Lorraine Carson GundersenDecember 2, 1922 ~ July 15, 2017 (age 94)
Maude Lorraine Carson Mosley Gundersen, 94, a long-time resident of Nampa, Idaho, died July 15, 2017 at her daughter’s home in Nampa. The oldest child of Claude Loran Carson and Mary Siddy Rutherford, Lorraine was born December 2, 1922, in Ontario, Oregon, at the home of her grandmother, Nancy Elms Rutherford. She attended the White Settlement School near Vale, Oregon, and often commented about the long trek there on horseback, which was unpleasant in the snowy winter months. Nevertheless, she loved school and devoured every book she could get her hands on.
Lorraine married J.B. (Jy) Mosley in Parma, Idaho in 1940. They had two children, Jonathan Baker (Jack) and Linda Lee. The family lived on a sheep ranch north of Vale, Oregon, near Bully Creek where Lorraine was actively involved in ranching, as Jy was frequently away cowboying in the hills. She rode a wild Mustang (trained by Jy) a mile to the mailbox and back, holding baby Linda in her arms with Jack (a child of 3) riding behind her. Lorraine and Jy divorced in 1945. Lorraine met James Peter Gundersen at a community dance in the Cairo Junction area of Oregon, and they were married in 1949. The family moved to Nampa, Idaho, where Lorraine lived until her death.
She graduated from Northwest Nazarene College, Summa Cum Laude, in 1961 with degrees in English and History. In 1961, she started teaching at Nampa High School, leaving in 1972 to teach at Borah High School, where she remained until her retirement in 1986. During her teaching career, she spent many summers continuing her education on awarded fellowships at locations such as the University of Nevada at Reno, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Oslo in Norway, and University of Hawaii in Honolulu. She especially loved the summer spent in Norway, as her husband Jim was able to accompany her and visit his relatives in Denmark. She traveled the world, visiting France with her daughter and China with her son. She also enjoyed traveling in the US, especially to the Shakespeare festival in Ashland, Oregon, and many trips to Missouri to visit her son and his family.
Lorraine was very involved in her community. She was president of many organizations including PTA and Idaho Journalism Advisers. A longtime member of the League of Women Voters, she became its State President in 1955. She was vice-president of the Idaho-Caldwell retired Teachers Association and their nominee for the Idaho Hall of Fame in 1993. She was the local Coordinator for Health Advocacy Services and Long-Term Care of AARP, the first woman to chair the AARP Idaho State Legislative Committee, and served as AARP Liaison Officer lobbying the Idaho legislature for elder rights and benefits. Governor Andrus appointed her to the Board of Examiners of Residential Care Facility Administrators. She was also a member of Friends of the Library and Pet Haven and raised funds for organizations such as the Nampa Jaycees and others.
She was a fervent Democrat, stumping for many political candidates and participating in or sponsoring fundraisers for their campaigns. She was passionate about human rights, especially women’s rights, and marched with her daughter-in-law in Washington, DC, or wherever she was needed, on more than one occasion. She was moved by issues of poverty, racial discrimination, wars, medical care, and equal justice for all, and despised politicians who didn’t care about or work for equality in these matters.
Lorraine was a voracious reader from a very early age until nearly the end of her life. She belonged to a Nampa book club as well as a Borah book club, both of which existed for over 40 years and consisted of mostly Nampa and Boise teachers, who along with their husbands became dear friends of both Lorraine and Jim. They spent many occasions with these special friends sharing dinners, traveling, or exploring the Idaho mountains.
In the 1960’s Lorraine and Jim purchased an old pioneer house in Placerville, Idaho, which she enjoyed sharing with her children and grandchildren and her many dear friends. There they rode snowmobiles and motorcycles, fished, or simply visited the old pioneer cemetery.
Later in life, Lorraine thoroughly enjoyed her daily lunch at the Nampa Senior Center, playing pinochle and visiting with new and old friends. She continued to enjoy the home she lived in for over 59 years and caring for her dear cats. She loved rides in the country, seeing horses in the green fields, flowers in bloom, and birds singing. She would say, “If the car is moving, I want to be in it!” Fall was her favorite season, with spring a close second. Even in her last days, she never lost her joy in life or in being with the people she loved. Her sense of humor remained intact until the very end.
Lorraine is survived by her daughter Linda Mosley Steinberger and Gary Hawk of Nampa and Gary’s daughter, Salie Anne Henry of Dallas, Texas; daughter-in-law Mary Mosley; granddaughter Stephanie Gibbons and husband Loyal; Grandson Brent Foster and wife Cindy; Grandson Ben Mosley and wife KC; great granddaughters Andrea Gibbons-Moore and husband Brady Moore; Erin Gibbons and partner Matt Sam; great grandson Chase Foster; and the newest family member, 7-month-old great granddaughter Adley Mosley. Also surviving are her sisters, Teri Fray and Jeri Carson of Vail, Colorado, many nieces and nephews, and her dear friend and caregiver Cindy Anderson, who took such loving care of her.
Lorraine was preceded in death by her parents, her husband James P. Gundersen in 1990, her beloved son Jack Mosley in 2007, and her brother George William Carson in 2010.
At her request, her ashes will be placed beside her husband at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens, Caldwell, Idaho. A celebration of her life will be held at the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th Ave. So. at 10 AM on Monday, July 24, 2017.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Pet Haven, PO Box 481, Nampa, ID 83653; Idaho Public Television, 1455 N. Orchard St., Boise, ID 83706-2239 or the Nampa Senior Center, 207 Constitution Way, Nampa, ID 83686.