Born Nov. 16, 1924, Roger W. Carlson, 87, passed away peacefully at his home in Ft. Pierce, Fla., Feb. 15, 2012, with family by his side.
Roger was born and raised in Jamestown, N.Y., where he enjoyed playing in Allen Park as a child, traveling along the brick paved streets, and fishing on Chautauqua Lake.
Roger was a good Swede, who loved his coffee, pick-led herring and korv, and was known for his glogg- making parties.
Roger Wallace Carlson
He was a World War II Army veteran and served in the South Pacific. Having survived combat, he con-tinued his education at Pur-due University only to go blind due to an unfortunate accident in 1948. Though he lost his sight, his enthusiasm for life and new experiences did not fade. He was a world traveler, a business owner, a family man, and a community leader. He thrived on meet-ing people and learning new things. Earning his HAM radio license in the early 1950s gave him the opportunity to talk to the world from his office under the call letters W2ERS.
Always curious, with an interest in others, Roger was a talented conversa-tionalist, who knew how to put people at ease. His lack of sight was never a handi-cap, it was simply a nui-sance. He was a pioneer as a "blind" man in a sighted world attempting, and succeeding, at living a full and rewarding life.
He graduated from Jamestown High School, at-tended Purdue University where he was a member of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity. After losing his sight he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in re-creation education from State University of New York at Cortland in 1954.
An amazing inspiration to anyone who met him, Roger married the love of his life, Marilyn Snyder Carlson in 1956. He opened a ceramic hobby business in Jamestown, N.Y., called Carlson's Clay Shop, where he cast molds, taught regular classes and provided quality customer service for more than 25 years.
While living in James-town, he was a member of the Lions Club, Thule Lodge, Viking Lodge, Lakewood Rod and Gun Club, American Legion Post 149, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Elk's Lodge.
After retiring early, he moved to Florida, where he took up golf, enjoyed bicy-cle rides with his wife, be-came proficient on the computer, and belonged to multiple clubs and organi-zations at the Spanish Lakes Country Club Vil-lage. Friends were known to comment that someone forgot to tell Roger he was blind. With a love for par-ties and social gatherings, you always knew it was go-ing to be a good time if Roger was in the room. He was known for bringing his Viking helmet, complete with horns, and standing to give a Swedish toast for all in attendance.
Roger is preceded in death by his brother, Donald Carlson; and his parents, Esther and Albert Carlson. He leaves behind his beautiful bride of 56 years, Marilyn (Snyder) Carlson; sister, Shirley Carlson of Buffalo; sons: Mark Carlson (Dorothy) of Corvallis, Ore., and Paul Carlson (Connie) of James-town, N.Y.; daughter, Don-na Sheehan (Edward) of Winter Haven Fla.; and grandchildren: Faith Carl-son Hricko, Eric Carlson, Kyle Sheehan, Kirsten Sheehan and Luke Carlson.
A celebration of his life will be held Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. at Spanish Lakes Country Club Village Clubhouse at 1 Las Casitas, Ft. Pierce, Fla. He will be interned at Lakeview Cemetery in Jamestown, N.Y.
Memorial contributions can be made to Treasure Coast Hospice by calling 772-403-4580 or visiting www.tchospice.org; or the Lighthouse for the Blind in Winter Haven, Fla., by visiting www. tampalight house.org/donationform. aspx or by calling 863-299- 3633.
Family and friends take comfort in knowing he once was blind, but now he sees.