MISSOULA — Edith J. Poulsen went to be with her Savior on June 16, following a massive stroke of her right side. She had been residing at Village Health Care Center in Missoula for the last four years. She had just celebrated her 96th birthday on June 1 with a large cake and ice cream with the staff whom she cared deeply for, as the family had been unable to see her face to face due to COVID-19.
She was born to Pansy and John Goodridge in Livingston in 1924, being delivered by her grandmother Ollie Vanaken on June 1, 1924.
She attended schools in Livingston and graduated from Park County High School in 1942, being raised primarily by her grandparents, John and Ollie, and grew up with an aunt and uncle and cousins as her siblings. She excelled in violin studies and was accepted at a music school, but was unable to commit to the school. She worked as a legal secretary during her senior year. Following graduation, she attended the Butte Business College. In late 1943 she moved to Jamestown, North Dakota, where she trained to be a telegrapher for the Northern Pacific Railroad. She was transferred to Frenchtown, where she continued playing the violin also. She had agreed to play for a country dance at Hamilton a Saturday night, where she met Carl Poulsen, her husband to be. She and Dad were married on Feb. 24, 1945. Dad was drafted into the Army and went to Germany for a year, and Mom worked at Fort Missoula while he served. He returned from the service and their first daughter, Carlene, was born in 1947. They briefly lived in Hamilton and then their second daughter, Penny, arrived in 1948. They moved to Carl’s father’s (Jens) ranch east of Hamilton but later moved to Billings where they worked with Electrolux. During that time, their third child, a son, Courtney, was born in 1956.
Upon the death of Jens, the family moved back to Hamilton. They had various occupations, involved with the children and ranching, and very active for 50 plus years in the Church of God, both believed deeply in salvation. Mom continued playing the violin for church.
Mom and Dad had been married 62 years when Dad passed. She was preceded in death by her parents; a stepbrother, David; her beloved grandparents, John and Ollie Vanaken; Aunt Ivy (Pete) Perry and cousins, her Uncle Vince (Altha), and cousin.
She is survived by daughter, Carlene Pritchard (John), daughter, Penny Kahler (Arnold) (both of Missoula), and son, Courtney (of Stevensville); grandchildren, Heidi Anderson (Herb) and their children Bridget and Gavin of Frenchtown, Shawn Kahler from Ohio, and his daughter Khloe, and Brian Kahler of Kalispell; her dear cousins Daisy Ward in Renton, Washington, and Rick Vanaken in Livingston, and children of cousins. She and Dad were both only children.
Her life will be celebrated at a later date when she will be interred with Carl at Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton. In her memory, please feel free to give to the Church of God in Hamilton or an animal Humane society rather than flowers. Daly-Leach Chapel of Hamilton is in charge of her cremation and care of the family.
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