Richard Arthur Carlson was born on July 20th,1941 to Arthur and Laura Lucile (Warner) Carlson. He was the oldest of eleven children and was also raised with his Uncle Gary Warner who lived with them. Rich attended District 66 rural school and St. Edward High School graduating with the class of 1959. While in high school he participated in all sports. His high school coach, Don Johnson, was instrumental in encouraging him to attend Nebraska Wesleyan University where Rich ran on the Wesleyan cross country and track teams and was a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. While attending college, he met Louise Youngson from Minden. Rich graduated from Wesleyan in 1963 with a BA in Education with an English and physical education endorsement. He taught at Hebron High School for one year and when Louise finished school, they were married on May 31st, 1964, in Minden. They moved to Franklin, NE where they taught and then in 1967 they settled in Minden. Rich taught for three years at CL Jones Middle School and coached high school cross country and track. During this time he was also working on the Youngson family farm. Although he loved teaching, he made the tough decision to quit and take over the farming operation full time. Rich loved farming and always said he had the best job ever. He often said no two years were ever the same. Rich kept a daily diary from 1968 to the present and the diaries were often used as a reference.
Family and community were always important to Rich. He was a dedicated and proud father of three children, Eric, Angela, and Andrew with whom he enjoyed their activities and life experiences. He wanted to continue to contribute to education and through the years worked extensively with youth. He was a Scout Master for 12 years and enjoyed trips with the scouts. Rich took off a week during many summers to attend Camp Augustine with the scouts. He was a Sunday school superintendent for 10 years at the Methodist Church and served three terms on the Co-op board of Farmer’s Grain and Supply Company where he served as secretary and president. He played the innkeeper for the Minden Christmas pageant for 40 years. The family had a cabin at Summer Haven for 35 years and that location provided lots of good family time along with yearly trips to National Parks and Colorado ski trips. Later on, Rich and Louise enjoyed fall traveling and after Angie moved to Oregon, they visited at least twice a year. The couple often went on cruises and were able to enjoy two cruises with their entire family. In retirement, one of Rich and Louise’s goals was to visit all the National Parks, and a favorite way to spend a day, especially this past summer, was just jumping in the car and exploring the back roads of Nebraska.
Rich always worked hard but could not have done it without help from his family and a number of boys who were hired seasonally. He had a special regard for all of those young men. Because he lived on the edge of town, he hauled his grain to the elevator in wagons and became known as the wagon man because he never owned a truck. He would often say he would continue to farm until it was no longer fulfilling and finally that time arrived and the land was gradually rented. Rich started playing golf later in life and to say he loved to play golf is an understatement. He never felt like he was very good, but he loved the challenge of trying to make the best shot ever. After retirement, he played golf every day of the year that was possible and summer days meant eating lunch and heading to the golf course for the afternoon. We always laughed at how many times he had been around the golf course. Rich had many friends with whom he enjoyed playing his favorite pastime. Rich was extremely practical and ethical and always strived to be accurate in what he did. He was rather a stickler for details and numbers. After a summer and fall of being extremely careful, he picked up Covid-19 and became ill. Rich passed away at Bryan East in Lincoln on November 23, 2020. He chose cremation and there will be no service. The family is making plans to gather at the farm this summer for a time of remembrance and celebration for a life well-lived.
He is survived by Eric (Julie) from Gretna, Angie (Rod) Shroufe from Oregon City, Oregon, and Andrew from Lincoln. He had 6 grandchildren that he loved being with and attending their events, Kelsey Carlson, Lincoln, Ryan Carlson, Gilbert, Arizona, Brynne Shroufe who attends Northern Arizona University, Jane Shroufe, Oregon City, Mason and Ella Carlson from Lincoln, a sister-in-law, Carol Stone of Marana, Arizona.
He also is survived by his wife, Louise, his sisters Audrey Warnke from Tripp, SD, Janice (Don) Metcalf from Grand Island, and Vivian (Kim) Torson of Omaha. Brothers Melvin (Sandra) from Grand Island, Darrel from Loretto, Victor (Cindy) Albion, Maynard (Joanne) Boise, Idaho, Lewis(Pam) St Edward, Eldon (Jean) Boise.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother-in-law, John Stone, brother-in-law Wade Warnke, sister-in-law Gloria (Shaw) Carlson, brother, Delaine Carlson, and an infant sister.
In this time of great need, the family requests that any tributes be to a local food pantry.