Your independent hometown award-winning newspaper


Priscilla Ellen Torseth, 87, passed away on November 13, 2019, at her home of more than fifty years on Pleasant Ridge, lovingly cared for by her numerous family and friends.

Priscilla was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on July 19, 1932, to Rev. Martin E.H. and Phoebe (Nelson) Ramsey. She joined her older brother Richard and spent her childhood in various towns and rural communities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Kentucky. Rev. Ramsey felt a call to be a servant to the most isolated, impoverished and needy places, and was usually forced to seek other employment to support his family.

In the mid-thirties he answered a call to join a group of believers in Anchorage, Alaska. Later he moved the family to Kasilof on the Kenai Peninsula where he ran a mink farm for an acquaintance from Anchorage. There was no highway to the Kenai at the time. You could reach it only by boat or aircraft. Dick and Priscilla attended school at Kasilof, walking miles along the only road in the community connecting their home on Lake Pollard to the mouth of the Kasilof River on Cook Inlet, counting moose they encountered along on the road.

In late 1941 they left Alaska and settled for a time in Silvana and South Skagit County, later moving to Mount Vernon where Rev. Ramsey served as pastor of a number of churches.

Priscilla graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1951. On March 1, 1952, she married Arnold Torseth, whom she had met and gotten to know largely through the youth group at Bethany Covenant Church in Mount Vernon. They lived briefly in San Francisco where Arnold served at Letterman Army Hospital before receiving orders to the War in Korea.

After Arnold’s discharge they lived in various rental homes in Mount Vernon, Conway and Burlington while Arnold completed his degree in Education at Western Washington College. Priscilla was occupied as mother and homemaker with the arrival of five sons before 1960. In 1967 they purchased the former parsonage of the Swedish Methodist Church on Pleasant Ridge next to the Cemetery, where she lived out her life until her passing.

Priscilla has a lifelong passion for sewing and handwork, producing many items of clothing, stuffed toys, cross-stich, hardanger embroidery, and traditional rug-hooking which she gave as gifts to relatives and friends. One of her proudest achievements was serving as a volunteer at Skagit Valley Hospital for more than forty years.

Priscilla is survived by her loving husband Arnold Torseth of 67 years; five sons, Larry and wife Debbie of Mount Vernon, Ken and wife Belinda of Mount Vernon, Jim and wife Christine of Sedro-Woolley, Randy and wife Vanna of Fir-Island and Dan Torseth of LaConner; seven grandchildren, Allison Torseth of New York, Greg Torseth of Wisconsin, Renee Avery of Maine, Eric Torseth and wife Laura of Mount Vernon, Chad, Sam and Tobey Torseth of Fir-Island; ten great-grandchildren, Angelina, Christian, Jailyn, Gregory and Olivia Torseth of Wisconsin, Mercedes and McKenna Avery of Maine, Jackson and Annika Torseth of Mount Vernon and Common Torseth of Burlington.

She is also survived by her sister Naomi and Milt Abbott of McKinleyville, California, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents Rev. Martin and Phoebe Ramsey; two brothers, Richard and Stephen Ramsey.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 23, 2019, 1:00 PM at Bethany Covenant Church, 1318 South 18th Street, Mount Vernon. Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Northwest, 227 Freeway Drive, Suite A., Mount Vernon, WA 98273 or to the Children of the Valley program at Bethany Covenant Church, 227 Freeway Dr. Mount Vernon, WA 98273.

Priscilla will be laid to rest at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the care of Kern Funeral Home of Mount Vernon. You may offer Priscilla’s family your condolences and share memories online at www.


Reader Comments(0)