Mary Carle

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Longtime Anchorage resident, Mary Elizabeth (Owen) Carle, 95, passed away Wednesday, March 19, 2014 with family present at the Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m., Saturday April 5, 2014 at the All Saints' Episcopal Church, 545 West Eighth Ave. in Anchorage. Father Norman Elliott will officiate. Viewing will be held one hour prior to the services. A reception will immediately follow the services at the church. Mary will be laid to rest beside Bill Carle at the Angelus Memorial Park Cemetery in the summer.

Mary was born August 29, 1918 to Cavour and Rachel (Sherwood) Owen in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated as Valedictorian from Central High School in 1936 and also from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor degree majoring in Mathematics and Education in 1939. After teaching for two years in Alexandria, MN she returned to school and earned a Master's degree in 1942. At this time the nation was recruiting women with degrees in mathematics and physics to retrain to become much needed engineers. She obtained work at Fort Monmouth Signal Laboratory, near Red Bank, NJ which is where she met Wilmer "Bill" Carle. Bill had taught in NH for two years before enlisting in the army in June of 1941. They were married before he shipped out to Europe and she returned to Minneapolis to do engineering work at the Minneapolis Honeywell and subsequent to the war, substitute teaching in the city. Following the completion of Bill's Bachelor and Masters degrees, he was offered a position in the Anchorage School District and she was assured of a teaching position as soon as one opened. They drove the Alaska Highway in 1947 in three weeks, bringing with them their possessions in a Stake body half ton truck. There were early occupants of the Veterans Housing which occupied the West two blocks of the Park Strip.

They both taught in the old Anchorage High School downtown and what is now West High until 1960. Mary accepted two fellowships to Stanford University to study the New Math which was then being promoted. When she returned to Anchorage the new East High School was opening and she taught there the last sixteen years of her career retiring in 1976. After the death of Wilmer in 1965, she married Tom Hodgson and adopted his two daughters.

Mary was active with the retired teachers as past president of Central Alaska Retired Teachers and served four years as president of the Alaska State Retired Teachers. She served on the Mayor's Commission during the years that the Anchorage Senior Center was built. Mary was an avid bridge player and was director of the only non-smoking American Contract Bridge League sanctioned game at the senior center during its first ten years. Mary was a member of the Alaska Orchid Society, Anchorage Senior Center, St. Mary's Episcopal Church and the Pioneers of Alaska, Women's Igloo #4.

Mary loved to travel and in her retirement years visited all the European countries, the Soviet Union, Mongolia, China, Israel, Turkey, Morocco and Central American Countries.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents and former husband, Wilmer "Bill" Carle. She is survived by her daughters, Penny Hodgson-Smiley of Atlanta, GA and Pamela Hodgson of Eagle River, AK; grandsons, George Smiley of Shreveport, LA, William James "Jay" Livesay III and Robert Groves "Bob" Livesay II both of Anchorage, AK; nephew, Rick Owen and his wife Lisa of Long Beach, CA; niece, Nancy Owen Malloy and her husband, Kevin of Long Beach, CA; first cousin, Hud Owen of Marshfield, WI.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Mary's memory to Love, Inc. P.O. Box 110332, Anchorage, AK 99511.

Arrangements were cared for by the Anchorage Funeral Home. Please visit Mary's obituary and online guestbook at

Published in Alaska Dispatch News from Apr. 1 to Apr. 2, 2014
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