John W. Carlson
John W. Carlson was born on September 23, 1942, in the hospital in DuBois as the son of Florence and Winrot Carlson, who operated the Carlson Funeral Home in Brockway at the time. He has one younger sister named Nancy, who is married to Allen Elensky and lives in Curwensville with her children. Carlson grew up in the Brockway Area and attended the local schools. While in high school, he spent much of his time on the sports’ playing fields and courts; playing basketball (with his tall and slender stature), baseball and volleyball during his senior year.
Along the sidelines he served as his class’ vice-president, joined the Varsity “B” and Hi-Y Clubs, participated with the “Buzzer” newspaper and “Dawn” yearbook staffs, and even was involved with the production of the senior class play, “The People versus Maxine Lowe,” played by Judy Ghar and directed by Irene (Thompson) Keister. Following graduation from Brockway in 1960, he enrolled at Thiel College for two years and then transferred to the Pittsburgh School of Mortuary Science with plans to follow in his father’s line of work. He graduated from mortuary school in 1963.
However, fate stepped into his life while still in training, when his father passed away at an earlier age than ever anticipated. For the next few years, Carlson assisted his mother in continuing the operation of the business. When he married the love of his life, Evelyn Pasierb, in 1967, she also became a partner in management of the funeral home and that became official in 1969. They also became partners in ownership and operation of the Ambulance Service in the Brockway Community until June 30, 1973.
Throughout their lives together, they have resided in Brockway until they built a new home in Snyder Township on a hill just above the old Snyder School Building. They raised four children: Susan (Gerry) Napalitano, John (Jessica) Carlson, Karen (Tom) Martini, and Debbie Tamburlin (now deceased). All four of their children graduated from Brockway High School and each went on to obtain a college degree. In addition to their children, John and Evelyn have four grandchildren: Austin, Sydney and Kyle Martini and Victoria Napolitano.
He is an active member of the Lanes Mills United Methodist Church where he serves as both an usher and greeter. He is chairman of the Pastoral Parish Committee and serves on the Finance Committee, the Administrative Council, and the Church Building Committee which just recently completed a new Outreach Center directly across from the existing church building on Rattlesnake Road. Carlson also delivers hot meals throughout Brockway and the surrounding community on behalf or St. Tobias Church and the Methodist Care and Comfort Program.
Carlson is an honorary member of the Brockway Volunteer Hose Company with 55 years of service to the community. He has served in various administrative offices and is a member of the Fire Police, usually appearing on the street when the fire company is called to duty. He is the oldest honorary member in years of service while still answering alarms. He was one of the founders of the Brockway Ambulance Service when it was organized back in 1973 and was chosen as one of the original members of the board of directors where he has served for many years. He was also trained as an EMT and was an active attendant for many years. He was Deputy Coroner of Jefferson County for eight years.
He has been involved with Little League Baseball for 43 years. He has served as an officer, a coach and an umpire for more than 43 years prior to his retirement in 2015. During his more than four decades of dedication to Little League Baseball, Carlson officiated local, district and sectional games as well as nine Pennsylvania State Championship Series. In addition, he served as a PIAA baseball and softball official. He is an avid fan and supporter of Brockway High School sports activities, Penn State, the Pirates and the Steelers. He and his wife continue to be team sponsors of the “CARLSON” Little League Baseball team since its beginning in 1969. He was named as Brockway’s “2001 Sportsman of the Year.”
As part of the community organizations, Carlson was an original member of the Deposit Bank Advisory Board from 1972 until 1984, and then continued as a member of the Deposit Bank Board of Directors from 1984 until 2003. He became a board member of The Council for Human Dignity that created the “Toby Terrace” complex and has served as that organization’s president from 1991 through the present time. He was a founding member of the Brockway Old Fashioned 4th of July Committee where, following its inception, he went on to serve on the board for many years.
Carlson is a member of the Clearfield-Jefferson County Funeral Directors and has served in the positions of vice-president and president. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association (PFDA) and National Funeral Directors. He has served as district governor on the PFDA Board of Governors and received a 50-year award from PFDA and a citation from the Pennsylvania Senate. sponsored by Senator Joe Scarnati.
The Carlsons owned and operated the Carlson Funeral Home until 2004 when the business took on the new title of “Carlson-Shugarts Funeral Home” with the addition of Eric Shugarts in the management. In 2015, Carlson and Shugarts were awarded the “Outstanding Service Award” by the Brockway Area Ministerium Organization. Carlson continues to work part-time at the funeral home in serving the public.
He has always been a pretty quiet and highly-likable person to be around. No one seems to have a bad word to say about him or his disposition wherever he is found. A whole new side of John Carlson has developed as his life has evolved into retirement – he has discovered the challenge of golf. He loves this sport like no other, and it is common knowledge that he has even developed a new language to go with the sport. Now he can really enjoy a day off from work now and then.