On June 17th, Errol Carlson passed away while staying near his family in Washington State. One year ago, on June 18th, Carlson’s partner Mel Hafsos passed away after a brief illness. Mel Hafsos and Errol Carlson owned Taylor Court Grocery on SE 80th Avenue for 25 years. During that time, the pair lived together in a nearby house and ran their neighborhood store together, rarely taking time off.
Last summer, Mel and Errol’s family recognized the neighborhood’s support and admiration for the pair in a letter to the community. Last summer, pandemic-related concerns restricted communal gatherings to honor Mel Hafsos’ life. Now the family would like to have a joint service for both men. Skyline Memorial Funeral Home will host a memorial for Mel Hafsos and Errol Carlson on Thursday, June 30th, at 11:00 am. Graveside interment will occur at 1:00 pm.
Update: A previous version of this story inaccurately stated they lived next-door to the shop.
This summer, Montavilla said goodby to Mel Hafsos, a beloved member of the community. His death profoundly impacted neighbors and the many customers of Taylor Court Grocery. As the pandemic continued to prevent large memorial services, people instead took to decorating his place of business with messages of appreciation for his contributions and support for Mel’s partner Errol Carlson. In recognition of the public’s admiration for Mel, his family wrote a letter to the community and asked Montavilla News to share it below.
Letter to the Community:
On behalf of the family of Mel Hafsos and Errol Carlson I would like to thank this community for the many years of love and support you have shown to Mel and Errol and Taylor Court Grocery.
As Mel’s youngest Sister, I speak for our whole family and Mel and Errol as well. Mel Hafsos and Errol Carlson owned and operated Taylor Court Grocery on SE 80th Avenue for 25 years. During those many years they rarely took days off or time away from the store. The community and neighbors became their family. They took joy in all the births, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, move in days and so many other memorable events the neighborhood celebrated. They loved the children who visited the store for that “after school” treat or the cold soda or ice cream in the summer months.
I often visited and sometimes worked in the store during the years I lived in Beaverton. It was very evident the members of the community were woven in Mel and Errol’s lives. I loved attending the summer Block Party when hundreds turned out for the parade and festivities. The annual Halloween Event was one of a kind.
Mel passed away on June 18, 2021 after a brief illness. Mel grew up in a family of 8 children. We had 4 girls and 4 boys. He was probably the hardest worker of us all. He began at a young age in the orchards of our farming community near Yakima, Wa. Up until the day Mel left us, he had that mental list of one more shelf to stock, product to search for, or customer to take care of. We know now, Mel can check all those items off his “to do” list.
Upon Mel’s death, our family witnessed a huge outpouring of support and love for Mel and Errol. We want to THANK YOU ALL FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS. We understand they were loved by so many…we want you to know they loved everyone back. Thank you for those expressions of support and love during this difficult time of losing our brother. It is appreciated more than we can say.
Errol is still living in the community, just a few blocks from what he knew as home…in the community where he belongs.
Warmest thank you, The family of Mel Hafsos & Errol Carlson—Owner/Operators of Taylor Court Grocery Diane Dufault (Sister to Mel)
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