Donald Carlsen MD

donald carlsen md

Donald Arthur Carlsen M.D., age 82, died quietly at Essentia Hospital on September 24, 2014 with his wife at his side.

Don was born on August 14, 1932 in Bismarck, ND to Olga and Arthur Carlsen. He grew up in Goodrich and Bismarck, ND.

He graduated from Bismarck High School in 1950. He then attended the University of North Dakota and graduated with a B.A. in 1954. He continued on at UND in the two year medical school graduating in 1955 with a B.S. He transferred to Temple University School of Medicine and graduated as an M.D. in 1957. Post graduate work included a general rotating Internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Portland, OR. His education was interrupted by military service in the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy in Okinawa and Japan, serving as a Lieutenant in the Medical Corps. Don then returned to his education by serving an Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, WA and graduating in 1964.

His medical practice included U.S. Marine Corps /Navy 1958 through 1961. In 1964 he moved to Mandan, ND and was in private family practice and OB/GYN until 1990 when he moved to Fargo. He served as Medical Director at BCBS of ND/Noridian Mutual Insurance Co. until his retirement in 2010.

His many commitments included being mayor of Mandan, ND 1972-1976, Mandan Community Center Board 1972-1976, Morton Co. Coroner for eight years, Mandan Jaycees “Boss of the year” 1984, Chief of Staff at Mandan Hospital; Rotary International – Mandan Rotary Club 1965-1990 and Fargo-Moorhead a.m. Rotary Club 1994-2014.

Don was a member of 1st Presbyterian Church, Fargo and served as an elder, on the buildings and grounds committee, choir member and was in the Kenya group.

He loved his hobbies and interests which included model airplanes (radio control), woodworking, traveling with his wife and friends around the world, collecting Red Wing pottery, the Dallas Cowboys, caring for his roses, and loving his dog, Lady.

He is survived by his wife Janice, whom he married on August 22, 1975; his two daughters, Nicko Lynn (Kent) Kleppinger of Laramie, WY, Darcy Ann (Heath) Nash of Rochester, MN; and one son, Donald Arthur Carlsen, Jr. of Fargo. He appreciated all of his friends and extended family.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Rotary International Foundation or 1st Presbyterian Church of Fargo.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Cannon Falls Mn.Sorry for your loss, Jan and family. We so enjoyed having known you both, and Arlan enjoyed sharing the model airplanes with Don.

  2. Arden North CarolinaI feel so lucky to have known Don. My family, Katie, Sydney and Wilson, and I celebrate this good man. We all know the big and little reasons why we will miss him.
    Jan and Donald, we wish you peace.

  3. Dilworth Jan and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I feel honored to have know Doc ever since my family moved to Bismarck in 77. Flying with him at the Missouri Slope field was always a pleasure and feel very lucky to have renewed our friendship last year when I moved back to Fargo from Washington state. He was a true friend and mentor, he will be dearly missed.

  4. Seward AlaskaJanice, we are saddened by the loss of Don and our deepest sympathy and prayers are extended to you, Don Jr and family. We have so many years of fond memories working together with Don at the Mandan Hospital. These were some of the most precious years in our lives and will continue to remember them forever.

    Our Deepest Sympathy, Glenn & Sandi Schiff

  5. Fargo NdWorked with Doc Carlson at BCBS for several years. What a joy he was,and was always is good humor God bless your family during this difficult timeV

  6. Junction city KsJan an family. So sorry for your loss, my prayers are with you. I have to say that I worked for Dr. Carlsen in his Mandan office an he taught me very well. Never forgot him.

  7. Gillette WySo many good memories. Snowmobiling with the family many years ago as a kid. Dr Carlson removed my appendix, delivered my Daughter Randi, and son Scott. He was a wonderful Person. Thank you for taking such good care of all of us in Mandan.

  8. Fargo NdSo sorry for the loss of Don. I enjoyed working and getting to know him while at BCBS. God keep you all in His loving arms

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