Carlson, Gary L, 76 of White Bear Lake passed away on Tuesday, January 24, 2023 surrounded by his family. He is preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Veda; and brother, Randy. He is survived by his wife, Connie; his children, Krista, Anders, Karrin, and Kiersten; grandchildren, Dylan, Walsh, and Sylvi; siblings, Karen, Steve, and Cher; and other nieces, nephews, family and friends.
Gary Leslie Carlson was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1946. He was one of five children to Veda(Perkins) and Harold Carlson. He graduated from Central High School in 1964 and joined the Army soon after. He served for three years in Hanau, Germany and often told stories about this adventurous time. In 1969 he returned to St. Paul after a stint in Venice Beach, California and attended cabinet making school. He started his own woodworking business in his parent’s garage, and later opened a shop in Lowertown St. Paul, which he named The Woodworker. In 1974, Gary was blessed with his first child, Krista. The two of them enjoyed climbing trees, bowling, and wearing matching Nikes. Some years later, he attended the U of M for fine arts. During a work study program at the Veteran’s Home, he met the love of his life, Connie Carlson(Tasa). The two were married in the Summer of 1982 in a private ceremony in their garden level apartment. In 1985 they bought a house in White Bear Lake where they raised their three children: Anders(1983), Karrin(1985), and Kiersten(1990). For many years he ran his own business, Carlson Painting & Decorating. In the late eighties he designed and built a log cabin in Danbury, Wisconsin where he and his family enjoyed many fun weekends at the lake. Summer vacations brought them to The Black Hills, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Glacier National Park, to name a few. At home, he loved cooking German food and barbequeing. One Summer, Gary’s passion for smoking meats inspired him to open Carlson BBQ; a pulled pork and ribs stand at Marketfest in White Bear Lake. In recent times, he made custom furniture and cabinets in the Frank Lloyd Wright and Craftsman style. His immense talent and spirit will forever live on in the furniture that fills the Carlson home on Birch Lake Avenue.
Gary was a true family man, a wonderful Dad, Husband and Grandpa. He was a colorful storyteller, avid goofball, adventurer, dedicated outdoorsman, talented craftsman and lover of good times. Gary was a friend to all and enjoyed shootin’ the breeze with everyone he met. He loved to laugh, and wasn’t afraid to cry. He enjoyed good food, spending time in his shop, visiting with friends, and listening to his favorite songs. His humor, passion and creativity will live on in those who loved him.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30 PM on Saturday, February 4, 2023 at Mueller Memorial, 4738 Bald Eagle Ave, White Bear Lake, with visitation from 1 PM until the time of service. Private interment.
For those who are unable to attend the service in person are invited to join us by live stream via the video below.