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Inga Carlson Turns 104. Yes, really. 104.

Inga   IngaCarlson104

On Wednesday February 19th, Inga Carlson celebrated her 104th birthday at the Columbia Athletic Club pool with her 'aqua aerobics' friends.  You know you are awesome if you are 104 and still have aqua aerobics friends! "She used to take those classes three times a week until she was 100," says her friend Rozann Cherry.  And she played golf until she was 98.  And didn't give up her car until she was 97  ( I may have been behind her on the 405 a few times?). This lady is a spitfire! I want to be Inga Carlson someday.

Inga lived most of her life in Redmond growing up on an 84 acres farm near Novelty Hill.  She was a teacher for 15 yrs and also a principal of two elementary schools before she moved to NYC with her architect husband, Carl, in 1947.  After her husband passed away, she returned to the Northwest and moved to Juanita in Kirkland.  One time, there was a fire in her condo building, and a fireman carried her down to safety.  Then she made him go back in to her place for her purse.  Ha-Gotta love Inga! She currently resides in a small adult family home in Redmond.  

When Inga was asked if she ever thought she would live long enough to see a black president, she shared that the only president she ever saw in person was Calvin Coolidge outside a building she was in.  That was in the early 20's.  Amazing! Inga doesn't admit to knowing what the secret to a long life is, but her friends all say it's because she never had kids.   LOL, I guess I may be in trouble.  Power to ya, Inga! ~j


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Dan Bradley

I recently learned from Inga Carlson's niece that Inga passed away on January 5, 2016. She was 105. In fact, Inga would have been 106 on Feb.19th.

Inga was my friend and I’d like to share a story I think you’ll enjoy.

I live in Spokane now, but I met Inga in March of 1998. I had just moved into a condo I purchased at the Inn on the Park Condominiums in Kirkland, WA. Inga lived just a couple of doors down and we became fast friends over our shared appreciation for the game of golf.

Before I moved from Kirkland in 2004, I said to Inga, “Inga, before I move, I want to play a round of golf with you!” (We often discussed golf, but had never played together.)

“Oh, I’d like that,” Inga said, “but I am terrible!”

As it turned out, Inga was NOT terrible, as the following story illustrates.

Inga was 96 years old at the time. (I was 40.) We played at a nine-hole par three golf course in the area. Inga and a friend rode a cart, while I walked.

On the first hole—about 100 yards from tee to green—Inga stood on the tee with her driver and whacked a low runner about 40 yards right down the middle of the fairway.

“Nice shot, Inga!” I said before lining up my own tee shot. (I hit my first shot into a sand trap to the left of the green.)

Inga’s second shot went another 30+ yards down the fairway toward the green. And her third rolled up onto the green about 15 feet past the cup.

Ready for my second shot, I took careful aim. My ball was buried in the left side of the sand trap about 15 yards from the pin. I knew I’d have to get under the sand an inch or two to get the ball to pop up and land softly on the green.

Well, I succeeded in popping the ball up high—from one side of the bunker to the other! OK, no problem. I’ll just punch the ball out of the sand trap so it rolls gently toward the hole, now about nine yards away. Nope. I hit it a bit thin and the ball flew to the other side of the green.

Still my turn.

Inga stood by her ball on the green, smiling patiently as I grabbed my putter and walked far across the green to where my ball ended up. From about 30 feet away, I putted to within eight feet. (A pretty good putt; however, that was my fourth shot on a par three!)

Inga’s turn to putt. “Go ahead, Inga; knock it in there,” I said. One putt. Two putts. Three putts from 15 feet and Inga was in the hole for a six on this first par three hole. Impressive!

I followed suit, taking three putts to get in the hole. Reminder: My ball was just eight feet away! (At this point, I began to doubt my golfing skills.)

I’m sure I played better the rest of the way, of course, but I really only remember the fun of watching Inga play—especially on that first hole: Inga, age 96, scored a six; Dan, age 40, a seven.

Kind regards,
Dan Bradley


Dan, thank you for sharing your story about Inga. Clearly, she was an amazing lady that inspired many in her 105 years. She will be missed.

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