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Robert Carlson, 85 Print E-mail
Written by TRF Times   
    Thief River Falls - Robert “Bob” Carlson, 85, died on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012 at Thief River Care Center in Thief River Falls.
    Funeral services were held Saturday, Feb. 18 at Zion Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, with Rev. John Golv and Rev. Ale Tulu officiating. Casket bearers included Dan Carpenter, Brent Carlson, Chad Carlson, Erik Carlson, Todd Carlson,  Angie Apps, Sara Anderson and Beth Radniecki. Honorary casket bearers included Dwight Tanquist, Leonard Geske, Jim Haviland and Alicia Haviland. Interment, with military honors, was held at Greenwood Cemetery, Thief River Falls.  
    Robert “Bob” J. Carlson was born on July 28, 1926 to Martin E. and Winifred E. (Sculthorp) Carlson in Thief River Falls. He was baptized on April 2, 1950 at Trinity Lutheran Church. He attended Knox Elementary School and Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls.  
    He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943. He served on the Navy troops transport ship USS Gen T.H. Bliss for 16 months in the south Pacific and European Middle East. He also served on the US Navy sub tender USS Pelias. Bob was authorized to wear the Victory Medal, Asiatic, Pacific and American Theater, European, African and Middle East, medals. He was honorably discharged in April of 1946.  
    Bob was united in marriage to Vivian A. Engelstad on Nov. 6, 1946. Bob started work at the age of 14 and had many jobs up until the time he joined the Navy at the age of 17.  Some of those jobs included delivery truck driver for LB Hartz Store, delivery truck driver for Louis De Alana Meat Market. He worked in the bee yards for Frank Cook and also at the Hartz Warehouse.
    After his discharge from the navy, Bob went back to work for LB Hartz. He then started his own business called Bob’s Cash Wagon for three years. Then for a period of time, Bob worked for Fred Forsberg and Son and also for Len’s Tire Shop as a salesman. In April of 1953, Bob went to work for the Minneapolis Star and Tribune as supervisor of carrier paper boys in all of northwest Minnesota for 28 years until retiring in 1981.  
    Bob loved sports; he played baseball for the Thief River Falls baseball team. He also played fast pitch softball for 24 years as an outstanding pitcher for Popplers and Bridgeman’s softball teams. He loved the game of golf and playing with his son, grandsons, and other family members.  Bob was a season ticket holder for the Minnesota Vikings and also season ticket holder of the State High School Hockey tournament. He also bowled on leagues for many years.    
    Bob had a love for politics.  He was affectionately known to many as “Mayor Bob.” He served on the Thief River Falls City Council from 1954 for a period of 16 years as Councilman at Large and First Ward Council Representative.  He was Mayor of Thief River Falls for 18 years from 1974 through 1991.  He also served as Pennington County Commissioner from 1995 to 2010. He was also a proud member of the VFW, American Legion and Elks Lodge where he was Past Exalted Ruler.  Bob was also a volunteer fireman in Thief River Falls for 20 years.  He was also a member of Zion Lutheran Church.  
    He is survived by his wife Vivian Carlson, Thief River Falls; son Rod (Joni) Carlson, Sioux Falls, S.D., daughter Lori (Mike) Carpenter, Thief River Falls; five grandchildren:  Angie (Tory) Apps, Sara (Ross) Anderson, Erik (Brooke) Carlson, Dan (Sara) Carpenter, Beth (Tyler) Radniecki, nine great-grandchildren: Cameron and Austin Anderson, Alivia and Luke Carlson, Jace Chalmers & Morgan Apps, Aiden Carpenter and  Delyla Carpenter, Brody Radniecki; one brother, Jack (Phyllis) Carlson, Duluth; two sisters, Beverly Carlson, St. Cloud, Carol (Evan) Jones, St. Cloud; and several nieces and nephews.  
    He was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers:  Glenn, Myrle, Nick, Darrell, Gary Carlson; two sisters, Margie Rude and Patty Carlson.  
    Family condolences may be sent at www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.