Wilbert D. “Web” Carlson was born near Knox, Indiana on May 18, 1921 to Edith M. Anderson and Carl Enoch Carlson, and died March 19, 2011 at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, as result of a stroke. Web grew up on a farm in Knox, Indiana with his parents and four siblings– Ernie, Jeannette, Lucille and Lavern. He was industrious at a young age, helping with farm chores, and excelling in academics as well as sports. At age twelve he began a South Bend Tribune paper route, which he expanded to 225 customers, making Web the winner of many contests sponsored by the Tribune, including trips and a new bicycle.
In fourth grade in Knox, Web met Joan Cecelia Falvey. Their first date took place in 1938, thus beginning their long and beautiful relationship.
After high school, Web studied Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. His college years were interrupted by WWII, when Web joined the United States Army Air Corps, serving as a meteorologist in the Pacific theatre and attaining the rank of Captain. His meteorology training included studies at MIT and UCLA during the war, prior to assignment in the Pacific Theatre. After the WW II, Web returned to Purdue and completed his Mechanical Engineering degree in 1948. After college, Web accepted a Management Trainee position at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, and then in 1950 moved his growing family to Constantine, Michigan, where he purchased a Ford dealership.
Web and Joan married on May 24, 1946 and centered their life on their nine children, with a focus on higher education. Web took pride that all of his children are college graduates. One of many happy family memories are the vacations at the Lake Superior cabin in Paradise, Michigan, with the entire family caravanning up over the Mackinaw Bridge. With their children grown, Web and Joan enjoyed a regular travel schedule visiting the East and West Coasts and in between to see their children, grand children and great-grand children. Surviving Web are his loving wife Joan, sisters Jeannette and Lucille, his children, Bill (Charlotte) Carlson of Rochester Hills, Michigan, Jim (Christine) Carlson of Three Rivers, Jan (Al) Spinell of Avon, Connecticut, Joyce (Mark) Friedman of Upper Montclair, New Jersey, Dan Carlson of Grand Rapids, Jeanne (Herb) Hendry of Okemos, Tom (Jenny) Carlson of Berkeley, California, Tim (Natsuko) Carlson of Seattle, Joe (Liesel) Carlson of East Lansing, seventeen grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren, along with nieces and nephews.
Web’s work ethic, generosity, selflessness, optimism, honesty, and life drive were an inspiration to his family, friends and community. Web loyally supported the community through his seventeen years as a Ford dealer, through his service on the Constantine Village Council and as president of the Constantine Rotary, which conferred on him the Paul Harris Award. In 2010, Web was inducted into the Knox Athletic Hall of Fame. Web operated his manufacturer’s rep business with his son Jim, retiring only last year. Web and Joan travelled extensively, visiting six continents, and were passionate about their bridge clubs, with Web also enjoying a weekly poker night. He was an ardent Constantine “Falcon” sports fan for over 60 years, and equally cheered on his beloved Purdue Boilermakers. Web loved every minute.
Most of all, Web was a constant bright, kind star to everyone he knew. He loved his family and friends, and they loved him. He will be deeply missed.
Services will be held at 11am on Saturday, March 26 at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church, 16603 US Highway 12 in White Pigeon, Michigan. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Carlton Constantine Education Fund c/o Constantine Area Community Foundation athttp://www..sturgisfoundation.org/affiliate_constantine.php, or a charity of your choice. Online messages may be left for the family at www.eleyfuneralhomes.com.