William R. Carlson 1945-2014
William (Bill) R. Carlson died peacefully at his home at the age of 69 on October 22, 2014. He was born in Ironwood, Michigan on May 30,1945 to Clarence and Ann Carlson. After graduating from Washington Park High School in 1963, Bill attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Parks & Recreation Administration. He then earned his Masters degree in Recreation Administration at Indiana University Bloomington.
Bill began his career at the Evanston, IL Parks & Recreation Department. He went on to open and manage the Franklin Park Ice Arena. His talents didn't go unnoticed. In 1977, he was recruited to run the Mission Viejo Skateway which brought him to California. Bill later owned and operated four of the most successful roller skating rinks in the country located in Southern California.
With 30 years of experience owning and operating successful businesses in amusement and entertainment, retailing and, international development, he turned to consulting. He consulted and mentored hundreds of businesses, helping them grow and prosper.
Bill had a zest for his life. His greatest joy was teaching people to have fun. He was passionate about his family, his life, his work and had grace beyond measure. His greatest pride was his children and grandchildren.
Bill is survived by his children Jonathan Carlson of Sunset Beach, Tami Carlson and her husband Geoff Towle of Sebastopol, CA; Grady Carlson of Weymouth, MA and Jody Carlson and his wife Brooke of Steamboat Springs, CO, and grandchildren Charlotte, Dylan, Kamden, Ava, and Brooklyn. He is also survived by siblings Richard Carlson of Negaunee, MI, Ray Carlson of Ironwood, MI; Barbara Smith of Racine, WI and Jesse Carlson of Negaunee, MI. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Ava.
A “Lifetime of Fun Memorial” will be held on Sunday, November 9, 2014 from 10 am to 2 pm at Epic Rolllertainment, CA, 39809 Avenida Acacias, Murrieta, CA.
At his request memorial contributions can be made to UW-L Foundation:
Bill Carlson Scholarship at UW-La Crosse
P.O. Box 1148
La Crosse, WI, 54602.