Thomas L. Carlson
Thomas (Tom) L. Carlson, Jr., 84, a resident of Brookline in State College PA, died peacefully surrounded by family, on Sunday, January 16, 2011 at the Mount Nittany Medical Center.
Tom was born in Johnstown on September 19, 1926 and was the son of the late Mary M. (Nelson) and Thomas L. Carlson, Sr., also of Johnstown. He was a 1942 graduate of Johnstown High School and a long time member of Grace Lutheran Church in Johnstown. On June 30, 1949 he married Gladys Hamara of Johnstown, and enjoyed 61 years of marriage.
In 1944, he actively joined the WWII effort by enlisting in the U.S. Navy and served with great pride for over two years as a Seaman First Class. During his service he was stationed on the supply/troop vessel USS Skagit AKA 105. He was awarded the European Theater, Pacific Theater, and American Theatre Ribbons, along with the prestigious Victory Medal. The Skagit was the first ship to deliver American occupation troops to Japan immediately after the end of the war. Tom loved to share his experience of standing on the deck of the Skagit when the Japanese signed the surrender document on September 4, 1945, and the overwhelming show of U.S military land, sea, and airpower that accompanied General MacArthur at the signing. Following his honorable discharge,
Tom returned to Johnstown and later moved to northern Virginia and began a 30+ year career in the building supply industry working for both Morgan Millwork and Huttig Sash and Door Corporation as Senior Sales Consultant. He successfully assisted numerous home builders and building suppliers within his territory that included VA, MD, and PA. During these years he developed a passion for golf which he shared with friends and family members, providing him many days of enjoyment. He was also an avid outdoorsman and never missed a chance to go fishing – unless he had an opportunity to go golfing! He was a proud member of F&AM Masons of Johnstown for 60 years. Tom retired to Purcellville, VA. then moved to Carlisle, PA, and finally to State College with Gladys to be close to their family.
Tom is survived by his wife Gladys, and two sons, Jerry Carlson and wife Sara, and Randy Carlson and wife Cathy – all of State College. Also surviving is one brother, Robert Carlson, of Media, PA. Other family members include grandchildren Jennifer Castro of Mechanicsburg, Michael and Amy Blake of State College, and Justin and Erin Loy of State College and Kenny and Molly Carlson of St. Paul, NE. He also enjoyed great grandchildren Marissa and Riley, along with many nieces and nephews.
Visitation with family and friends will be on Thursday, January 20, 2011 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Koch Funeral Home, 2401 S. Atherton St., State College. Funeral services will be at Koch Funeral Home at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, January 21, conducted by the Rev. P. Stevens Lynn. Burial will be on January 21 at 2:00 p.m. at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville with military honors.
The family would like to thank all who have shown their support and asks in lieu of flowers, that memorial contributions be made to Wreaths Across America, that ensures wreaths adorn the final resting places of American war veterans on major holidays. Donations may be directed to: Wreaths Across America, PO Box 256, Harrington, ME 04643. Designate donation for Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.
Tom’s family and friends knew him as a man with a great sense of humor, a strong work ethic, and a love for the outdoor sports. He will be missed by all.