Obit: Carlson, Roy (1931 - 2011)
Contact: Robert Lipprandt
Surnames: Carlson, Conlin, Larson, Miller, Notogiacomo, Pawelko, Ritzer, Tytor, Wimer
----Source: The Star News (Medford, Taylor Co., Wisconsin) Thursday, September 1, 2011, online edition
Carlson, Roy (July 30, 1931 - August 26, 2011)
Roy Carlson, age 80, of Reedsburg, died on Friday, Aug. 26, 2011 at his home.
Roy was born on July 30, 1931 to David and Ruth (Larson) Carlson in Medford.
Raised on the family dairy farm in a log cabin during the depression, Roy said, "I got into the car business because I have liked automobiles since I was 10 years old." His first job was a car washer for Cadillac Motor Division factory branch in Highland Park, IL. His cousin 'altered' his birth certificate because Roy was 15 years old at the time.
Roy's passion for cars led to a career in the automotive industry working for General Motors in Green Bay, Milwaukee, Chicago and Kansas, as the Zone Service Manager. Roy resigned from General Motors and purchased the former Matousek Motors on September 13, 1973 with his wife, Sandy (La Rae Wimer), renaming the business Carlson Pontiac-Cadillac Inc. His son, Brad Carlson, started the dealership with his father. In 1978, the Carlsons purchased Schutz Motors at 1355 E. Main Street, and acquired Oldsmobile and GMC light duty truck franchises, improving the property with a blacktopped lot and a modern, clean service department.
Roy and Sandy (La Rae Wimer) were married in Medford at the Methodist Church on November 11, 1950, taking advantage of the Armistice Day holiday.
Roy and Sandy loved living in Reedsburg and supported the community as a Chamber of Commerce member, Reedsburg Area Memorial Hospital board member from 1977 to 1985 and member of the Methodist Church.
An activist in the automobile industry, Roy was a member of the National Auto Dealers Association from 1992 to 1998, board chairman of Wisconsin Auto and Truck Dealers in 1988, board chairman of the WATDA insurance trust from 1985 to 1999, member of the National Dealer Council in 1981 and 1982, and the winner of the Gold award, the highest award for auto and truck dealers in 1988. Roy and his wife, Sandy, funded a scholarship at the Reedsburg Area High School for anyone pursuing an interest in the automotive industry.
"You can take the boy off the farm but you can't take the farm out of the boy," was true of Roy.
He and his wife, Sandy, spent time at his boyhood farm near Medford, skiing, gardening and one of Roy's other passions, cutting the grass of his extensive yards. Roy also enjoyed traveling the world, especially with Pete and Jessie Conlin. Roy was preceded in death by his parents, David and Ruth Carlson; brothers, Jerry and Marlin; and sisters, Lois Carlson, Florence Tytor and Mable Notogiacomo.
Roy is survived by his wife and best friend of 60 years, Sandy (La Rae) Carlson; children, Shelly Carlson, currently of Reedsburg, Brad (Trudi) Carlson of Madison and LaVinda Carlson of Reedsburg; grandchildren, Clay Carlson, Cain Carlson, Tom Ritzer, Steve Ritzer and Blake Boyce; a brother, Lester Carlson of Medford; sisters, Gladys Pawelko of McHenry, IL, Ethel Miller of Racine; nieces and nephews; and relatives and dear friends.
Funeral services for Roy Carlson will be conducted at 11 a.m. at Thursday, Sept. 1 at the Farber Funeral Home in Reedsburg. Private family burial will be held on Friday, Sept. 2 in Medford Evergreen Cemetery II.
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