Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Raymond J. Carlson

HURLEY, Wis. - Raymond J. Carlson 79, of Ironwood, Michigan, passed away on Feb. 12, 2022, at the Villa Maria Health and Rehabilitation Center in Hurley, his home since July 2015.

Raymond J. Carlson was born at Divine Infant Hospital in Wakefield, Michigan, on April 26, 1942, the son of Clarence and Ann (Zarimba) Carlson. He was a 1960 graduate of Luther L. Wright High School.

Ray was committed to serving his country, and he joined the U.S. Marine Corps following his graduation from high school. During his tenure with the Marine Corps, he was assigned duty to both Cuba and Viet Nam; and upon discharge, he served in the 9th Marine Corps Reserves until 1966. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal for his service in Viet Nam, and twice awarded the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal for his service in Cuba. He continued to serve his country by joining the U.S. Army National Guard in Racine in l987; and after he moved to Ironwood, he joined the U.S. Army National Guard in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1990.

In 1972, Ray received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and certification in education from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, and that same year began teaching for the Racine Unified School District. He was an active board member of the Racine Education Association. In 1980, he moved to Ironwood and began working for the U.S. Post Office. From 1983 until 1991, Ray served as an Ironwood City Commissioner.

Ray was also an environmentalist. He became a charter member of the Root River Restoration League in Racine. The total clean-up of Root River was their accomplishment, and it became a premier river for fishermen near and far. Ray loved fishing and camping.

In Racine, Ray was an active member of the Democratic Party. Ray was always a prolific reader, and he created his own library. When life finally slowed him down, he was best known at the Villa for answering trivia questions.

Ray is survived by his loving wife, Carolynne; his loving son, Michael (Jackie), and grand dog, Cleo; his brothers, Richard (Carol) and Jesse (Kathleen) both of Negaunee, Michigan; sister, Barbara Smith of Racine; his brothers-in-law, Larry Maresh (Joy) and Terry Maresh (Karen); sister-in-law, Marilynne (John) Schultz; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

In addition to his parents, Clarence and Ann Carlson, and parents-in-law, Clement and Mary Maresh, Ray was preceded in death by his brother, Bill Carlson; brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Judi Maresh and their son, Gary; and his loving dogs that kept Ray company for the years he was incapacitated.

Ray will be greatly missed by his family and friends. May he rest in peace.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

The family has chosen McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home to honor Ray's legacy of life. You can leave a condolence or a tribute at

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