"Goodbye is not forever. Goodbye is not the end. It simply means I’m watching over you until we meet again.” Dora Lauralei Carlson, 94, our beloved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, returned to her Heavenly Home on Thursday, December 1st, 2022. She was surrounded by many family members who comforted her at home during her last days on earth. We take great comfort in knowing she will be reunited with loved ones on the other side, including her parents, husband, four brothers, a son, and a granddaughter. Lauralei was born February 24, 1928, in Malad, Idaho to Milton T. Jones and Laura Corbridge. She was given the name Dora Lauralei Jones but preferred her middle name.
Mom spent her younger years working on the ranch in St Johns during the summers. It was challenging work, doing every kind of job you could think of. She loved spending her time there until she headed back to Malad for school. As she got into High School, she loved dancing, playing the clarinet, and being with friends. She took piano and voice lessons and was the accompanist to both the orchestra and soloists for school plays. She, herself, even sang in a musical. After graduation, she went to BYU where she played the clarinet in the Pep Band. This is where she met her future eternal companion Don Evan Carlson, who also played trombone in the Pep Band. They were married in the Logan Temple on October 8th, 1948. They were married for 62 years, when Don passed away from MS and cancer on September 27, 2010.
Mom was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She had a strong testimony of the Gospel and loved the Lord. She served faithfully in several callings: pianist for church meetings and held Presidency positions in Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary. She also sang in the Ward Choir of every ward they have lived in.
When Dad got sick with MS, Mom finished her degree in Education and became an elementary school teacher for the fourth grade. She taught at Millcreek Elementary for 25 years. Also, during that time, she sang with the Jay Welch Chorale for 20 years. She really enjoyed it and had a beautiful soprano voice!
After she retired from teaching, she enjoyed being a service missionary (Host) at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Every Monday morning for 25 years, she drove downtown to greet people and enjoyed it so much. She got a special award for being the longest Host to work there. She was so happy!
Mom had a great desire to see the world, and that she did! She traveled to every continent in the world and visited many countries. She loved to travel with Don and got to go to places like the Panama Canal, Israel, and Egypt. They went to New Zealand to pick up her son Rick from his mission and then went to Fiji, Samoa, and Hawaii. They also traveled to England to pick up their son Randy from his mission, touring twelve other countries in Europe while there. They spent their 50th Wedding Anniversary taking Rick, Linda, Randy, and Lori to Disney World. Then, when Don could not travel anymore, she started taking one of her children or grandchildren. A few times, when she could not find someone able to go with her, she went alone. This happened when she went to the end of the Earth…Antarctica! Those who were able to travel with Mom said they were wonderful trips and they were so grateful to have gone with her.
Mom loved to spend time with her sisters: Luann, Lorana, and Judy. She loved them so much. She got to see them all when we had fun Family Reunions in Malad, Idaho or at Lagoon. We even got to know our cousins well and looked forward to it. Mom and Luann would get together for years on Fridays and do their grocery shopping, shopping at the mall, going to lunch, and playing games. Mom always looked forward to that! Many times, the sisters would drive up to Malad to visit their folks, decorate graves on Memorial Day, and go to weddings, funerals, and to visit friends. When she was no longer able to get together with her sisters, she loved getting together with her family during the holidays and birthdays. She even continued her love of games by spending Thursday nights playing them with family. Being with her family became her greatest source of happiness.
Mom had a wonderful life and, although moments of her life were extremely hard, throughout it all she relied on the Lord to help her gracefully endure it. Her life experiences helped her to deepen her love and faith in the Lord, become a reliable source of strength and comfort to family and friends in challenging times, and develop her infamous, yet endearing, eye roll. We all loved her very much…even down to the youngest grandchild! She loved to smile, have fun, and be happy when we were together! Mom will be missed by all of us! WE LOVE YOU GRANDMA!
She is survived by daughter-in-law Linda, son Randy and his wife Laurie, daughter Lori Jackson, former daughter-in-law Nancy Smith, former son-in-law Scott Jackson, sister-in-law Betty, sister Luann, sister Lorana and her husband Darryl Harrison, sister Judy, 17 grandchildren, and 43 great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by her parents, Milton T. Jones and Laura Corbridge, husband Don E. Carlson, brothers Ajay, Milton, Myron, and Melvel, brothers-in-law Don Webb and Ken Powell, sister-in-law Virginia, son Rick Carlson, and granddaughter Tonya.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 am on Friday, December 9, 2022 at the Little Cottonwood 16th Ward, 6350 South Rodeo Drive, Salt Lake City, UT. A viewing will be held Thursday evening from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 East Dimple Dell Road, Sandy, UT. There will also be a viewing on Friday morning from 9:30 - 10:15 am prior to the services at the church.
If you would like to watch the recorded funeral services, please click on the blue "Watch Services" button above.