Stuart Reed Carlson, 71, of Mosinee, WI, passed away peacefully on September 27th, 2017, at Aspirus Hospice House in Wausau.
He was born in Sturgeon Bay, WI, on July 12th, 1946, to Lester "Tee" and Genevieve "Gen" (Londo) Carlson. He was the fourth son of their five children, including older brothers Gary and Richard, along with twin brother Steven and younger sister, Jennifer.
He spent most of his youth in Milton, WI, and often retraced his childhood paper route and continued his mother's legacy writing "letters to the editor." He graduated from Milton High in 1964 and continued relationships with childhood friends no matter where his life and career took him. He was particularly proud of the Milton Area Veterans Memorial Park and the annual 4th of July parade where he and his boyhood buddies paid homage to veterans and handed out thousands of flags every year.
Stu met the love of his life, Pamela Sue Wilkinson, and they were married on June 14th (Flag Day) in 1969. He often said it was the best, smartest, and most important thing he ever did. He never wanted to know a day without her, and over 48 years later, he never had to. Together they raised three children: Carla, Paula, and Jim, who love and respect them both deeply.
He attended business school at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and after a stint in the Army during the Vietnam Conflict, finished his B.S. while working several jobs, maintaining his marriage, and expecting their first child days later. Every year he commemorated the day he got on the bus for boot camp. Later in his career, he completed the Executive Leadership program at Duke University.
His life-long dream was to be a high school history teacher and coach, but he settled for an extremely successful career in the paper industry. That profession took him from Wisconsin (Great Northern Nekoosa) to Mississippi (Leaf River Forest Products), Connecticut to Georgia (Georgia-Pacific), then back again to Wisconsin (Mosinee Paper Mills, later Wausau-Mosinee Paper Corp.) where he finished his career as Executive Vice President of Administration (Wausau Paper Corp.).
He worked long hours and cared deeply for the employees he advocated for. He was proud of the benefits he negotiated and all the families that benefitted from them. He preferred to walk down the hall and look someone in the eye rather than send an email.
He served on many boards (and ate many rubber-chicken dinners), including the North Central Health Protection Plan, Wausau Club, Wausau Chamber of Commerce, among others. He was also past president of the Marathon County United Way. But the one he was most proud of was the Aspiris Hospital Board (former chair) as well as helping to build the YMCA Aspirus Branch, a facility that is enjoyed by many residents within the greater Wausau area and beyond. He believed outstanding healthcare should not be hours away.
Stuart loved to read, drive, play and watch golf, pet his beloved dogs, spoil his grandchildren, and spend part of his year in his beloved Biloxi, MS, where he enjoyed long walks, a good breakfast, conversations over cocktails, and endless opportunities to meet new people.
He was a good listener and an avid storyteller. Stu never met someone who wasn't a friend—whether they were a judge or an astronaut, a waiter or a busboy. He always extended a helping hand to anyone whom asked for help, if he saw that there was suffering or a critical need, he quietly and with humility helped all those people.
He was a good man, a caring son, devoted husband, great father, trustworthy brother, adoring grandfather, and faithful friend. He will be greatly missed by many for years to come.
He is survived by his wife: Pamela; children: Carla, Paula (David) Kovach, and Jim (Jessica); grandchildren: Kayla, Mikeal, and Jack Kovach; siblings: Richard (Sandy), Steve (Sue), and Jennifer (Russell) Johnson; his Boston Terrier: Baby; and many friends, nephews, nieces, cousins, and in-laws.
He was preceded in death by his parents, parents-in-law, many aunts and uncles, friends, and his brother Gary and Gary’s wife Sue.
Visitation is scheduled for Friday, October 6 from 1-3 p.m. and services to follow at Beste Funeral Home in Mosinee, WI. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Stu's life. In lieu of flowers, tax-deductible contributions may be made to the Stuart Carlson Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Northshore College Enhancement Foundation
C/o Stuart Carlson
65556 Centerpoint Blvd
Lacombe, LA 70445
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