John Paul Carlson, 70, of Grand Forks, ND, passed away unexpectedly at home the morning of Tuesday, April 21, 2020.
John was born on January 10, 1950 in Fergus Falls, MN, to Earl and Christine (Nelson) Carlson. John spent his early years at Underwood and Roseau, MN. In 1954 his family purchased a farm near Holt, MN where he helped on the farm and attended the Holt Grade School through eighth grade. In 1964, his family relocated to Crookston, MN. There he attended Central High School and was active in wrestling, choir and theater, graduating in 1968.
John briefly attended the University of Minnesota Crookston before enlisting in the United States Army. He served for two years, much of that time being stationed in Korea. Following his discharge, he attended Moorhead State University, receiving a degree in Accountancy.
In 1973, John was married to Kathie Petersen at Maple Bay Free Lutheran Church. They made their home in Crookston, raising three children. John found his career in sales, first as a representative for Northern School Supply Company and later Dahlgren & Co. He then served for many years, until his retirement, as a financial representative with Lutheran Brotherhood.
In 2000, John moved to Grand Forks, ND and married Deb Burgess at Saint Mark’s Lutheran Church in 2004. John and Deb spent many pleasant summers together at their cabin on Devils Lake. John and Deb helped care for his father Earl in their home for two years, and John treasured those times spent with his dad.
John was confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Crookston where he was an active member for over thirty years, serving on the church board, as a confirmation instructor, and singing in the choir. He will be remembered for his outgoing, kind personality, sense of humor, quiet Christian faith, his love for his family, and the great interest and pride he showed in his children and grandchildren.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Christine Carlson. He is survived by his wife and best friend of twenty years, Deb; son Brian (Susan) of Grand Forks, ND; daughter Lori Carlson of Fountain City, WI; daughter Jana (Paul) Hedlund of Saint Paul; step-son Bryan (Megan) Burgess of Omaha, NE; grandchildren Cecilia and Jonas Carlson and Brennan Burgess; sister Emilie (Dale) Peterson of Bemidji; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
A private memorial service will be held Saturday, April 25, 2020 at Amundson Funeral Home.