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Ralph William Carlson

May 8, 2021


Ralph W. Carlson, Age 96, of White Bear Lake

Passed away peacefully Saturday, May 8, 2021.

Ralph was born on July 3, 1924 at Swedish Hospital in Minneapolis. He lived in Minneapolis until the Great Depression forced his family to move to a farm near Ellsworth, Wisconsin in 1933. His years on the farm defined his values of faith, family, love of nature, Swedish heritage, and Democratic Party politics that endured for the remainder of his life. Ralph graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1942 and 18 months later entered into military service in the US Navy where he served in the South Pacific during WWII as a member of the VH-5 Rescue Squadron.

After the war Ralph took advantage of the GI Bill and enrolled at the University of Minnesota. He graduated with a degree in Forestry in 1950 and shortly thereafter began his career as an Industrial Forrester in northern Minnesota. In 1952 he married Lois Keacher and the couple made their home in Duluth, Minnesota where they raised three children.

In 1991 Ralph and Lois moved to a new home in Oakdale and they spent the remainder of their lives in the Twin Cities area. Ralph and Lois spent their retirement years taking trips to Sweden and Hawaii, visiting with family, and gardening. In his later years Ralph enjoyed making trips back to his childhood home, attending services at his home church, attending reunions, going to the Pierce County Fair, and meeting with old friends, classmates, and relatives.

He is survived by daughter Sandra (Craig) Stepan of Fairhope, AL, sons Peter Carlson of Minneapolis, and Dan (Judy) Carlson of Shoreview, MN, and grandchildren Nathan (Jacqueline) Stepan, Mark Stepan, Tom (Beth) Stepan, Joe Carlson, and Laurel Carlson

Ralph was preceded in death by parents Frank Carlson and Julia Elberg Carlson, his wife Lois, his sister and brother-in-law Marlys and Lloyd Anderson, niece Lori Anderson Martin, and numerous cousins.

Please see for additional information on Ralph's life.

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