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John David Carlson

John David Carlson

Feb. 10, 1935-May 24, 2013

Former Detroit Lakes and Fort Meyers Beach, Fla., resident John David Carlson, 78, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, May 24, 2013, surrounded by family in his home in White Bear Lake, Minn., after a heroic fight with cancer.

Dave, the son of Harold and Dorothy (Holst) Carlson of Detroit Lakes, was born February 10, 1935. His parents preceded him in death.

He was the lifelong partner and beloved husband of Patricia (Rousseau Gladman); loving father to Elizabeth, Cynthia (Sherri), Susan (Tom) and Jennifer (Christopher); close brother of Robert (Joan); and is also survived by dear nephew Aaron (Julia), niece Tessa (Brad), and cherished grandchildren Adrianne and Emilie (along with father Paul Goblisch), and Hunter and Camryn (along with father Donald Franke).

Dave graduated from Detroit Lakes Sr. High in 1953, and earned two advance degrees from the University of Minnesota. He was an athlete and was active in high school and collegiate sports, and continued his avid support for athletics, especially the University of Minnesota Gopher teams, throughout his life.

Dave was an independent entrepreneur and had several successful businesses, most notably his Texaco distributorship and his Perkins franchise in Detroit Lakes.

Dave was an active volunteer with the Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, and other organizations. He played bridge throughout his life, achieving master points in duplicate bridge. He loved golf and played regularly, earning him the name "Dangerous Dave" for his surprising strokes from out of nowhere.

Dave also greatly enjoyed boating and sailing in Detroit Lakes, on the Gulf of Mexico, and with his brother on the Great Lakes. He loved and supported music, as a freshman in college with a season subscription to the Minnesota Orchestra through his final days listening to jazz and Johnny Cash streaming on his iPad.

But more than anything, Dave was proud of his family.

A public celebration in recognition of Dave's life will be held on Aug. 26 at the Detroit Country Club-Lakeview Executive Clubhouse in Detroit Lakes. More information will be available in August; or contact Jennifer at