Carl Richard Norlander, 80

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Carl Richard Norlander, 80

Carl Richard Norlander, age 80, passed away at his home in Athol on Jan. 18, 2020. He was born April 21, 1939, in Grand Rapids, Minn., to Edith and Olaf Norlander. In 1948 his parents and their five children moved to Spokane, Wash., then Saltese, Mont., and Stites, Idaho, finally settling in Cougar Gulch in 1956. He remained in Kootenai County for more than 60 years.

Carl attended the majority of his schooling in St. Regis, Mont., then graduated from Coeur d’Alene High in 1957. In 1959 he married Myrna Purcell and they raised four daughters in Dalton Gardens and Coeur d’Alene. In 1984 he married Betty Purcell. They moved north, off the Bunco Road near Athol, where they built a couple of homes and he enjoyed the rest of his life in the remote, mountainous setting he loved so much.

Carl became a master carpenter and worked for the U.S. Forest Service for 34 years, beginning in 1959. His handiwork included parts of Shoshone Camp, Sam Owen and other campgrounds; lookout towers including Roman Nose, Spyglass and Little Guard; Magee Ranger’s Cabin along with other Forest Service signs and structures. His daughters have fond memories of camping on these job sites while “Daddy” worked.

He was a perfectionist and competitive to the end! Carl loved designing, constructing and playing games, casino gambling and friendly bets, challenging his brothers to be the king of the elk hunters, competing to be Idaho state doubles horseshoe pitching champion and fishing for the biggest salmon in Alaska, where he spent summers on the Kenai River.

Most of all, Carl loved helping family and friends. He could be counted on to be the skilled labor on building and remodeling projects, fixing and repairing anything, falling and cutting wood, and any other outdoor task his family or friends needed help with. He was also especially adept at teasing and playing with all the nieces, nephews and of course, the pets; he was a bit of an animal whisperer!

Carl was preceded in death by parents Edith and Olaf Norlander of Coeur d’Alene and his sister, Carol Macdonald of Spokane. He is survived by wife, Betty Clyde Norlander; brother, Jim (Loretta) Norlander of Pinehurst; sister, Helen (Charlie) Kelling of Spokane; brother, Quinton (Nola) Norlander of Athol; stepson, Kevin (Robin) Dell of Alaska; daughters Valerie (Dan) Soumas of Hayden, Debbie (Les) Loy of Moses Lake, Brooke of Coeur d’Alene and Dawn (Lonni) of Spokane. He will always be the adored Papa or Uncle or Friend to seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and extended family and close friends.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, at Yates Funeral Home, 373 E. Hayden Ave., Hayden, ID 83835.

Please visit the online memorial at

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