Oscar Theodore (Ted) Carlson, 95, passed away at his home north of Longmont, CO on September 6th, 2015 after nine months of hospice care.
Ted was born in Galeton, CO to George and Bertha Carlson, the second of five children. After 8 years in Galeton, his father bought a farm near Byers, CO where they managed to survive the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.
He attended a year of college at San Jose State in California and finished a degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He joined the Navy and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, serving in the Pacific on various construction projects, including building runways on Okinawa.
After the war he farmed with his father before working at the Soil Conservation Service in Rocky Ford, CO. In 1960 he was married to Bernice Such after joining Chicago based Harza Engineering Company and moving to the Kingdom of Jordan to design irrigation canals. Similar projects took him to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Venezuela and Argentina before he returned to farming, this time in northern Minnesota.
In Minnesota he cleared land and grew certified seed potatoes for many years before founding Carlson Prairie Seed Farm. This venture began by hand collecting seeds from dozens of native grass and clover species, figuring out how to grow, harvest and clean each of them, and eventually having fields large enough to combine.
In 2001 he sold the successful seed business and moved back to Colorado to “retire.” Farmers never really retire, and he was soon raising Russian Wildrye grass on his farms north of Longmont and Ault, as well as starting a pick-your-own orchard of over 1000 apple and cherry trees.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Bernice Carlson, daughter Carol Carlson, son Tim and wife Miriam Carlson, daughter Sharon and husband Tim Cox, and grandchildren Andrew, Kaitlin, Aaron, Adam, Sergei and Alex.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Robert, Paul and Burton, and sister Ruth.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 12th at 11am at Calvary Church, Longmont.