Margaret Carlson

Obituary of Margaret Ruth Carlson

Margaret Ruth Carlson passed away at 68 while living in Boise, Idaho in the hospital on December 26th, 2023. 

She was born on November 4th, 1955 to Robert and Jerrie Van Houten in Eugene, Oregon. The youngest of five children, Margaret often found herself being blamed for things that she may or may not have done. 

Margaret and her family moved from Eugene to Portland before finally coming to settle in the Boise area during her grade school years. She graduated from Borah High School in 1973. She was involved in the school’s choir and band, though she set her clarinet aside permanently shortly thereafter. 

Margaret married her husband of 39 years, Gregory Carlson, on May 12th, 1984. They honeymooned in Hawaii before having three children together: Abby Danielle, Drew Gregory, and Kirby Anne. 

She spent time working at various restaurants and as a florist before becoming a hospital unit clerk at St. Luke’s in Boise. She also worked for the Mountain States Tumor Institute before working with a hand surgeon. Margaret’s final job before focusing fully on her family was at American Embroidery.

An avid traveler, Margaret started young, driving across the country with her parents and one of her sisters. A trip to Minneapolis that apparently had issues every night, something that would become a recurring theme later in her life, culminating in her visit to the Netherlands. 

A bad fall in the Anne Frank House led to an almost month-long stay in the hospital in a foreign country to recover from a broken leg. Margaret took this in stride and ended up becoming good friends with her hospital roommate, remaining in contact with him for the rest of her life. 

There were numerous other trips but Margaret’s favorites involved her family. High on the list were the ones to Disneyland and Disneyworld. She also went on many vacations with the family camper to environs such as the Redwood National State Park, Oregon Coast, and Dworshak Reservoir. Some of these trips were taken with her son’s Boy Scout Troop, which she ardently supported. Margaret also enjoyed visiting relatives in the Seattle area.

When she wasn’t traveling, Margaret could often be found playing games on her Switch and PlayStation. She was also a zealous reader, going through books at an alarming pace.

Margaret will be remembered for the kindness and love she shared with her family and the world. She is survived by her husband (Gregory Carlson), three children (Abby Carlson, Drew Carlson, & Kirby Carlson), mother (Jerrie Van Houten), and her two sisters (Susan Kay Van Houten & Kathleen Ann Van Houten), as well as cousins, nephews, and nieces too numerous to count. 

She was preceded in death by her father (Robert Van Houten) and two brothers (Thomas Alden Van Houten & Robert Charles “Chuck” Van Houten Jr.). 


If you wish to make a donation in Margaret’s name, please consider either Planned Parenthood or Idaho Public Television.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Margaret Carlson, please visit Tribute Store

Celebration of Life

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Saturday, January 6, 2024
Summers Funeral Home
3629 E. Ustick Road
Meridian, Idaho, United States
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