JAMES ROBERT CARLSON
Jan. 28, 1933 – Oct. 13, 2023
Jim was born in Manistee, Michigan, to Swedish-American parents Waldemar and Lucile Carlson. He spent his youth in Manistee and graduated high school in 1950. In 1951 he enlisted in the Coast Guard and was assigned to the cutter Winona, and eventually stationed in Port Angeles, Washington. There, while on shore leave at the Lincoln Theater, he met Kay Hunt, working at the concession stand. He loved her popcorn and after his discharge from the USCS in 1954, he and Kay married and moved to Michigan. There, Jim attended Michigan State University, while he and Kay began their family with sons Tom in 1957 and Jeff in 1958. Upon graduation in 1958, Jim began a lifelong career with the Internal Revenue Service in Alpena, Michigan, where he and Kay welcomed daughter Lynell in 1962 and son Richard in 1965.
The family enjoyed living in Alpena for many years, then moved to Portland, Oregon in 1978. Jim and Kay eventually divorced but remained mutually committed to family unity and support. Jim maintained close and warm relations with family and friends in Michigan while living in Oregon. In 1985 he waged a successful year-long battle against cancer. After returning to work, he married Rene Madox, a coworker. Jim was a member of the Elks and celebrated his retirement at a local lodge in 1991. He was an avid and longtime tennis player at TVAA, an activity that he enjoyed into his 80s, and he never turned down an offer to play pinochle.
Daughter Lynell and son Thomas predeceased Jim. He will be remembered lovingly by his brother, Jack, of Manistee; by Kay, sons Jeffrey and wife Lorilee, and Richard, of Portland; by daughter-in-law Jeannine Ross and granddaughter Caitlyn Carlson, of San Diego; by grandson Josh Miller, and Tiffany and great-grandchildren Ian and Mia, of Los Angeles; and by grandson Christopher Miller, USMC Okinawa.
Providence Hospice gave comfort and care in Jim’s final days.