Teddi Carlson Memory Care Place

The extended Carlson family, along with representatives of the Pelican Valley Senior Living Center, gathered for a formal ribbon cutting ceremony June 9.
Doing the honors, with an over-sized scissors, is Brian Carlson. To the right of Carlson, Pelican Valley board chair Rich Bratlien and the center’s new administrator, Tyler Ahlf.
Six of the seven Carlson children--all graduates of Pelican Rapids High School--were able to attend, including Craig, Gary, Brian, Randy, Karen Engler and Carol Schuster. Unable to attend was Sherry Brickzin.

 Describing June 9 as a “big day” at Pelican Valley Senior Living is something of an understatement.  

Not only was the new administrator, Tyler Ahlf, introduced; but a ribbon cutting  program also

The late Howard and Teddi Carlson. The Carlson Trust bequeathed nearly $164,000 to Pelican Valley Senior Living, toward the memory care center–located in the former Good Samaritan Home, on main street.
The two met in 1945 in Parkers Prairie; were married in 1950, and spent most of their married lives in Pelican Rapids, where Howard founded and managed West Central Turkeys.

dedicated the new “Teddi Carlson Memory Care Place,” as a completed memory care residential center.  

The inspiration behind the the center, Teddi Carlson, herself lived with Alzheimer’s. Her family donated nearly $164,000 for the center, following the death last year of her husband Howard Carlson.  Teddi died in 2014. She had been a Pelican Valley resident since 2009. 

A crowd of nearly 100 attended the Sunday dedication, including a great representation of the Carlson family.  Six of the seven children were able to attend, along with numerous children and grandchildren.  

“Howard wanted four kids; Teddi wanted three–so they compromised at seven,” laughed son Brian Carlson, who was among the speakers at the dedication. 

In the mid-1990s, the family noticed Teddi’s increasing confusion–and was soon diagnosed with  Alzheimer’s.  

“We all denied it at first…How could a woman so wise and confident be fading away?” said Brian. By 2009, “We sorrowfully agreed that she needed more care.” 

Teddi was able to live her life with dignity, “even in the midst of her confusion,” said Brian–in large part thanks to the staff at Pelican Valley.  

“Compassion is paramount,” said Richard Bratlien, chairman of the Pelican Valley governing board.  “What sets Pelican Valley apart from other providers is that it is community led…Residents and stafff are friends, neighbors and relatives.”

The Carlson family, through its generous contribution, has created a “ripple effect that will be remembered for years to come.” 

Pelican Valley director of nursing, Megan Mayer welcomed the crowd of nearly 100 to the dedication and ribbon cutting.

The program was the public introduction to Pelican Valley’s new executive director Tyler Ahlf, who dedicated the facility to all–staff, residents, the community and the Carlsons. “I’m very excited to be part of such a wonderful organization,” said Ahlf. 

Pelican Valley was established in 1951, and today has 110 employees. 

In welcome remarks, Megan Mayer, director of nursing, said Teddi was well known for her “ability to turn a house into a home.  “With the financial support …Teddi’s legacy  continues…”

“This generous gift has assisted with ensuring all of us here at Riverfront. on Main have the capabilities to meet the needs, holistically, from a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing, for all our residents and their families,” said Mayer. 

Brian Carlson spoke on behalf of the Carlson family at the dedication ceremony June 9.

The newly remodeled memory care unit at Riverfront on Main at 119 North Broadway has been updated with new paint, flooring, lighting, outdoor patio access and security, among other improvements. 

The Carlson Family is passionate about ensuring memory care in Pelican Rapids remains a vital option for the community and the space will be dedicated to them during a short ceremony.

 “‘The Teddi Carlson Memory Place’ allows us to expand access and provide greater care,” said Bratlien, board chair, in an earlier prepared statement. “Not only is the space larger in size but it’s more conducive to serving those with memory loss with its closely connected rooms and community spaces. We are so grateful to the Carlson family for giving us the opportunity to make these enhancements.”


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