Carol Elaine Staats (Ruotsala), 73, formerly of Douglas, died on Oct. 19, 2004, at her home in Wasilla.
She was born Dec. 29, 1930, in Seattle to Bert and Elvira Ruotsala. She grew up in Douglas, graduating as salutatorian of the 1948 class of Douglas High School. She attended Washington State University in Pullman and later graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage.
She married Bill Staats in 1951 in Anchorage. The family lived in Anchorage until 1972, when they moved to Wasilla.
She was active in the arts community throughout her life. She enjoyed choral performances, wood carving, textile art, poetry, painting and writing. She was also an avid gardener and enjoyed recreational gold mining and berry picking.
Her poetry was published in numerous poetry journals. In the early 1970s she collaborated with Anchorage composer, Alice Countryman, putting poetry to music for several productions, including several performed by the Anchorage community chorus and children's theater. They also worked on an Eskimo lullaby written by Carol that was performed at the 1980 International Year of the Child Conference in Texas.
She volunteered for the Alaska Alliance for the mentally Ill (NAMI and served on the board for Nugen's Ranch). Her civic service touched the lives of many for the better.
She was proud of her Finnish heritage and was active for years in the Anchorage Suomi Club. She traveled to Finland several times to visit relatives and to explore her ancestral homeland.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill; her son, Carl; and parents, Bert and Elvira Ruotsala.
She is survived by her sons and daughter-in-law, Will and Linda Staats, and Sanford Staats; daughter, Lillian Staats; granddaughters, Andrea, Kelley and Lara; brother, James Ruotsala of Juneau, and many other relatives.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Nugen's Ranch, P. O. Box 871545, Wasilla, AK 99687 or NAMI Alaska, 144 W. 15th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501
Arrangements were made by Kehl's Forest Lawn and Mortuary & Crematory.