David G. Carlson, age 60, passed away in Naknek, Alaska, on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 after suffering an allergic reaction to a medication. He was born on Feb. 15, 1958 to Helen and Dorius Doyle Carlson in Anchorage, Alaska.
The sixth of eight children, Dave grew up in Alaska and he was proud of that fact. Growing up there in a large family meant several things. First, the siblings loved to test their cleverness and sense of humor on each other; they did this in a lifelong string of pranks including putting dirty socks on the faces of sleeping siblings and switching out root beer (a favorite family beverage) with soy sauce. Dave kept this sense of humor and sometimes pulled friendly pranks on his children and students; he told his children he bought a “rabbit” which turned out to be a car, and once when a student fell asleep in class, Dave had the rest of the class sneak out to watch him wake up in panic when the bell rang.
Secondly, growing up as he did meant that Dave got to work alongside his family in their commercial fishing business. He learned about welding, engineering, and mechanics from his father as they designed and built commercial fishing boats which they used and improved each summer. Working on the boats became a rite of passage for Carlson men. Dave skippered his own boats, and each summer he hired crews made up of nephews, friends, and his son, Nathan. People loved working with “Uncle Dave”. He was a patient and loving teacher with high expectations, but he also made time for fun.
Music was another of Dave’s passions. He easily picked up singing, saxophone, guitar, and general music theory. He participated in prestigious bands and choirs in high school and at Brigham Young University (BYU). While at BYU, he met and married Gayla Corbridge Carlson of American Falls, ID, and they had four children. They spent 30 years together and lived in Utah, Alaska, and Idaho. If there was no band to join where they lived, Dave would start his own band. His children loved when he would sing and play comedic Ray Stevens songs on his 12-string guitar.
After Dave and Gayla’s marriage ended, Dave married Anna Stewart Carlson in 2010 and they moved to Naknek, Alaska. They enjoyed their life there together. Dave continued with commercial fishing in the summers and shared his mechanical skill and passion with shop students during the school year. Dave was a skilled and beloved teacher, musician, mechanic, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, nephew, and son. He will be remembered for his humor, music, wisdom, patience, and ingenuity. His children said that they never had a mechanical problem that their dad couldn’t solve.
Preceded in death by his father, Dorius Doyle Carlson, and brother, Dennis Doyle Carlson, David is survived by his loving wife Anna Carlson (Naknek, AK); his mother Helen Carlson (Kenai, AK); his siblings, Laura Larson (Salt Lake City, UT), Linda Dorene James (Blackfoot, ID), Dr. R. Lynn Carlson (Kenai, AK), Carl F. Carlson (Hydaburg/Kenai, AK), James W. (Bill) Carlson (Kasilof, AK), Connie Carlson (Kenai, AK); his children, Nathan Carlson (Pocatello, ID), Valerie Carlson (Pocatello, ID), Shaylynne Carlson Jones (American Falls, ID), and Amy Ashby (Sunset, UT); and his grandchildren, Kaedon and Russell Jones (American Falls, ID). Memorial services were held on Monday, May 14, in Kenai, AK.
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