E. Carmen Bartlett

October 31, 1920 - May 12, 2019

E. Carmen Bartlett


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

Service Schedule

Friday, May 17, 2019
11:00 am

Belvidere Cemetery

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.

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I will miss my dear pen pal and her generous spirit. Always gracious and hospitable and ready to laugh. I would love to see some of that artwork. (Her brother, my grandpa, was quite the artist too.) God speed Aunt Carmen. Warm hugs to your family.

Diane Vogel 2019-05-15T21:02:00

We will miss aunt Carmen…What a beautiful soul . Kind and gentle.
Im so sorry for your loss

Jodi vollmar and family 2019-05-15T14:39:29

Some angel said Google some relatives this morning. I am Lewis’s grand daughter from Bill. I only met Carmen once when I was little, but heard about Sue and Chrissy growing up. I am sending long distance love to you all and reach out if it feels right. Blessings on Aunt Carmen and all of you.

Lisa Rysdam Dye 2019-05-15T09:59:19

So sorry about your mom. I will always remember seeing her smile, even when she was on her way to a radiation treatment. What a sweet lady she was. Hugs to you and your family.

Carol & Alex Von Bosse 2019-05-15T07:33:00

Sue loved hearing all the amazing interesting stories about your Mom, you shared with me through the years. My prayers are with you and your family

Gwen Reed 2019-05-14T18:54:54

Such a beautiful and kind person gone from our sight. She could draw you in and make you feel like you were part of her family just by her smile. I believe she is in heaven with the loved ones that went before her and is enjoying her time with them. It was an honor to know her. Rest in Peace dear Carmen, you will be missed.

Cherie Kint 2019-05-14T16:18:00


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