Francis Carlson, 85, Stanhope

Francis Carlson, 85, Stanhope

Francis Clarke Carlson, 85, of Stanhope, stepped into eternity on Monday, July 14, 2014, due to a massive heart attack at home. Francis was born to Ransom DeWitt and Esther Glee (Dick) Carlson on June 24, 1929. He attended Stanhope schools graduating from high school in 1947. He went on to attend Iowa State College. He farmed with his Uncle Wendell Carlson from ’48 to ’51. He served his country in the US Army from 1951-1953 in Japan and Korea as a corporal in the artillery and later as company clerk, for which he received several commendations. He was honorably discharged in May 1953, and remained in the reserves for five years.

On May 1, 1954 he married the girl he fell in love with at first sight, Virginia Lee Sullivan. They had met at the wedding of Rhoda Lou Hill Shirley as they were both in the wedding party. They were married 60 years and 75 days, residing in the same farm house for all those years.

Francis started farming after getting out of the service. They raised cattle, hogs, capons, chickens, milk cows and planted row crops throughout their farming career through 1990. In the mean time he started as relief rural mail carrier for the Stanhope Post Office. When he retired completely from farming, he became a full-time rural mail carrier out of Blairsburg for 8 years, then, transferred to Williams for the next 13 years, retiring September 28, 2012. He thoroughly enjoyed his time as a rural mail carrier, talking to his customers and coworkers, and this was when he developed his love for flowers and gardening. Francis was also an avid fisherman and hunter. He’d hunt pheasants, deer, squirrels and rabbits. His other hobbies were woodworking and stained glass. He made grandfather clocks, mantle clocks and furniture, as well as stained glass decorations.

Surviving are his wife, Virginia of Stanhope; his son, Dennis & Rita Carlson of Waukee; his daughter, Deanne & Noel Brown of Keokuk; his grandchildren, Alex & Kesha Carlson and their new baby, Meira, David Carlson, Rachel Brown and Jennifer Brown. His brothers, Keith and Garwin, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Francis was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Ronald.

A celebration of Francis’ life will be held Saturday, August 9th at 3 pm at the First Baptist Church in Stratford. Following the service, the celebration will continue with ice cream sundaes and root beer floats some of his favorite desserts!