CHESTER, W.Va. -- Services are scheduled Thursday for a 109-year-old Hancock County woman.An obituary posted on the website of McKinney Funeral Home in Youngsville, Pa., says Elizabeth D. Carlson of Chester died Monday at the retirement community where she lived.Carlson was born Oct. 10, 1903, in Nebraska, Pa., and graduated from Youngsville High School in 1922.After graduating from Clarion Normal School, she worked as a teacher at a one-room school. Her husband, Elmer, died in 1943.
According to an essay she wrote in 1969, Carlson felt the need to go into missionary work after her four grown children had moved out of the home and she was overcome with loneliness.The Review of East Liverpool, Ohio, reported that Carlson had worked at a Free Methodist Church mission in a suburb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, from 1969 to 1971.
"It was rather difficult to leave my home, my family, my grandchildren, yes, and great-grandchildren, but life is so full now, and I believe they often say, 'My gram is a missionary,' with just a sense of pride," Carlson wrote.While in Haiti, she met a 14-year-old boy named Daniel Fequiere, who had lost his mother to illness two years before Carlson's arrival. The pair was reunited in 2011 after 43 years of separation.Carlson's daughter-in-law, Barbara Carlson of New Cumberland, said she contacted Fequiere on Monday."He was pretty upset," she said.According to the 2010 Census, there were 273 West Virginians age 100 or older. Nationwide, there were 53,364 centenarians in 2010.Services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.