In 1968, Willard Carlson relocated his family to the Vancouver area from Spokane because he saw a great opportunity for his family and future generations; a place to put down roots and serve the community during their most difficult time – losing a loved one.
It was 67 years ago when Carlson decided to start his business, Evergreen Memorial Gardens. Lindsay Fisher, Carlson’s granddaughter and third-generation family member to work for the business, said the cemetery came first in 1952 and the funeral home was built in 1974. The current owner of Evergreen Memorial Gardens is Brad Carlson.
“My mother, Mary Carlson, works in our administrative office,” Fisher said. “My sister, Megan Field, is the vice president of Crematory Operations. My sister and I are the third generation of the Carlson family to work at Evergreen Memorial Gardens. Sadly, in May of 2019, my grandmother, who was chairman of the board, passed away at age 92.”
Fisher said that when her grandfather first moved into town from Spokane, he had a staff of six people and the business was only the cemetery at the time – a total of 40 acres. Shortly after Carlson moved to town, he purchased an adjacent lot of 40 acres to bring Evergreen Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Funeral Chapel and Crematory to its current 80 acres of cemetery property. There is now a team of 28 people working for the business.
“We believe that the success of any business requires dedication and professionalism,” Fisher said. “In our business, in particular, it also requires a great deal of kindness, compassion and attention to detail. You’ll find these qualities in each and every member of our staff at Evergreen Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Funeral Chapel and Crematory.”
Fisher said that they take in pride in what they do at Evergreen Memorial Gardens, and their purpose is to help families make well-planned preparations in their time of need; provide a peaceful and soothing environment where people can gather to honor and celebrate the life of a loved one; preserve longstanding traditions and customs; offer personalized and affordable services and products; and reach out to the greater community.
One of the things that Fisher said makes Evergreen Memorial Gardens unique is the fact that they are in their third generation of being a family owned and operated business. She said they are also very involved in the community, serving on many boards and giving back to the community that has supported us for so many years.
“Professionally what makes us unique is that we have a funeral home, cemetery and crematory all on one property,” Fisher said. “Because of this unique combination we are able to care for all facets of a family’s needs. We are the only combination of the three on one location in Southwest Washington. This unique feature gives families peace of mind knowing that their loved one never leaves our care.”
Fisher said they have plenty of room to grow and expand the cemetery at Evergreen Memorial Gardens, and she said they are poised to be flexible as the wishes and demands of the community they serve change.
Evergreen Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Funeral Chapel and Crematory is located at 1101 NE 112th Ave., in Vancouver.