Celia Lamson, age 84, died at home on Oct. 1, 2015 due to complications of PSP, a rare neurological condition. She passed away peacefully with loving members of her family holding her hands. She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Fred; sister Marilyn Cowger of Charlotte, N.C.; daughter Karen Lamson, of The Dalles, Ore.; daughter Janet Maughan and son-in-law Joseph Maughan of Seattle; daughter Marcia Shive of Bellingham; son David Lamson of Clinton; and grandsons Nathan and Patrick Shive of Bellingham. She also leaves behind four nieces, a nephew, several grandnieces and grandnephews and many friends.
Born in Douglas, Neb. on June 7, 1931, Celia Ann Cowger, and her fraternal twin sister, Marilyn, were the last of four children born to Marion and Telford Cowger. An older sister, Marjorie, died in childhood before the birth of Celia and Marilyn, and older brother, George, died in 1983.
Upon graduating from high school, Celia received a two-year scholarship from Omaha University which she used to take prerequisite classes for studies in physical therapy. Marilyn entered medical school at the University of Nebraska, and enjoyed a long academic career as a pediatrician specializing in endocrine disorders.
Celia graduated with distinction from the University of Minnesota in 1953 with a bachelor of science degree in physical therapy. She then returned to Omaha and took a position as the physical therapist at the J.P. Lord School for Handicapped Children. During her 40-year career in physical therapy, Celia worked in several hospitals and clinics, but she found home health work most satisfying. She was a member of the Home Health Team working from Whidbey General Hospital for the last 10 years of her career. Much of the satisfaction Celia derived from her work resulted from her personal warmth and ability to connect with others.
After moving from Wisconsin to Eugene, Ore., in December of 1961, Celia and Fred fell in love with the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest; many weekends found them hiking in the mountains or taking regional trips with their children. They particularly enjoyed the time warp experience that came from spending time at a 100-year-old log cabin on Cypress Island, which had no roads or power.
After living and working in Seattle for 17 years, Celia and Fred made their home on Whidbey Island. Celia was a member of the Whidbey Island Chapter of AAUW and was active in several special interest groups. With the Women in History group, she gave costumed presentations of famous historical women to elementary school children. She was also involved in projects designed to support young women in realizing their potential.
A celebration of Celia’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Nov. 14, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 20103 State Route 525, about two miles north of Freeland on the west side of the highway.
In lieu of flowers, the family invites those who may wish to make a contribution in honor of Celia to consider the Whidbey Island AAUW Celia Lamson Tech Trek Fund (PO Box 1332, Coupeville, WA 98239). This program is designed to support young girls in seventh grade who are interested in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.