Thursday, April 18, 2024

Washburn High School

Class of 1956 - In Memory Of

Carl C. Carlson

Carl E. Carlson, age 90, died peacefully on Feb. 24, 2002 at his Edina home, surrounded by his wife & family. Survived by beloved wife of 62 years, Clara Carlson; sons, Richard, Roland, Keith and Kent; 9 grandchildren; and 1 great-grandson. Carl grew up in Duluth, graduated from Duluth Denfeld and UMD. Moved to Mpls. in 1935. Taught at St. Louis Park, Golden Valley & Washburn High. At Washburn taught English, Economics and Social studies for 29 years and was head hockey coach for 25 years, taking his teams to many State tournaments. As Chmn. of the Bd. of Group Health (now Health Partners) for twelve years, he helped Minnesotas first HMO survive early struggles. After retiring he worked as clinic mngr. and Asst. to the Pres. for Group Health. He later became Pres. of the Metro Sr. Fed. (now Minn. Sr. Fed.). Gifted with a beautiful tenor voice he sang in musicals and choirs throughout his life, ending his singing career as Dir. of Edinas Swingin Singin Seniors. For 50 years, he attended Alders gate United Methodist Church in St. Louis Park, and was lay leader. He belonged to the I. O. G. T. for 80 years. Our thanks to the Hospice of the Lakes and our many friends for their loving care and support.

Memorial service will be held at Aldersgate Methodist at 3801 Wooddale in St. Louis Park at 10:30 AM on Saturday, March 2. Memorials preferred to Aldersgate, the Alzheimers Society or the I.O.G.T.

Published Feb 28, 2002

Carl E. Carlson, 90, dies at home in Edina

Carl E. Carlson knew the trauma of losing a child to medical problems and the burden of paying the doctor and hospital bills. That's why he and others in 1955 helped start the Group Health Plan, which was based on the then-radical idea that members would prepay for care and spread the costs among the group. "Group Health was both a health thing and political thing back in the beginning," said his son Richard C. Carlson. Carlson, 90, died Sunday at home in Edina. He had Alzheimer's disease. He was a teacher and hockey coach at Washburn High School in Minneapolis for 29 years. After retirement he held various jobs with Golden Valley schools, including teaching and driving a school bus. He became involved with Group Health because his father, Carl J. Carlson, worked for the health insurance company that preceded the health maintenance organization. Carl E. Carlson became chairman of Group Health's board in 1960, a position he held for 12 years. "It was difficult time," said Dean Lund, who also served on the board. "We spent a lot of time trying to keep that enterprise's head above water." Lund said Carlson provided a calm and stabilizing influence at a time when Group Health had many critics, including independent doctors who opposed the idea of a member-controlled health plan. Nearly 10 years ago, Group Health evolved into HealthPartners, and is today one of the most successful local health plans. Richard Carlson said his father devoted so much time to Group Health because he believed strongly that families should not have to worry about medical bills just because they needed good health care. In addition to his son, Carlson is survived by his wife, Clara; three other sons, Roland, Keith and Kent; several grandchildren, and a great-grandson.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 3801 Wooddale Av. S., St. Louis Park.

Glenn Howatt Star Tribune Published Feb 28, 2002

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