Cover photo for Orpha Lee Prince (Carlson)'s Obituary
1934 Orpha 2023

Orpha Lee Prince (Carlson)

June 1, 1934 — November 27, 2023


Orpha was born June 1, 1934 in Blackduck, MN to Elmer and Thelma (Stortroen) Carlson.

She attended country school at Saum, MN. There were four grades in each room. When she finished her first grade workbook, she could eavesdrop on what the second, third, and fourth grade classes were learning. How she loved fourth grade geography when Miss Hanson pulled down the big round weighted globe and talked about the North Pole, the South Pole and the equator! Who knew? Now she did! And then in 5th grade she found in the little library the book written by the then famous adventurer, Richard Halliburton. That turned her into an avid reader her whole life.

She graduated from high school in 1951 and worked as a waitress at Birchmont Lodge on Lake Bemidji summers and at 3rd Street Cafe’ in Bemidji winters while attending Bemidji State Teachers College.

In 1953, she came to Hibbing to teach. One Sunday afternoon, she and a teacher friend were at L&B Cafe’ on Howard Street having coffee with Tom Motherway. Tom said he had a good friend he thought Orpha should meet. He went to the phone booth (this was 1953 remember!) and called his friend Jerry Prince, who joined them for coffee. Thus began a relationship that resulted in a wedding July 16, 1955 and 67 years together.

Many happy summers spent at Balsam Lake swimming and waterskiing and later many summers making hay for the girls’ horses!

Orpha was a positive, upbeat, kind, generous, thoughtful person who always had a smile and a wave hello for whoever she’d see. She loved walking Trixie (her rescue dog), Lake Superior, picking blueberries, perusing garage sales, weed-whipping, fruitcake and maple nut ice cream. Orpha enjoyed teaching the grandkids how to make ice cream the old fashioned way, so they would appreciate it that much more! She also loved waking them up at 2:00am to drive to the darkest country road, or if at Balsam Lake to lie on the dock, to watch the Perseid meteor showers in August. It was spectacular and always an adventure, which Orpha still continued to do with whoever was willing to get up at 2:00am. Lake Superior, the moon and the stars were breathtaking to Orpha. She died peacefully overlooking Lake Superior November 26, 2023, Jerome’s birthday, the love of her life.

Jerry and Orpha were parents to Michael (Cheryl), Jill (Richard Bluhm), Patty (Doug Black), Nancy (Pat Doar), Ann, and Susan.

Grandparents to Claire, Nicholas, Kelly, Mark, Mathew, David, Joe; and great grandson, Beau.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jerome Prince; her sister, Ione; her brother, Harlen; and her beloved grandson Nicholas.

At her request, no funeral will be held.
To send flowers to the family in memory of Orpha Lee Prince (Carlson), please visit our flower store.


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