Palma Ann Petersen Carlaw, 93, of Kingston, passed away on Wednesday, May 4, from complications of Parkinson’s. She was born to Thela (née Johns) and Lawrence Petersen of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, on February 12, 1929, in Madison. In 1936, her parents separated and Thela, Palma, and her big brother Johns moved to Seattle where they had family. Palma, or “Polly” as she was nicknamed, graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1946 and briefly attended the University of Washington before working for the Alaska Communications System. She married Robert “Bobby” Carlaw in 1951. They had one son, Rex Lee, and lived in Seattle, Woodinville, and Bothell. In 1959 they began to spend weekends and vacations in Kingston where Bob had lived as a child, and the family moved there in 1964. Palma was active at Kingston Christian Church as a deaconess, musician, Bible teacher, and Missions Committee member. She enjoyed playing the piano, gardening, bridge playing, reading, and writing a column for the North Kitsap Herald with news from Kingston.
Palma had a beautiful soprano voice and sang for weddings and programs besides being the lead singer in church choir. She had careful diction, superb breath control and phrasing and sang with great feeling, performing both secular and sacred numbers, often accompanied on the piano by Bob.
In 1980, Bobby and Palma began to be snowbirds and after enjoying San Diego and Tucson settled for their winters in Yuma. In 1984, they visited Rex and Donna in Viña del Mar, Chile, for the birth of their granddaughter Catherine Lydia. In 1997, they moved from Kingston to Bremerton where Palma joined Central Valley Christian Fellowship. The Carlaws for their 50th wedding anniversary traveled to London, Paris, Rome and the Isle of Capri. They also enjoyed several trips: crossing Canada by VIA Rail, dropping down into Wisconsin to visit family, an Alaska cruise on ZAANDAM, and a tour of Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Holland. Bobby passed away in 2014 after 63 years of marriage. In August 2020, Palma returned to Kingston to live with Rex and his wife Donna.
Palma was predeceased by her parents, her stepfather, Axel G. “Gus” Swanson, her stepmothers Betty Petersen and Gladys Swanson, a sister, three brothers and a halfbrother. She is survived by four halfsisters, Mary (Bob) De Salvo of Mount Prospect, Illinois; Bett (Bill) Wallace of South Range, Wisconsin; Jude (Alan) Wallace of Maury Island; and Patte (Rod) Luoma of Eveleth, Minnesota; a stepsister, Joan Kurtz, of Bolingbrook, Illinois; and a stepbrother, Duane Sabin of Hansville; sisters-in-law, Mildred Carlaw of Ellensburg and Kathy (Gaylen) Olson of Superior, Wisconsin; her son and daughter-in-law; her granddaughter Catherine (Rob) Taylor of Kingston; her three great-grandchildren, Ethan Robert, Ian Lee, and Nora Marie Taylor, all of Kingston; her best friend, Barbara Rhodes of Bremerton; nine nieces and eight nephews; and numerous great nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Franciscan Hospice and Palma’s hairdresser Robin Pease for their loving care and many extras in helping the family during Palma’s declining months. Gifts in her memory can be sent to Action International Ministries, PO Box 398, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043-0398, preferenced for the Taylors’ ministry. Services are pending