E. Carmen Bartlett, 98, of Belvidere, Illinois, passed away peacefully on May 12, 2019. She was born on October 31, 1920 to Wayne and Elsie Belle Smith Rysdam in Geddes, South Dakota. Carmen married the love of her life, Major Leslie James Bartlett, on April 21, 1946, in Woodbine, Iowa.
Their wedding was held on an Easter Sunday in her parents’ back yard, against a backdrop of lilac bushes. They had met in Chicago where she worked at the YMCA. He said he walked in, saw her smiling behind the desk and said, “That’s the woman I’m going to marry.” So, he did.
Carmen is survived by daughters, Sue (Eric) Amundson and Christine (Scott) Truesdale; and grandchildren, Jonathan Bartlett Araujo, Jason T. Araujo, Garret Amundson, and Matthew Amundson.
She loved food..the eating and preparation.. She could always be found in the kitchen tweaking a recipe, whipping up an old favorite or trying something new.
For several years, she was a hospital cook, and had an avid following among the medical staff who loved her baked-from-scratch goods.
She was an accomplished seamstress who took pride in having made her own clothes as a young woman and later, for her daughters.
Carmen was modest about her own personal achievements but at 95 took art classes for the first time, finding, to her surprise, that this, too, was a gift.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Leslie; her parents, Wayne and Elsie Belle Smith Rysdam; her sister, Veda Leone Rysdam Andrews; and her brother Lewis Rysdam.
A graveside service will take place on Friday, May 17, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Belvidere Cemetery, 1121 N. Main St, Belvidere, IL, 61008. Scott Hale to officiate. Memorial contributions in Carmen’s name can be made to Hospice of America, 3815 N. Mulford Rd #4, Rockford, IL, 61114. To light a candle or share a condolence, please visit www.AndersonFCS.com.