Melvin A. Carlson, 99, of Fairview, died on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 surrounded by loving family.
He was born September 8, 1923, a son to the late Alfred and Alma (Sundback) Carlson.
Melvin grew up in a very different world than today, farming with his father. Following his graduation from Fairview High School in 1941 he assisted his father in the demanding tasks of farming. He then underwent a brief schooling before being placed with Curtis Wright Aircraft Company as an aircraft mechanic. Melvin then enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1948. He served with the 1700th Maintenance Squadron Air Transport Group. Melvin was deployed overseas for two years and nine months, being awarded the Japan Occupation Medal, Korean Service Medal, and a Bronze Star, he was most proud of the 6147th TAC. CON. GP. Korea Mosquito, 5th Air Force. After attaining the rank of Sergeant, he was honorably discharged in 1952 and returned home to Fairview.
Recognizing his unique ability to blend intellect and hands-on skills, Melvin transitioned to residential contracting. He honed his craft and eventually founded Mel Carlson Builders Inc. Over the years, Melvin's approach prioritized efficiency. Instead of relying purely on physical labor, he embraced a "work smarter, not harder" mantra, leading a skilled team. Melvin's inventions for specific challenges are still within the patent process. Homes constructed with his hands and under his guidance showcased precision and craftsmanship. With an eye on the future, Melvin's independence created many opportunities. The homes he built stand today as testaments to his commitment to quality.
As time passed, Melvin's family took center stage in his life, and he dedicated moments to being with them. As his children grew, he and his wife planned each free day, that included dancing to polka music across the country and enjoying bowling together. They traveled to visit museums studying aircraft and trains. Sailing classes on Lake Erie added to their shared experiences. Melvin was an avid reader and played both the organ and the accordion. Nature also beckoned him, not just for hunting but for its simple beauty.
He was actively involved in his community, serving as a board member and past Vice President of the Erie County Home Builders Association. His dedication to construction extended to building homes for his family and renovating his own homestead. Melvin took pride in his Fairview High School graduation, taking the lead in organizing class reunions. He was a member of the Future Farmers of America, the Fairview American Legion Post #742, and the VFW Post #740.
Melvin was a man of action, facing challenges directly. His demeanor was marked by quiet strength, integrity, and a firm yet gentle voice. He never strayed from a joyful well-timed joke either. His legacy intertwines family, community involvement, problem-solving, and a genuine appreciation for life.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Lou (Harper) Carlson whom he married January 17, 1953; son, Gary Carlson; sister, Helen Federico; brother, Charles Carlson.
He will be greatly missed by his family which include, his daughter, Gail McDonald (John); daughter-in-law, Thongsit Carlson; sons, Eric Carlson (Barb) and Dean Carlson (Nadine); grandchildren, Nathan, Amy, Jendi, Tyler, Erica, Lena; nine great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Air Force Aid Society, Inc. P.O. Box 2208 Arlington, VA 22202.
Friends may call on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. to the time of service at 1:00 p.m. at the Edder Funeral Home Inc. 309 Main St. E. Girard. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery.
To send condolences visit edderfuneralhome.com.
Airforce Aide Society
P.O. Box 2208, Arlington VA 22202