Richard H. Carlson


Richard H. Carlson, “Dick,” 93, of Duluth, passed away on Sunday, October 31, 2021 in the company of his family. He was born in Duluth, MN on July 21, 1928 to Henry and Louise (Nelson) Carlson. He attended Duluth Central High School, graduating in 1946, earned his teaching degree from Duluth State Teacher’s College (now University of Minnesota-Duluth) in 1950, and was hired as a teacher, football coach, and basketball coach in Goodhue, MN before being drafted into the U.S. Army. He served for 2 years during the Korean Conflict and returned to Duluth after his honorable discharge. Back in the Northland, Dick embarked on a dedicated career in the Duluth Public Schools, serving as a principal at Ordean Junior High, Duluth East High, and Duluth Central High Schools. Between roles in Duluth, he also worked as principal for Taipei American School in Taiwan for 2 years to bring a global perspective to his career. As a principal, Dick was invested in all aspects of his students’ success - academics, athletics, and arts - and attended many extra-curricular events with his family to show support.

Throughout his career, Dick devoted time to a number of community organizations, including serving on the boards of First United Methodist Church, Operation Aware, Summit School, Woodland Hills, and the YMCA. He was also an active member and Past President of Duluth Rotary Club #25. After Dick retired from Duluth Public Schools in 1985, he continued to show a love for learning by reading voraciously, and stayed active with gardening, woodcarving, hosting family reunions, and rooting for the Twins. At age 80, he decided to author a children’s chapter book, and published The Adventures of Chipper, Dog of Dogdom at age 86.

Dick is preceded in death by his parents Henry and Louise (Nelson) Carlson, sister Lois Halter, niece Betsey Halter, and sister-in-law Joanne (Johnson) DeVore.

Dick is survived by his wife of 67 years, Barbara; daughter Mary Anne (Korsch) and spouse Charles, grandchildren Emily Korsch (Scott Erlandson) and Steven Korsch (Emma Witthuhn), sister- and brother-in-law Sally and Roger Wagner, brother-in-law Charles DeVore, 9 nieces and nephews, and many other beloved family and dear friends.

Dick will be remembered by his family for his unwavering optimistic spirit and a determination to get things done. His character has positively influenced both friends and family as a role model and inspiration. Above all, he cherished his wife Barbara and “couldn’t have imagined a sweeter life.”

The visitation will be held at First United Methodist Church in Duluth on Saturday, November 6th at 1:30 p.m. Following the visitation, a memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church at 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to First United Methodist Church, the Rotary Foundation, the American Heart Association, or a charity of the donor’s choice.