Donald Axel Carlson

REPUBLIC, Mich. – Donald Axel Carlson, age 79, of Republic, passed away on Thursday, November 14, 2013, at his home. He was surrounded by his children, friends and Pastor’s Kevin Kaiser and Katherine Finegan.

As in life Donny did things his way. Having been diagnosed with inoperable cancer in July he elected not to treat. He cherished his family and those who passed before him, including his son, Arley D. Carlson, and his loving wife of 54 years, Barbara Kay (McWilliams) Carlson.

Donald was born May 25, 1934 the son of the late Axel and Lempi (Joutsijarvi) Carlson. He was raised on the family farm in Republic the youngest of four children. Donny derived satisfaction by working. Always early to rise and start the days tasks in an efficient manner. Donny worked primarily as a surveyor during his professional working life. Consistently, he worked a second job, to support his family of six children.

Donny enjoyed all the U.P. had to offer, fishing, Lake Superior and hunting at the family camp in Republic. Fiercely independent, Donny was a jack of all trades. He built his family home from scratch on a hill in South Republic, overlooking the Michigamme River.

Donny’s family was always first. He would find exceptional qualities in all of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Donny’s mind never stopped, always thinking of how to be more efficient. There was “The Right Way, The Wrong Way, and Donny’s Way.”

Donald is survived by his children, Kristie K. (Joseph “Pat”) Parkinson of Republic, Shane A. Carlson of Assonet, Mass., Sandy J. Carlson of Crystal Falls, Carrie S. (David) Todd of Butler, PA, and Chad E. (Katrina) Carlson of Houghton; grandchildren, Tony (Sarah) Parkinson, Kaylin and Andria Parkinson, Erin and Ian Carlson, Travis Mattson and Torii Matthews, Brittany and Cole Carlson, Clarissa, Madeline and Aidan Todd, Caleb and Garrett Carlson; and great grandchildren, Lucas, Ellis, Tallen, Evangeline, Mila, Layne and Rowan; sisters, Alice Hakala of Green Bay and Bernice (Elmer) Piirto of Scottsdale, Ariz.; along with numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was also preceded in death by a sister, Hazel Swanson; and a infant brother, Alan Carlson.

The family will greet relatives and friends from 11:00am to 1:00pm on Monday, November 18, 2013 at the Bethany Lutheran Church in Republic.

Funeral services will follow at 1:00pm on Monday at the Bethany Lutheran Church with the Rev. Kevin Kaiser to officiate. Interment will take place at the Republic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial considerations may be directed to the Republic Sportsman’s Club or the Bethany Lutheran Church of Republic.

Donny’s obituary may also be viewed at where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.