Richard Stanley Carlson, loving husband, father, papa, and friend passed away peacefully while surrounded by family, on September 16, 2019 at the age of 90. Dick was born in Worcester, MA on May 3, 1929. He enlisted in the Air Force right after trade high school and proudly served his country in the Vietnam War, retiring 25 years later as a Chief Master Sergeant. Dick was stationed in numerous bases across the country. In Utah, he married Virginia and they had three children, Richard, Kathy, and Dale, who was deceased at birth. After their divorce, while stationed in California, Dick met his beloved wife of 54 years, Lillian. Sandy and Michael soon joined the family. Dick dedicated his life to providing and caring for his family and is now reunited in Heaven with Lil and holding her hand once again.
After Dick’s retirement from the military in 1973, the family settled in Puyallup, WA where he established the JR ROTC Program at Washington High School in Tacoma WA. For seven years, he spent countless hours teaching, training, and competing with hundreds of Cadets. “Sarge”, as the students respectfully called him, was so proud of the Washington JR ROTC program and remained involved by attending drill meets and handing out awards at the end of the year banquets. He retired from the Franklin Pierce School District in 1989.
Dick valued family and visited his children and out of state relatives as often as possible. He enjoyed traveling, camping, and attending the many activities that his children and grandchildren participated in. Anyone who met him could see the joy his family brought him and not a day went by without his family knowing they were loved and cherished.
He is survived by his children, Richard (Taryn) of Colorado Springs, CO, Kathy Humphreys of Ogden, UT, Sandy Engelking (Brian) of Puyallup, WA, and Michael Carlson (Carol) of Edgewood, WA; grandchildren, Sean, Marc, Brooke, Christopher, Nicolas, Jeremy, Corey, Tyler, Kylie, Ethan, and Taryn; 19 great grandchildren; one great, great grandson; brother, Roger Carlson of Covington, WA and sisters, Linnea Mazejka of North Oxford, MA and Margaret Souda of Shrewsbury, MA. Dick is predeceased by his wife, Lillian; parents, Ivar and Linnea Carlson; son, Dale; siblings, Ronald Carlson, Ivar Carlson, Nelson Carlson, Charlotte O’Shannon, and Nancy Kielinen.
There will be a Celebration of Life held on Sunday, October 6th at 4:00 PM at the Puyallup United Methodist Church, 1919 W Pioneer Ave in Puyallup, WA and a Military Honors ceremony on Monday, October 7th at 9:30 AM at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Covington, WA. Those who wish to memorialize Dick; in lieu of flowers, please send donations in his name to the Alzheimer’s Association.