Gary Carlson, 71, of St. Anthony Park, died June 11, 2018. Gary was born Dec. 27, 1946, in Two Harbors, Minn. He attended St. Olaf College, graduating in 1968 with a biology degree. In December of that year, he married Robin Ruud. He had already been drafted and went into the army in February 1969. He spent a year in Vietnam as an infantryman.
Gary entered the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy in 1971 and graduated as a pharmacist in June 1974. After teaching pharmacy for five years, he took a position as a compounding pharmacist at University Hospital. He continued working there (and later Fairview Hospital), both as a pharmacist and as a teacher for more than 35 years. He was well-respected by fellow pharmacists and students alike and is remembered as a leader.
Starting in 1981, he and Robin had three children, Matthew, Laura and Paul, in 33 months. They moved from Lake Elmo, Minn., to St. Anthony Park in 1976, where they became active community members.
He played an active role in Boy Scouts as a leader and supporter and spent many years of his life actively involved in the Minnesota Green Party in various roles. He loved playing bridge regularly with close and long-term friends and leaves behind a dearly beloved, 1,000-plus book collection.
In 2006, all of his children had graduated, so he and Robin traveled to pharmacy conventions throughout the U.S., as well as to Basel, Paris, Lisbon, Amsterdam, and Dublin. They also traveled to Hawaii each January, interrupted intermittently by health issues. He grew to love traveling, but nothing ever compared to his passion for Lake Superior.
Gary will be remembered for his sense of humor, especially puns, dedication to family, endless patience and the practice of pharmacy. His loss is felt deeply in his family, among his friends and in the community.
He is survived by his wife, Robin; children, Matthew Carlson, Laura (Matthew) Brinster and Paul (Andrea) Carlson; two grandchildren; and siblings, Barbara Carlson, Suzanne (Roger) Magnuson, Elizabeth (Tony) Lieffring and Donald (Cheryl) Carlson.
A memorial service was held June 22 at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church.