Mel Carlson passed away peacefully with his family by his side after a long, fulfilling life on the morning of September 6th, 2021. Quick to smile and welcome both friends and strangers, he made life better for those that were fortunate enough to know him.
Born in Tacoma Washington, Mel moved to Klamath Falls during the depression with his parents and baby brother Gene in 1936. His father Emil, an upholster had accepted a job in Klamath Falls. Mel went to school at Mills Elementary and graduated from Klamath Union. Immediately after graduation he joined the Army Air Corps and began pilot training. He was stationed in San Antonio and St. Louis. World War two ended and he was honorably discharged. Returning to Klamath falls, Mel enrolled at Southern Oregon College and after a year there transferred to Oregon State University to study engineering. Fate had other plans for Mel and he came back home to help his dad Emil and his mother, Gladys in the upholstery business. Quick to learn and good with his hands he helped to make the business successful.
He had another very important reason to come back to Klamath. Prior to leaving for college, he had met the love of his life, Evelyn Dirschl. They were married a year later. Mel and Evie Carlson were a true team their whole life together and recently celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary.
Mel's brother Gene joined the family business after completing his military service. In 1959 the Carlson's went into the furniture business changing the name from Carlson's Mattress and Upholstery to Carlson's Furniture. The business continued to be successful all of his life. They were very proud of what they had built. Mel was in the furniture business until his retirement in 2011.
Mel and Evie have been active members of Klamath Lutheran Church for over 50 years. He joined the Rotary Club in 1968 where he helped in projects every chance he got, making lifelong friends. He served as president of the local Rotary Club in 1985-86. He went on to become district secretary in 1989-90. He also drove with the "Meal on Wheels" program for over 10 years, well into his seventies.
One of Mel's passions was golf and on Wednesday afternoon you could find him and his foursome on the tee at Reames. He was always happy to tell the story of his hole in one. He loved the game and often when he traveled with Evie, they would take their clubs and play different locations, especially the Oregon Coast.
Mel is survived by his wife of 74 years, Evelyn, his four children Dianne, Karen, Robin, Dave and sister -in-law Juanita Carlson. He leaves behind 9 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren and many numerous nieces, nephews, friends and business associates. Mel was preceded in death by his parents, Emil and Gladys Carlson and his brother Gene Carlson. He had a great life and will be sorely missed.
Services will be Saturday, September 18 at 11 a.m. at Klamath Lutheran Church, 1175 Crescent Ave. There will be a reception held afterwards at Klamath Yacht Club, 2700 Front St. immediately following the service.
The family asks in lieu of flowers those who wish may make a donation to Meals on Wheels (2045 Arthur St. Klamath Falls, OR. 97603) in Mel's honor or the charity of one's choice.