Cover photo for Harlan Carlson's Obituary
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1946 Harlan 2022

Harlan Carlson

October 31, 1946 — March 21, 2022


Mr. Harlan Elmer Carlson, 75, of Atlanta, Michigan died suddenly on March 21, 2022 at his home. He was born in Kelliher, Minnesota on October 31, 1946 to the late, John and Thelma (Stortoan) Carlson. He graduated from Kelliher High School in 1964 and obtained his Associates Degree from the University of Maryland as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University. He served his country proudly in the United States Army and retired as Master Sergeant after serving two tours and fighting during the Vietnam War. He received a master badge in explosive ordnance disposal and was a quality assurance specialist for ammunition surveillance. Harlan was a lifetime member of the VFW, the American Legion, and the NRA. He leaves behind infinite amounts of wisdom and countless laughs. He will be deeply missed.

Harlan is survived by his children, Denise Carlson, Erica (Mark) Taylor, Kara (Dan) DeFord, Kozbi (Jerry Minakowski) Simmons; Harrison DeFord, Dawn DeFord, Jackson DeFord, Clair Taylor, Norah Taylor, Eva Simmons, Jacob Minakowski, and Matthew Minakowski; sisters, Orpha (Jerome) Lee Prince, Sharon (Dennis) Tommerdahl, Marion Carlson, and 17 nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Thelma Carlson; sister, Ione Daken; and her husband, Edward.

The family has chosen to remember Harlan privately at this time. There will be a memorial service held in celebration of his life at Rock Island National Cemetery in the Spring. Memorial contributions may be made in honor of Harlan to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. Arrangements were entrusted to Green Funeral Home. Condolence messages may be sent via our website at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harlan Carlson, please visit our flower store.


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