The Rev. Dr. Leonard Robert Carlson, age 78, of Columbia, SC, passed away on July 1, 2017 at Palmetto Baptist Hospital following a year-long battle with cancer.

Rev. Carlson was born in Terre Haute, IN on February 28, 1939 and became the adopted son of John Gunnar Carlson and Henrietta Carlson. Rev. Carlson grew up in Michigan City, IN. and graduated from Elston Senior High School in 1957. He was scheduled to attend his 60th High School Reunion on July 23rd in Michigan City. He graduated from Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN in 1961 and from there attended Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque IA. During his 4 years at the Seminary, he served one year of Internship in Mayville, ND and graduated from the Seminary with his Master’s in Divinity in 1965.

He was ordained at St. Paul Lutheran Church on June 13, 1965. Rev. Carlson’s first call was to Dovre and North Dovre Lutheran Churches in Osnabrock, ND, from 1965-1968. His second call was to First Lutheran Church, Ohio, IL, from 1968-1971. From there he went on to serve St. Paul Lutheran Church, Pontiac, IL, from 1971-1976. In 1976 he moved to Chicago, IL, to serve Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. Twenty-one years were spent with this congregation, and in 1997 he and his wife moved to Columbia, SC, where he served St. Luke Lutheran Church in the Olympia area from 1997-2006, at which time he retired. Following retirement he went on to work as an Interim Pastor at both St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Blythewood, SC, and at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Leesville, SC, until the time his health forced him to fully retire after 52 years of ministry.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Sally Ballard Carlson. Rev. Carlson is also survived by his three children: Cindy Lynn (Mrs. Christopher Rohaly) of Kokomo, IN, Keith Leonard Carlson (Jeffrey Taylor) of Taylors, SC and Sandra Jean (Mrs. Jeffrey Ludt) of Elgin, SC. Three Grandchildren: Matthew Rohaly (Annette), Anna Rohaly Marrah (Joshua), and Thomas Rohaly. Three Great-Grandchildren: Henry Rohaly, Nathan Marrah, and Isaiah Rohaly. In addition he is also survived by his Sister-In- Law, Nancy Kahn and her husband, Robert Kahn, along with Nieces and Nephews from the wife’s side of the family. Rev. Carlson was preceded in death by his parents.

The funeral will be held on Wednesday, July 5, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 3909 Forest Drive, Columbia, SC at 11:00 AM. You may greet the family prior to the service beginning at 10:00 AM. Memorials may be given to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 3909 Forrest Dr., Columbia SC 29204 or Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 210 Bethlehem Circle, Leesvile, SC 29070. 803 356-4411.

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