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Lindloff-Zimmerman Funeral Home
Thursday March 14th, 2019
6:00pm - 8:00pm

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Funeral Service

St. John Church
Friday March 15th, 2019

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Dr. Richard Carlson

CARLSON, Dr. Richard S., age 87 of West Alexandria, OH. died Sat. Mar. 9, 2019 at Reid Hospital, leaving behind his wonderful wife, Anna and his four loving daughters.  He also leaves behind his childhood friend, Jack Schoen of Au Clair, WI.  He was preceded in death by his mother, Ethyl Florence Sniffin and father, Edmund B. Carlson, as well as his grandson, Joshua A. Wathen, then age 16.  Richard was born in Lutheran Hospital, Brooklyn N.Y. on July 1, 1931.  He attended public school 97 in Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn Technical High School, and Columbia University, graduating in 1953 with a B.S.  He then enlisted in the Coast Guard and went to Officers Candidate School after which he spent several years in the serving aboard his beloved ship, the Coast Guard buoy tender Clover in Alaska.  The Clover, based in Kodiak, Alaska, serviced buoys and lights over the entire state from southeastern Alaska to the Artic Ocean including the entire span of the Aleutian Islands.  Upon his return from Alaska, he was assigned to the Coast Guard base pier 9, Manhattan, NY.  Eventually, as a Lt., he was given command of an 83ft patrol boat known as CG8327.  His duties included harbor entrance patrol and search and rescue. In this capacity, he had many interesting adventures, including boarding the Norwegian Ship Barbara Brovig which had taken on cargo in Gdansk, Poland, a Soviet controlled port.  This happened during a harbor alert that the Russians were possibly trying to bring nuclear weapons into New York harbor as a threat.  He carried a Geiger counter and his .45 pistol.  When he went to the captain’s cabin to introduce himself and explain his mission, he noticed that there was ice about an inch thick on the inside of the portholes.  When he remarked on this the captain said, “Ya Ve Norvegians, Ve like it Cold!”  He eventually did discover with his Geiger counter strong radiation coming from one of the lifeboats on the ship.  Upon inspection, the source of radiation was discovered to be the boat compass.  Richard studied chemistry at Baldwin Wallace College, Berea, OH. and received a PhD in chemistry from the University of Cincinnati.  He worked 41 years at Mound Laboratory, Miamisburg, OH., where components for nuclear weapons were produced.  He developed a procedure to make titanium sub hydride used by the DOE among others as a fuel in pyrotechnic detonators and igniters.  This material is notable because of its safety.  While at Baldwin Wallace on a bird walk, he met an attractive blonde girl of half-Swedish ancestry whose father was a machinist (How could he lose?)  They were subsequently married and had four beautiful and talented daughters, “three of whom eventually emigrated; one to Oslo, Norway, Indrid (Ole) Blokhus, one to England, Erica (Simon) Dunn and one to Kentucky, Karen (Robert) Wathen.  One lives locally, Nola (Duane) Ferguson in Franklin, OH.  Richard’s four beautiful charming daughters have produced 10 grandchildren.  Karen’s children are Lisa Bolton (Avery), Laura Goetze, Josiah and Jeremiah Wathen. Nola’s son is Jesse Ferguson, Ingrid’s sons are Johan and Christian Blokhus, Erica’s children are Elliot and Amelia.  Richard was intensely interested in science all of his life, particularly astronomy.  At age 16 he built his own telescope from scratch including grinding the mirror which he finally finished when in college.  He and his family have traveled widely in the US  and the world, including Scandinavia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Canada.  Richard was a member of St. John Church, West Alexandria, OH. and a member of the Society of the Sigma Xi.  Richard wanted to be buried with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in his hand with one bite taken out of it (Just in case!)  He always said, “Don’t mourn for me, I had a fun and interesting life!!”  A church funeral will be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday, Mar. 15, 2019 at St. John Church, West Alexandria, OH. with Rev. Mark Moore officiating.  Friends may call at Lindloff-Zimmerman Funeral Home on Thurs. Mar. 14, 2019 from 6:00 to 8:00pm and one hour prior to the funeral at the church on Friday.  Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, West Alexandria, OH.  For condolences: www.lindloffzimmerman.com  Memorial donations may be made to Preble County Council on Aging.

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Dick Carlson was flat out the smartest man that I have ever met! We met Dick and Anna at church in the late 70's. We spent a great deal of time with them as our families  both had children of the same ages. We really enjoyed their incredible circle of friends.  It was more difficult to stay in touch after we moved, but we managed.
I was always amazed by the range and depth of knowledge of his interests. He kept bees. He kept track of astrological events. He built a model railroad in the barn with hand made track and he grew vegetables and fruit which he organized his girls to sell - especially strawberries. He was on the school board. He would call me with recommendations of WWII books and Television shows he wanted to share. I am going to miss that. He was a true Renaissance man. He was always willing to share his knowledge or goods. we will really mis him

Roy and Jeanne Leatherbury Mar 14 2019 12:00 AM

Mr. Carlson was the first (and probably the only) highly educated man I spent much time with as a child.  I was very intimidated by him and also very much in awe of his knowledge.  One of my fondest, and first memories of feeling smart myself happened soon after the Carlsons moved from Somerset Dr. to the country.  Karen and Nola had us Somerset girls over for a slumber party. While star gazing Mr. Carlson asked us if we knew the name of a certain bright star in the sky.  I confidently called out Venus.  I was correct by some miracle, and Mr. Carlson seemed impressed.  I always felt a special connection with him after that and not so intimidated.   I suspect he knew that I was just guessing, and Venus was the only astronomical name I knew.

As I grew into high school age, I seldom saw the Carlsons, but some of my fondest recollections still involve the Carlson family.  Astronomy is now one of my hobbies (well at least attempting to photograph the night sky), maybe I just needed that little bit of encouragement from Mr. Carlson all those years ago. Thank you so much for that, Mr. Carlson.  You will be missed, but I will still think of you often whenever I enjoy the night sky.

Patricia Ladwig Mar 14 2019 12:00 AM

My heart breaks for the family and for those who did not know Dr. Carlson. Dr. Carlson influenced my life professionally and personally. I worked with him at Mound for 15 plus years. Manufacturing pyrotechnic powders was my first assignment and I was lucky enough to work directly with Dr. Carlson. Dr. Carlson is the most intelligent person I have ever met. His knowledge and willingness to share his knowledge is without equal. He taught me many lessons. The most important thing he taught me was to enjoy your work and the people you work with. I haven't seen him in several years, but he touches my life everyday. He will be missed, but he will never be forgotten.

Sturgill Napier Mar 13 2019 12:00 AM

God looked around his garden and found an empty place. He then looked down upon the earth and saw your tired face. He put his arms around you and lifted you to rest. God's garden must be beautiful, He always takes the best. He knew that you were suffering, He knew you were in pain. He knew that you would never get well on earth again. He saw the road was getting rough and the hills were hard to climb, so He closed your weary eye lids and whispered, Peace be Thine. It broke our hearts to lose you, but you didn't go alone, for part of us went with you the day God called you home! Our earthly loss is Heaven's gain. Dick, you truly were a beloved Disciple of Christ...May you rest in eternal peace. In Christ, Duane Richardson

Duane Richardson Mar 13 2019 12:00 AM

SPATHIPHYLLUM was sent by Chris .

Sincerest sympathies from the Riesenberg family. Dick will be sorely missed.

Jerry Riesenberg Mar 11 2019 12:00 AM

I am sending condolences from the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council and staff.

Pat Mayer Mar 11 2019 12:00 AM