Harold C. ‘Kit’ Carson: Dec. 11, 1921 – July 27, 2017

Carson

Surrounded by family, Kit Carson passed away peacefully on July 27, 2017. The fourth child of Whitfield and Emily Carson of South Euclid, Ohio, Harold was brother to Gordon, Geraldine and Arnold. Raised in the heyday of early aviation, Kit and Arnold built a Northrup Primary glider and taught themselves to fly when they were 12 and 13. Kit went on to join the Army Air Corps and spent the WWII years instructing B-17 bomber pilots.

During this time, he married Virginia Reherd, and they started a family while living in Roswell, N.M. After the war, Kit was an engineer for the Boeing Company in Seattle. His career at Boeing spanned 37 years and culminated with Kit being Chief Pilot, Technical Training. For a time, he worked for Lamson Aircraft in Yakima as a test pilot on their Air-Tractor crop dusting prototype. Kit was a founding member of Seattle’s Museum of Flight, and he logged many hours in the museum’s Boeing’s 247 during the 1960s.

The Carson family lived on Mercer Island for 34 years. Kit and Virginia raised their children, Kathy, Scott, Tom, Peggy, Jon and Sallie, in a home that Kit built. He also built a 32-foot sternwheeler as well as a Bugatti replica, which he often drove to work. Kit and the family also enjoyed time at their Long Beach cabin. Sadly, Virginia died from cancer in 1971.

In 1976 Kit married Cherry Gustafson; she and her three children, Pam, David and Gene joined the extended family. Kit and Cherry built a house on Whidbey Island, were active members of their church, and toured the USA extensively in their RV. They would enjoy 32 years together until leukemia claimed Cherry in 2010.

Kit was a valued member of the WPC Puget Sound Region Chrysler Club. In retirement, he restored numerous vintage cars, with the ultimate being his 1935 Chrysler Airflow. He spent many joyous hours on his tractor, making roads and mowing his pastures on Whidbey. Kit was always the craftsman; he made everything from clocks to rocking horses to ¼ scale Bugatti peddle-cars for his grandchildren.

Well into his 90s, Kit loved cross-country road trips, and he was always ready for that next adventure. In May, Kit’s life came full circle when he traveled to Montana where he was the guest of honor to a class of students in Billings who were building a Northrup Primary Glider. As always, Kit loved being the storyteller, sharing his amazing life with those who were interested. We will miss him beyond measure.

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