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Ronald Arthur Carlson

June 12, 1938 December 21, 2021
Ronald Arthur Carlson
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Obituary for Ronald Arthur Carlson

It is with great sadness but even greater joy that we rejoice in celebrating Ron’s new eternal life and the way in which he started it, much like him . . . modest, quiet and warm, ready to move on with no fanfare.

Ron was a Colorado native, born to Arthur and Mary Carlson on June 12, 1938 and greeted by his sister, Marlene. He grew up in East Denver close to City Park, winning yo-yo competitions and caddying at the City Park Golf Course where he gained an appreciation for golf. He played baseball and football, with prowess, while attending Regis Jesuit High School, Class of 1956, went on to graduate from Regis College in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Accounting.

He married Mary Kay Sullivan in 1960, worked for Continental Airlines in Denver, relocating to Hawthorne, CA when Continental moved their main offices in 1963. After 2½ years living in CA, they decided to “come home” to Colorado to be near family and the fishing, hunting, playing golf and skiing that he enjoyed. In January of 1966, he began his 27 years of employment with the Bureau of Land Management, while living on South Ammons Street in Lakewood. The house and manicured yard and landscape were a source of enjoyment and pride for Ron for 48 years, not to mention the numerous cars he provided for his kids which he was constantly repairing and maintaining. He retired from the Bureau of Land Management in 1993 after which he immediately went to work at the Foothills Golf Course part-time for over 20 years, never minding the early hours to get on his mower and enjoy the pristine surroundings.

Other hobbies he enjoyed, in addition to following any local sports team, were building (flying and then, repairing) the remote-controlled planes he flew (and crashed) and home improvement projects such as building a second garage, swimming pool, putting green, adding a hot tub room, finishing the basement, and spending hours assembling golf clubs for family and friends. He encouraged and coached his own (and other) children in the participation of sports such as baseball, basketball, football, softball and skiing. However, his favorite form of entertainment was watching his children and grandchildren participate in any endeavor they chose . . . dancing, performing, playing the piano or violin, baseball, hockey, tennis, football, soccer, gymnastics, lacrosse, basketball, and softball. He was a participant in golf, fast pitch softball and bowling leagues and was a member of the Arvada Elks Club.

He enjoyed traveling, fishing in Alaska, hunting in Kansas (with his beloved Brittany Spaniel dogs) and, especially, the cruises to the Western Caribbean, Panama Canal, Alaska, Nova Scotia, Canada, and a Disney Cruise with his two youngest granddaughters. The trips to Cabo San Lucas and Cozumel, Mexico provided ample opportunities for fishing, snorkeling, and sunning. Ron was an adventurer, and he instilled that spirit in his children through a myriad of road and camping trips across the Western U.S. Shortly before he passed away, he spoke of his desire of taking ‘another trip to Mexico’ and visiting the mountains.

In mid- September, he was diagnosed with Orthostatic Hypotension and Multiple Systems Atrophy after 11 days at Littleton Adventist Hospital and was moved to the Hallmark Skilled Nursing Center, where he resided for three months before passing away on December 21, 2021.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Mary Kay, and children Laurie Dornberger (Elmar); Susan Gillis (Bruce); Steve Carlson (Tracy); Mike Carlson (Jenny); Amy Zender (Dirk) and grandchildren Molly Ida (Colin); Matt Carlson and Emily Carlson; Fiona Dornberger; Morgan and Joe Carlson; Tanner, Cody, and Chloe Gillis; Mia and Olivia Zender and two great-grandchildren, Arlo and Rosie Clare Ida, his sister, Marlene Sullivan of Wheat Ridge, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Rest in Peace . . . Honey, Dad, Poppie, Papa, Ronnie, and Ron.

Memorial service will be held on Thursday, January 13 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, 6673 West Chatfield Ave., Littleton CO 80128, with a noon lunch reception to follow at the Meadows Golf Course restaurant, 7007 West Meadows Golf Club Dr., Littleton, CO 80127. The memorial service will also be livestreamed for those unable to attend in person.

Here is the livestream link for Ron Carlson's Funeral Mass. This link will remain active after the funeral concludes and you will be able to view the recorded Mass as it will remain active, but unlisted on our YouTube page.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made payable to: Food for Thought Bak Pak Program, 10316 West Bowles Ave., Littleton CO 80127, or a charity of your choice.

Previous Events

Funeral Mass




10:30 AM 1/13/2022 10:30:00 AM - 11:30 AM 1/13/2022 11:30:00 AM
St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Parish

6673 West Chatfield Avenue
Littleton, CO 80128

Here is the livestream link for Ron Carlson's Funeral Mass. This link will remain active after the funeral concludes and you will be able to view the recorded Mass as it will remain active, but unlisted on our YouTube page. Private family inurnment will be held at a later time.

St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Parish
6673 West Chatfield Avenue Littleton 80128 CO
United States

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