Wendell Roger Carlson, 87, of Cedar Rapids, passed away Monday, September 11th, 2023, at UnityPoint St. Luke’s Hospital. A funeral service will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, September 15th, 2023, at the Cedar Memorial Chapel of Memories. A visitation will take place one hour prior to the service, beginning at 1:00 PM, at the chapel. A burial will follow at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery.
Wendell was born September 7th, 1936, to Kenneth and Agnes Carlson in Dayton, Iowa. He attended Dayton School and graduated high school in 1955. In his junior year, he bought out his employer and continued to operate his radio and tv business in Dayton until at the age of 19 he moved to Cedar Rapids. He married Vi Wolf of Dayton, Iowa on June 7th, 1959. She and Wendell celebrated their 64th anniversary, a marriage full of conservative Christian love and devotion to each other. Wendell became co-owner of an electronics business. He passed his Federal Communication First Class Commercial license at the age of 23. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Airforce on April 1, 1963. He was a life member of the American Legion.
He started research and development of a waterfowl call design and an operation instruction business in 1968. He sold that business, patent, and copyrights in 1998. In retirement, he continued to repair computers for disadvantaged kids and adults until he became ill in 2019. The Carlson Championship Call Company continues successfully as an on-line company and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018. During the 70s and 80s, he wrote professionally for various national waterfowl magazines for 20 years. Wendell and Vi enjoyed camping for over 50 years. They shared a family cabin on the Mississippi for nearly 30 years.
Wendell played alto sax for 20 years and sang virtually his entire adult life. His life’s purpose has been to “spread a little sunshine every day.” He wanted people to feel better when he was leaving than they did when he came, and not just because he was finally leaving!
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Vi Carlson of Cedar Rapids, IA; children, Dawn (Mark) Koeppen of Cedar Rapids, IA, and Brian (Jill) Carlson of Vinton, IA; grandchildren, Nichole, Andrea, Michael, Joseph, Kurt, Tami, and Jake; ten great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild expected in March; along with many extend loving family members and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and a brother, Derrald and sister, Delores.
The family would like to thank the staff at Keystone Care Center in Keystone, Iowa, and UnityPoint St. Luke’s Inpatient Hospice Unit for all their tender, and loving care given.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family for charitable distribution.