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Donald James Carlson

March 10, 1945 December 8, 2020
Donald James Carlson
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Obituary for Donald James Carlson

Donald James Carlson, of Winter Springs, Florida, passed away on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. Don was born on March 10, 1945, in Willmar, Minnesota. He grew up with his family in Montgomery, Minnesota, and was a Montgomery High School graduate.

Don served in the U.S. Army and was honored for his service, receiving two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star for his courageous and selfless duty in Vietnam, including the Tet Offensive in 1968. As a front line captain, he fought bravely to save the lives of his men, while incurring serious injuries to himself. Don kept many of these experiences private and close to his heart, with deep memories and love for those he had the privilege to command.

A graduate of Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado, Don raised a family in Longmont, Colorado, and lived in St. Paul, Minnesota, and La Crosse, Wisconsin, before settling in Winter Springs, Florida.

Don will be remembered for his big smile, his contagious laugh, his generosity, and his determination. Don enjoyed adventure and travel. He had a passion for downhill skiing, fishing, and ballroom dancing, and held a special place in his heart for his border collie named “Little.”

Don shared the last six years of his life with his Honey Love, Karin. They shared much, including a love of God and His Word. He enjoyed being outdoors, walking, and feeding the birds and animals in their yard. Don was an avid game player, especially cribbage. He and Karin made a wonderful life together.

Don was blessed with two wonderful children, Dana (Brian) Halverson, of Holmen, Wisconsin, and Stephen Carlson of Longmont, Colorado, and two very precious grandchildren, Scot and Katelyn Halverson. To Dana, her Dad will always be “my forever hero,” and she sees Don's passion and drive for life, as well as his humor, in her two children, “who love hard, just like you.”

Don is also survived by his Minnesota siblings, Darlene (Clayton) Coughlin of New Hope, Carl (Joanne) Carlson of Falcon Heights, Robert (Rebecca) Carlson of Duluth, Paul (Virginia) Carlson of Minnetonka, Rita Carlson of Rosemount, and Jon (Nancy) Carlson of Victoria. Don is preceded in death by his parents, Emery and Veronica Carlson, and sister Mary Ballard.

Don will be laid to rest on Thursday, December 17, at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery, in Mims, Florida, with full military honors. Arrangements are with Banfield Funeral Home in Winter Springs, Florida.

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1:00 PM 12/17/2020 1:00:00 PM
Cape Canaveral National Cemetery

5525 US Highway 1
Mims, FL 32754

Cape Canaveral National Cemetery
5525 US Highway 1 Mims 32754 FL
United States

Cemetery Details


Cape Canaveral National Cemetery Final Resting Place

5525 US Highway 1
Mims, FL 32754

5525 US Highway 1 Mims 32754 FL
United States

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