Ruth D. Carlson, 99: Longtime UNUM employee loved golf, time with family

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PORTLAND — Ruth Dorothea Carlson, 99, of Portland, died June 1 at St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation and Residence.

The eldest of two daughters, Carlson was born Feb. 7, 1916, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to Henry and Emile Beuthe Wagner. She graduated from the Baton School in Elizabeth, and continued her education at Drake Business College as a secretarial major. After graduation, she worked for Merck & Co., in Rahway, New Jersey.

She married J. Arthur “Art” Carlson on July 29, 1939, and the couple were married for 54 years.

They moved to Falmouth in 1955, and in 1956, Ruth joined Union Mutual Life Insurance Co. She initially served as executive secretary to the company’s actuary, but in 1972 was promoted to legal assistant in government relations. She retired in 1981.

In 1958, the Carlson family moved to Cumberland Center, where Ruth was a member of the Val Halla Golf Club. Over the years, she greatly enjoyed the sport, as well as bowling, gardening, traveling and spending time with her family. She and her husband later moved to Cape Elizabeth and were members of The Purpoodock Club.

Carlson was predeceased by her son, James A. Carlson, of South Portland, and her younger sister, Bertha Wagner Preuss, of Cranford, New Jersey.

She is survived by her son, Robert A. Carlson, and partner, Vicky, of San Jose; her daughter, Lynn Legendre, and husband, Robert, of Lanoka Harbor?, New Jersey; six grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of Carlson’s life was held June 7 at Jones-Rich-Hutchins Funeral Home, in Portland.

Interment was to be private.

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