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Richard E. Carlson

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PONCA — Richard E. Carlson, 75, Ponca, died May 22, 2020, at the Elms Health Care Center, Ponca.

A private family service was held May 26, at the Wintz Funeral Home, Laurel, with Pastor Isaac Chua officiating.

Burial was in the Laurel Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Gary Kavanaugh, Ted Carlson, Steve Obermeyer, Frank Wickett and Ron Mahler.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Wintz Funeral Home, Laurel.

Richard was born Feb. 11, 1945, to Oscar and Donna (Wickett) Carlson. He grew up on the family farm in Dixon County until his family moved to a place southwest of Laurel when he was 10 years old. Richard was born with Hydrocephalus, so he was handicapped in some ways. He attended country school in Dixon and Cedar counties. Teachers and others noticed he was good at drawing, especially things with details such as windmills and machinery. At a very young age, his mother taught him to play the guitar. He enjoyed playing and singing for many years. Richard played by ear and had a nice singing voice. He also loved collecting windmills, listening to music, and reading.

Richard eventually moved to Beatrice to attend school and live at the Beatrice State Home, which was a place for those with developmental disabilities. He came home to visit at Christmas and during the summers. At Christmas, he would always put up the silver Christmas tree at his grandparent’s house where he was staying. During the summers, he would always help pick cherries from the cherry tree in grandpa and grandma’s back yard. He really enjoyed visiting at their home.

After Richard finished school, he went to live with a family in Dakota City who cared for him and several other individuals. At that time, he also worked at North Star in South Sioux City. He worked there for many years. Several years ago, Richard went to the Elms Health Care Center in Ponca, where he lived for the remainder of his life.

Richard is survived by a sister, Janet (Gary) Kavanaugh, Laurel; brother, Ted Carlson, Brandon, S.D.; nieces, Debra (Steve) Obermeyer, Pender, and Colleen Kavanaugh, Tampa, Fla.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Robert Carlson.