaseth of Vancouver, WA and great-grandchildren, Ailie, Luke, Callie Johnson and AnnaLee Aaseth and sister, Alice Eastman of Seattle, WA, as well as several nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband John, her parents and brother, Ralph. Her family wishes to thank the staffs of Fisher's Landing Assisted Living, Home Instead, Ray Hickey Hospice House and Judi for their comforting care giving. Donations can be made to Ray Hickey Hospice House, c/o Southwest Washington Medical Center Foundation, PO Box 1600, Vancouver, WA 98668 or to the charity of your choice. Friends are invited to attend a Memorial reception for Elsie to be held at Fisher's Landing Assisted Living, 17171 SE 22nd Dr, Vancouver, WA 98683 at 2:00 pm on December 12, 2011. Straub's Funeral Home & Columbia River Cremation in Camas was in charge of the arrangements. To send condolences or to sign the online guest book please visit www.straubsfuneralhome.com.

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