Robert (Bob) F. Carlson, age 86, entered eternal peace on Dec. 7, 2019 in Gold Canyon, Arizona.
Born April 14, 1933 in rural Pope County, Minnesota, the youngest son of Carl and Agnes (Rudgren) Carlson, Bob was literally allowed to bake a bit more, moving from womb to warming oven as he was born at home and the stove became his make-shift incubator. Luckily, he thrived, and for the remainder of his life a fondness for bread and cookies remained constant.
Early in his life, the family moved to Kensington, Minnesota, farming near the spot where the Kensington Runestone was discovered. Argue as one may whether the stone is hoax or artifact, he was a believer, and the Runestone became his talisman for a lifetime of adventure, accomplishment, and sheer wonder.
Bob graduated from Kensington High in 1951, and soon enrolled at St. Olaf College. He loved to sing, and therefore intended to major in music. His inability to read music proved his undoing, but his proximity to music and musicians brought him into contact with Kari Rice, his eventual wife. Military service interrupted college, but Bob and Kari continued to build their relationship as Bob fulfilled his service. An injury to his ear during training exercises made Bob a DAV, deaf in one ear thereafter. To Bob, this allowed him to be luckily selective in hearing.
Bob returned to St. Olaf, graduating in 1958 with a degree in Economics and a fondness for accounting. He married Kari Lynn Rice on August 2, 1958, having found someone willing to follow his career, and make him laugh for 57 years. Kari passed away in 2015.
Bob pursued a career in banking moving his family about, spending time in Wisconsin, North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, back to Minnesota, ending with an exclamation point in Fargo. Somehow, every setback became golden opportunity for Bob, allowing him a retirement filled with golf, travel, and the ability to pursue his greatest hobby, that of napping.
Bob was particularly lucky to find Bethesda Lutheran Church in south Moorhead, as he soon met Donna Hendrickson. She agreed not only to date him, but soon agreed to marry him. They married in July 2016 and split their time between Moorhead in the summers and Gold Canyon, AZ for the colder seasons.
Bob is survived by his beloved wife Donna, his sons Craig (Jackie) of Fairbanks, AK, Jay of Foster City, CA, Chris (Lisa Kornkven) of Fargo, ND; Sister Marion Dahlgren, Vergas, MN; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; his bonus children Gary (Gail) Hendrickson of Kansas City, KS, and Jay (Georgia) Hendrickson of Carrington, ND, and many nieces and nephews.
Bob was preceded in death by his wife Kari, his parents, Carl and Agnes, brother Carlton, sister Helen, daughter-in-law Dawn Holmbeck Carlson, and bonus daughter Marla Hendrickson.
The memorial service will be at 11:00am on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at Bethesda Evangelical Lutheran Church, 401 40th Avenue South, Moorhead. Interment in Vergas, MN at a date to be determined.
Memorials preferred to Bethesda Lutheran Church.