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KIT L. CARSON 4/28/1922-11/29/2015 Early in the morning of November 29th, 2015 Captain Kit L. Carson piloted his last flight heavenward to the loving arms of Janie Bartholet Carson, his wife of 50 years. With the passing of Kit Lemoyne Carson, the world has lost a hero and gentleman; truly one of the greatest generation. Kit was born in Spring-dale, Washington on April 28, 1922, and died in Yakima, Washington on November 29, 2015, at the age of 93. Kit was born to Walter Herbert and Mary Etta Carson into a rather nomadic family who used the top dresser drawer for his crib. He was the youngest and the last remaining of his siblings; sisters Ferol and Marion and brother Gordon. Kit and his family traveled throughout the West, working farms and ranches. He attended three different high schools before graduating from Tieton High School in 1941. He signed up for military service immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In January of 1942, Kit attended the University of Washington and helped his father farming until he was called up for basic training in November of that year. Kit trained as a pilot. He was assigned to the 8th Army, 474th Fighter Group, 429th Fighter Squadron, and would eventually fly the new Lockheed P38 fighter. One of his missions on June 5th, 1944 was to fly a British VIP with critical information through a Balloon Barrage at night over London to a secret base in northern England. It turned out that this flight was critical to the D-Day invasion. After D-Day, Kit continued flying with more than 50 missions in France and Belgium, including missions in Normandy and the Arrdennes during the Battle of the Bulge. These missions helped to disrupt the German ground presence and pave the way for the Allied Forces. In the fall of 1945 Kit began dating Mary Jane Bartholet, a Yakima girl, attending the University of Washington as a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority. Mary Jane would become the love of Kit's life. Kit and Jane were married April 12th, 1946 in a small family ceremony at St. Michael's Episcopal Church. Kit joined the Air National Guard based out of Fairchild Air Force base in Spokane, Washington. During the Korean War his squadron was selected to be the first F86 Saber Jet squadron to fly across the Atlantic. Kit's squadron was assigned to Sheppard's Grove, England. From Sheppard's Grove he flew defensive border patrols until fall of 1953. After returning to the States, Kit began working as a mortgage broker. He worked in Lewiston, Idaho and Spokane, Washington before settling in Yakima. Kit became president of Clark Jennings and Associates, real estate and financing firm. In this position with Clark Jennings, he had the opportunity to participate in funding the land purchases and dreams that came out of the massive irrigation projects in Eastern Washington. Any road trip with Kit would find him reciting the histories of the farms, fields, and orchards along the way. He was a part of so much of the land that we now see producing under irrigation. Kit was a hero, not only for his valor as a pilot but as a visionary man with great wisdom and morals who helped many find their dreams. For Kit his family came first and foremost...his family was his hobby and a time consuming hobby it was taking care of all his women. He was always improving things; family homes, Cliffdell summer cabin, a multitude of family cars, and of course, the family ski boat. His gentle approach got many youngsters up on water skis. Kit was a son, brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather(Papa Kit), great grandfather(Papa Great), friend, and mentor. He was filled with patience, always there with his time and intuitive wisdom. He was a quiet man, he could calm a room with a nod and smile, or strike fear into hearts with a raised eyebrow. Kit called his life after Janie passed away, his second life and in this second life were special people such as Lois Shock, Dawn Lucien, and last but not least, Patty Redman. He changed "hats" from agricultural mortgage broker to farmer. He was a vineyard owner and operator in the Tri-Cities with his daughter and son-in-law in the 1990's. He did that well as all his other ventures in his life. Kit adored his family and that adoration was reciprocated by them. He would frequently remind them "there is no problem too big that we can't work out together". The world has truly lost a great man. Kit was the embodiment and the true definition of the consummate gentleman. As one admirer fondly said "Kit never met a person that did not like him". Kit is survived by his four wonderful daughters; Mary Christine Carson of Lacey, WA, Gay Lee Williams of Tucson, AZ, Lisa Jane (Tom) Simpson of Chula Vista, CA, and Kim Teresa (Michael) Welton of Yakima, WA. Kit is survived by his grandchildren; Silvey (Jeff) Perrault, Larissa (Austin) Wendfeldt , Derek Welton, Robert Simpson, Elizabeth (Nick) Romero, and Mary Simpson. Also great-grandchildren Presley and Carson Perrault. Nieces and nephews; Donald Fellows, Rod Carson, Carolyn Carson, and Erika Wood. Kit was preceded in death by wife Janie, his parents and siblings and by son-in-law Keith Williams. A Celebration of Life will be held in his honor on August 6th, 2016 from 3pm-6pm at Silver Lake Winery, 1500 Vintage Road, Zillah, WA. 98953. 1(509)829-6235.
Published in Tri-City Herald on June 12, 2016
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