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Dr. Richard Carlson

July 1, 1931 ~ March 9, 2019 (age 87)
CARLSON, Dr. Richard S., age 87 of West Alexandria, OH. died Sat. Mar. 9, 2019 at Reid Hospital, leaving behind his wonderful wife, Anna and his four loving daughters.  He also leaves behind his childhood friend, Jack Schoen of Au Clair, WI.  He was preceded in death by his mother, Ethyl Florence Sniffin and father, Edmund B. Carlson, as well as his grandson, Joshua A. Wathen, then age 16.  Richard was born in Lutheran Hospital, Brooklyn N.Y. on July 1, 1931.  He attended public school 97 in Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn Technical High School, and Columbia University, graduating in 1953 with a B.S.  He then enlisted in the Coast Guard and went to Officers Candidate School after which he spent several years in the serving aboard his beloved ship, the Coast Guard buoy tender Clover in Alaska.  The Clover, based in Kodiak, Alaska, serviced buoys and lights over the entire state from southeastern Alaska to the Artic Ocean including the entire span of the Aleutian Islands.  Upon his return from Alaska, he was assigned to the Coast Guard base pier 9, Manhattan, NY.  Eventually, as a Lt., he was given command of an 83ft patrol boat known as CG8327.  His duties included harbor entrance patrol and search and rescue. In this capacity, he had many interesting adventures, including boarding the Norwegian Ship Barbara Brovig which had taken on cargo in Gdansk, Poland, a Soviet controlled port.  This happened during a harbor alert that the Russians were possibly trying to bring nuclear weapons into New York harbor as a threat.  He carried a Geiger counter and his .45 pistol.  When he went to the captain’s cabin to introduce himself and explain his mission, he noticed that there was ice about an inch thick on the inside of the portholes.  When he remarked on this the captain said, “Ya Ve Norvegians, Ve like it Cold!”  He eventually did discover with his Geiger counter strong radiation coming from one of the lifeboats on the ship.  Upon inspection, the source of radiation was discovered to be the boat compass.  Richard studied chemistry at Baldwin Wallace College, Berea, OH. and received a PhD in chemistry from the University of Cincinnati.  He worked 41 years at Mound Laboratory, Miamisburg, OH., where components for nuclear weapons were produced.  He developed a procedure to make titanium sub hydride used by the DOE among others as a fuel in pyrotechnic detonators and igniters.  This material is notable because of its safety.  While at Baldwin Wallace on a bird walk, he met an attractive blonde girl of half-Swedish ancestry whose father was a machinist (How could he lose?)  They were subsequently married and had four beautiful and talented daughters, “three of whom eventually emigrated; one to Oslo, Norway, Indrid (Ole) Blokhus, one to England, Erica (Simon) Dunn and one to Kentucky, Karen (Robert) Wathen.  One lives locally, Nola (Duane) Ferguson in Franklin, OH.  Richard’s four beautiful charming daughters have produced 10 grandchildren.  Karen’s children are Lisa Bolton (Avery), Laura Goetze, Josiah and Jeremiah Wathen. Nola’s son is Jesse Ferguson, Ingrid’s sons are Johan and Christian Blokhus, Erica’s children are Elliot and Amelia.  Richard was intensely interested in science all of his life, particularly astronomy.  At age 16 he built his own telescope from scratch including grinding the mirror which he finally finished when in college.  He and his family have traveled widely in the US  and the world, including Scandinavia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Canada.  Richard was a member of St. John Church, West Alexandria, OH. and a member of the Society of the Sigma Xi.  Richard wanted to be buried with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in his hand with one bite taken out of it (Just in case!)  He always said, “Don’t mourn for me, I had a fun and interesting life!!”  A church funeral will be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday, Mar. 15, 2019 at St. John Church, West Alexandria, OH. with Rev. Mark Moore officiating.  Friends may call at Lindloff-Zimmerman Funeral Home on Thurs. Mar. 14, 2019 from 6:00 to 8:00pm and one hour prior to the funeral at the church on Friday.  Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, West Alexandria, OH.  For condolences:  Memorial donations may be made to Preble County Council on Aging.
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