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1949 Dale Carlson 2023

Dale Matthias Carlson

May 4, 1949 — May 24, 2023

Mankato, MN

Dale Matthias Carlson passed away peacefully on May 24, 2023.

Dale was born on May 4, 1949 to Donald and Lorraine (Pommier) Carlson. He grew up on a farm outside of Currie, MN and was one of six children. Once his chores were done, he spent his time outside developing a love for the outdoors and for animals, especially dogs. No matter who got a pet in the family, he would spend the most time with it and it would ultimately become his loyal friend for life.

Dale graduated from IHM High School in 1967. He then enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Panama after basic training. He went Airborne, did his training at Fort Benning, Georgia and finished as an E5. Back in MN, Dale enrolled in the cook/chef program at South Central College in Mankato, especially enjoying the free meals and lack of bookwork. His charm made him a favorite of the instructors and he soon won the affections of his fellow classmate, Christine Hensel. After graduation, Dale and Chris(tine) were married and eventually had three daughters: Kelly, Heather, and Holly. Kelly, unfortunately, was called back to Heaven at the age of 2 ½, breaking her parents’ hearts. They divorced a few years later, remaining cordial and eventually good friends. He became a welcome member at all family gatherings.

Dale had many jobs throughout his lifetime, including working at John Deere and bartending at Valhalla Supper club. Dale retired from the MN Department of Transportation after 22 years and moved back to Currie, MN to be surrounded by family and lifelong friends. He spent time volunteering at the Legion, mentoring people in AA and was a part of the Friends of Shetek group. After being diagnosed with cancer, he participated in the Relay for Life in remembrance of his daughter and many other family members.  He was always a great joke teller, most of which were mildly inappropriate, but he had charm enough to still make everyone laugh. One of his life’s regrets could be that his ability to tell a joke was not passed on to his daughters.

Dale was a man who lived life on his own terms. He knew who he was and stayed true to his beliefs his entire life. Dale loved camping, reading, gardening, tinkering around his house and garage, socializing, fireworks, and bonfires. A farmer at heart, he fixed problems with what was on hand- function being more important than aesthetics. He enjoyed rousing political debates as much as his eldest daughter enjoyed avoiding them. His opponents can be happy that there will be one less Democratic vote in the next election. The most important loves in his life were his children and grandchildren. The sun rose and set with his family.

Although he quit all of his bad habits over 25 years ago, Dale’s lungs held a grudge. When the doctors told his kids that he was a very sick man, their response was, “you have no idea!” When they realized what his doctors actually meant, they were heartbroken to realize that hospice was the next step. Dale could always be counted on to lighten the mood and he enjoyed joking with visitors how he had young ladies taking care of him. Dale’s last days in hospice were filled with visits from friends and family, telling stories, and reminiscing. Thank you to all who came to visit him.

Dale is survived by his daughters, Heather Carlson (Andrew Foster) and Holly Carlson (Mike Neilsen); grandchildren, Brittany, Jack, Reese, Jonah, Bennett, Sadie, and Vivian; siblings, Murray Carlson (Darlene), Lana Olivier (William), Jill Lakhan (Koresh), Penny Obermueller (Jim, dec.); and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

Dale is now with his daughter, Kelly; brother, Daren; parents, Donald and Lorraine; and many other friends and family.

There will be a Celebration of Life in Currie, MN on June 16, 2023 at Currie City Hall from 7-9pm with fireworks at dusk. Prior to that, there will be a military salute in his honor at 6:30 outside of the hall.

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