Bill Carlson, 85, of Cost, Texas passed away Sunday, October 24 in Gonzales, Texas. Bill loved to hear his wife sing. He was passionate about sports and the outdoors, enjoyed pranks and story-telling (most of which were probably or nearly true). He was a self-taught adventurer who often pursued interests with extreme focus, preparation and determination, whether it was climbing mountains on a hunting quest or fishing far out in the Gulf of Mexico in a boat most would caution as too small for the challenge. Loyal and dutiful, he worked hard and had a successful business career in the car industry. He was a goal-oriented manager, driven to succeed, but more and more by his desire to see others flourish and to spend time with his family.
Born in Austin, Texas, the only child of working parents George Wilhem Carlson and Mary Margarette Hennen Carlson, he was independent and very determined. He excelled at golf for Austin High School and Abilene Christian College. He graduated from Abilene Christian College in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree. It was while a college student in Abilene that he met the love of his life, the future June Carlson, when he walked into a mixer intended for Hardin Simmons University students, only. No one asked if he belonged, so he assumed the right of a conversation with “this most beautiful girl who was sitting alone.” Bill and June were married for 63 years, until she preceded him in death on May 3, 2020.
Though he felt at liberty to slightly bend the rules for love, he mostly practiced the values of duty, honor, and integrity that he learned as the son of an FBI agent. And he expected these values in his employer, employees, family and friends. He was also guided by the kindness, compassion and Christian faith of his mother, seeing these also in his father who later in life was a constant companion to his wife, helping her through hard and painful days.
Bill was a loving, generous and loyal father to his daughter, Tanya, and son, Cody. He took time away from his busy schedule to encourage, cheer, and coach them. By coaching youth sports with a kind intensity or taking an interest in their friends, teammates, teachers and coaches he was a positive and caring influence. Always the man of action he threw batting practice, ran and caught balls, and iced his pulled muscles well into middle age. He diligently trained for his next adventure, often appearing out of place while walking through his San Antonio neighborhood in hiking boots, burdened by a giant backpack. As a grandparent he watched games, told tales of his solitary adventures, accompanied grandchildren to experience their own wonder, and spent hours devoted to such things as hand-crafting detailed targets for their BB gun practice. He delighted in their successes whether large or small. When any member of his family experienced difficulties he was saddened, supportive and hopeful.
As his father did, Bill would model loyalty, sacrifice and love as he became a care-giver to June through years of declining health. He did not view such devotion with regret, but said “I love her, what else would I do but take care of her.” He was a thankful man who believed that he had a good life, often stating that he had done all he had wanted to do. In his last few years, he would from time to time speak emotionally about wrongs he felt he had done. It hurt him to feel he had hurt others. But it helped his family to see such love and honesty, and it seemed to help him heal. His last words to his children were simply, “I think I will pass away tonight. I love you.”
We celebrate that Bill Carlson believed that love wins, that he felt loved, and that he trusted in redemption through Jesus’ loving sacrifice for every kind of person, including imperfect, adventurous, competitive, funny, mischievous, caring people like him.
Bill is survived by his daughter Tanya Meador (John) of Cost and son Cody Carlson (Barbara) of Waco; grandchildren Matthew Meador, William Meador, Anna Carlson, Micah Carlson and Isaac Carlson; great-grandchildren Brielle and Creed Meador. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, JoBeth Floyd, and brother-in-law, Bill Floyd, of Spring, Texas; nephew Bo Chesney (Joyce); nieces Jaymi Bertone and Tracy Miller (Jay); and many great nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations may be made to Scottish Rite for Children at 2222 Welborn Street, Dallas, TX 75219 Attn: Development Department or www.scottishriteforchildren.org or charity of one’s choice.
Private family services will be held at a later date.
Friends may sign the guestbook and leave condolences by visiting seydlerhillfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home, Gonzales, Texas.