In Memoriam: Gus Carlson


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death February 28, 2000 of retiree Gustaf "Gus" Carlson.

Gustaf Alric Carlson was born June 14, 1918 in Auburn, Massachusetts. He attended Worcester and Auburn schools, and served as a Staff Sargeant in the U.S. Armyís First Division during World War II. During the war he fought in many prominent battles, including the D-Day Invasion and Omaha Beach, earning a number of medals. After his discharge in 1945, he returned to school, graduating from Franklin Technical Institute in 1947 and teaching there for a four years. He worked as a Master Electrician at Norton Company in Worcester until 1957, when he bought a dairy farm in Oxford, MA. He sold the farm in 1965 after a devastating fire and the family moved to Cape Cod where, for several years, Gus owned and operated 21 rental cottages.

Gus joined the WHOI staff in 1966 as an electrician and was promoted to Electrical Shop Supervisor in 1974. His first wife, Eunice V. (Becklund) Carlson, whom he married in 1941, died in 1976 from complications of a stroke she had suffered in 1961. Shortly before Gus retired from WHOI in 1980 he married Nancy Willyard. They purchased land on Pictou Island, Nova Scotia, where they built a house and outbuildings without the aid of power tools and fashioned their own furniture. An article about their adventure appeared in Mother Earth Magazine. They sold that property a few years later and bought 40 acres in West Virginia, where they spent many happy years. Nancy died of cancer in 1993, and for the last seven years Gus lived in West Virginia and Maine.

He is survived by two daughters, Pamela Foster and Wendy Karush; a son, Craig Carlson; three step-children; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Funeral arrangements were private. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Council of Senior Tyler Countians, Inc., 504 Cherry Street, P.O. Box 68, Middlebourne, WV 26149.


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