Cover photo for Robert B. Carlson's Obituary
Robert B. Carlson Profile Photo
1938 Robert 2023

Robert B. Carlson

September 15, 1938 — April 1, 2023

Robert B. Carlson passed away April 1, 2023, at Sanford Hospice House, Fargo, ND.

He was born to parents Waldemar and Dorothy Sage (Morgan) Carlson at Virginia, MN on September 15, 1938. He attended 13 years of school in Mt. Iron, MN, with many classmates whose parents had attended school together. He was leader of the kindergarten band and there is a photo to prove it.

After high school he attended and graduated from Virginia Junior College and University of Minnesota Duluth. On July 30, 1960, he married Kay Marie Anderson who had just completed medical technology training and registration in Duluth. They moved to East Lansing, MI, where Bob had an assistantship in Entomology and Kay worked on a bovine tuberculosis project. He completed his masters and PhD studies and graduated. They went to St. Paul where he worked with the Federal Forest Service and then to Fargo and NDSU for 34 years. 

The NDSU Agricultural College describes Bob’s work as follows: Bob Carlson’s research efforts spanned a number of assignments from forestry and shelterbelt entomology, and crop insect problems in sugar beets and sunflowers, to rangeland grasshopper biology and control. He also contributed and led an internationally recognized effort in biological control of leafy spurge. In 1999 he received an Outstanding Achievement Award for his contributions to leafy spurge management.

During his 34 years at NDSU, Carlson’s hallmark was his dedication to students and faculty, and was a member of more than 20 graduate committees. In 1975 he received a commendation for his advising efforts, and in 1990 he was given adjunct status in the Department of Statistics. 

Carlson made contributions to the department by filling in for chairmen when they were unavailable, serving as interim chair and assisting faculty during critical times, while maintaining his regular research and teaching responsibilities. He taught classes in entomology and ones cross-listed between entomology and statistics. 

Carlson earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and his master’s and doctorate in entomology from Michigan State University. 

Bob is survived by his wife, Kay; sister, Shelley Schultz; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Charles; and sisters, Nancy and Margaret.

No services are scheduled at this time.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert B. Carlson, please visit our flower store.


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