Douglas Neal Carlson, 77
Douglas N. Carlson, age 77 of Birnamwood, passed away on Friday, August 23rd at his home. Doug was born on June 2nd, 1942, son of the late Arthur and Merna (Kaufman) Carlson. Doug graduated from Birnamwood High School, where he met the love of his life, Christine Jozwiak, whom he chose as his prom queen in 1959 and treated that way the rest of their lives together. Doug and Chris were united in marriage on September 3rd, 1960 and had two children, Rhonda Sue and Rodney (Butch) Carlson. Chris preceded him in death on February 29th, 2012. He lovingly cared for Chris throughout her devastating battle with Huntington’s Disease and when she passed, life was never the same for him.
Doug and Chris enjoyed camping with all of their family and friends, going to Hodag, and their yearly van trips to designated areas across the U.S. with siblings Mel and Jan Carlson and Stan and Donna Stankowski. They especially enjoyed spending time with their children and grandchildren, rarely missing an event like school programs, volleyball, basketball, football, softball, baseball and wrestling. Doug also enjoyed fishing, hunting, playing “old-timer’s” softball and was a passionate Packers and Brewers fan. He loved his 20-acre farm and raising a few beef cattle. Most of Doug’s life was spent in Birnamwood, and he was thought of as a strong ambassador for the village.
Everyone who knew Doug called him a “jack of all trades” — and for good reason. After graduating from high school, Doug went to Milwaukee and worked in construction for the first summer, then moved to Marinette where he worked at Lloyd’s Manufacturing making school furniture and at a Clark Station which was run by his brother-in-law, John Philipp. In April of 1961, Doug returned to Birnamwood and started working at the Birnamwood Elevator for 2 years, and then took over managing the mill for 2 years. From there he went to work for Wick Pole Building Systems as a salesman. In 1967, he went to work for the Village of Birnamwood as Village Engineer and Village Marshall until 1969. He then moved to Shawano and was a police officer for the Shawano City Police Department. During this time, Doug attended the Fox Valley Technical Institute and got a degree in Police Science with special emphasis in Traffic Law and Control, Evidence Technician, Psychology/Human Relations, Abnormal Human Psychology and testing of the enforcement of narcotics and dangerous drugs. He was certified by the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Standards Board.
In February of 1974 he was offered a job again with the Village of Birnamwood where he set up the police department, was the water, sewer, streets and parks commissioner, took care of street snowplowing and the village garage, and performed many other duties. He was also a Shawano County Sherriff’s Deputy for 22 years. Some of his many accomplishments include being the fire chief for Birnamwood Area Fire Department, the Chief of Police for the Birnamwood Police Department, an EMT with the Birnamwood Area Ambulance Service, working with the Birnamwood Village Housing Authority, serving on the Board of Directors for the Birnamwood Development Corporation and president of the Birnamwood Improvement Club, being a member of the Birnamwood Polka Day Committee, and being a Boy Scout Master for 2 years. He was certified by the State of Wisconsin as a Grade 1 Waterworks Operator and Grade 2 Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator. He was a member of the Quint County Law Enforcement Association where he served as past president, a member of the Northcentral Wisconsin Police Chief’s Association, and a member of the Wisconsin State Firefighter’s Association. Truly a “jack of all trades”!
Doug is survived by 6 grandchildren, Fletcher (Amanda) Walkush, Dylan (Terri Lynn) Walkush, Laci Walkush, Amanda (Nick) Matsche, Jessica Carlson and Tyler Carlson, as well as 10 great-grandchildren, Harper, Harrison, Harlow, Caiden, Norah, Eygan, Anya, Alexis, Braylin and Joel.
He is further survived by his siblings, Melvin (Janet) Carlson, Sharon Philipp, Donna (Stan) Stankowski, Randy (Joanne) Carlson, Rick (Laura) Carlson, Tina Carlson, and Ron (Vicki) Carlson, a daughter-in-law, Chris Carlson as well as sisters-in-law Marion Resch and Patsy (Tom) Brounacker and brother-in-law Robert Falkowski.
Doug was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Chris, his daughter Rhonda Sue, his son Rodney (Butch), his granddaughter Samantha (Sammy Jo) Carlson, his brothers-in-law John (Junior) Jozwiak and John Philipp, Jerome Resch, Dennis Ostrowski and his sisters-in-law Geraldine Falkowski and Loretta Ostrowski.
Doug will always be remembered by those who were fortunate enough to know him for his jokes and laughter, his kindness, and his constant eagerness to help anyone in need. He was never one to brag about himself or his (many) accomplishments, and was always there when you needed a friend. As a police officer, he had a soft spot for struggling teens and was always willing to give them another chance if they promised to never do it again. He always took the time to listen to their problems and offer advice when he was asked.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11AM on Wednesday, August 28th at St. Philomena Catholic Church in Birnamwood. Father Vicente Llagas will officiate. Interment will be in the parish cemetery. Visitation will be on Wednesday, August 28th from 9AM until the time of services at the church.