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Earl James Carlson

July 9, 1923 ~ September 7, 2018 (age 95)
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Earl James Carlson, 95, of Crookston, MN, passed away peacefully Friday evening, September 7, 2018, at the Villa St. Vincent in Crookston. Earl’s family was comforted in knowing that waiting for him in heaven was his beloved wife, Christine, who passed away this past June 3rd.

Earl was born on July 9, 1923 at Underwood, MN, one of 3 children of the union of Willie and Mathilda (Moen) Carlson. He grew up on the family farm, was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith, and attended country school at nearby Underwood Grade School #109. While in high school Earl sang in the chorus, played football, and was a much feared left-handed pitcher for the baseball team. He was also a member of the student council, year book staff, and art editor of the school newspaper. Earl graduated from Underwood High School in 1942, and under his class picture in the annual was the following motto, “I shall continue to act like a man until the day I officially become one.”

On June 1, 1945 Earl was united in marriage to the love of his life, Christine Elizabeth Nelson, in a ceremony that took place at Bethel Lutheran Church near Roseau, MN. After their marriage Earl farmed on the farm he grew up on. During those years he and Christine were blessed by the births of their 2 children, Emilie and John. The family later moved to Roseau where Earl managed the Hildahl Hardware Store. However, farm life called to Earl once again and in 1954 he and Christine bought a farm near Holt, MN, living there until 1964. Earl then accepted a position at the Northwest Experiment Station in Crookston. At the time of his retirement he was the supervisor of buildings and grounds and a past honoree as Employee of the Year.

Wherever the family lived Earl was active in the church of which he was a member; singing in the choir and holding various leadership roles. In Holt he was the chairman of the school board, the creamery board, and the town board. Woodworking was one of his favorite pastimes and he created many wonderful and useful items in his shop.

Earl’s loving family will proudly remember him as a humble man of integrity, gentle strength, and steadfast faith in God. His sense of humor and wit will remain a treasure forever.

Earl was preceded in death by Christine, his soul mate and best friend for over 73 years; his parents, Willie and Mathilda Carlson; parents-in-law, Oscar and Edith Nelson; sister, Hazel Pahan; brother, Clarence Carlson; and an infant brother. He is lovingly survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Emilie and Dale Peterson of Bemidji, MN; son and daughter-in-law, John and Deb Carlson of Grand Forks,  ND; 5 grandchildren: Ty (Kelly) Peterson, Tracy Hollister, Brian (Susan) Carlson, Lori Carlson, and Jana (Paul) Hedlund; 5 great-grandchildren: Luke, Andrew, Paul, Cecilia, and Jonas; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Erwin and Marian Nelson of Roseau, MN; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Blessed be the memory of Earl James Carlson.        

A funeral service honoring the life of Earl Carlson will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, September 15, 2018, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Crookston, MN with Minister Dale Knotek, officiating. Visitation will be at the church for one hour prior to the funeral. Interment will follow at the Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston.

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