Gordon Ness Carlson

February 22, 1929 ~ November 8, 2021 (age 92)


Gordon Ness Carlson passed away on November 8, 2021, at the age of 92.
Born in Wakefield, Michigan, on February 22, 1929, Gordon was the
youngest of two sons born to Gladyce and Edwin Carlson. He was
preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Ione Ardyth Carlson (Eckman),
who passed away on April 23, 2020, his parents, his brother, John (Jack),
and his first wife, Mayme, Debbie’s mother. He leaves behind 6 children:
daughter Debbie Carlson in San Francisco CA, son Craig (Elisa) of
Minneapolis, son Thomas (Brennan Baas) of Minneapolis, daughter Lynette
(Joe Argir and their children Sean, Benjamin, Jeremy, and Samantha) of
Chisholm MN, son Robert (Kim, and their daughter Evey) of Richfield MN,
and daughter Kerri Carlson (Wes Haynes, and their son Edwin-Ray) of Burnsville MN.
Gordon was a caring father, grandfather and great- grandfather. He was a hardworking
and dedicated provider who wanted nothing more than to have his family around to share
precious time together. For years, he and Ione hosted their children and families at
Fort Meyers Beach in Florida, at Breezy Point Resort near Brainerd MN,
and would also join their family and good friends in Wakefield MI for 4th
of July celebrations, to name just a few. Gordon graduated from Bessemer High School
in 1946, and then from Michigan Tech in 1950 with a degree in mechanical engineering.
He followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps when he started his
career in the iron ore industry as a laborer working underground in the
Pickands Mather-managed Peterson Mine on the Gogebic Range in
Michigan. In 1950, he was moved to Minnesota’s Cuyuna Iron Range to be
the pit operations assistant at the Mahnomen Mine. In 1956 Gordy was
transferred to Hibbing MN to work in Pickands Mather’s (PM) district office
as district mechanical engineer responsible for maintenance at 12 mines
located on the Mesaba and Cuyuna Iron Ranges. In December of 1957, he
penned an article in the Mining Congress Journal detailing the progression
of the, what was then called, the modern off-highway truck. The depth
of this article highlighted his intense interest in mining. Also, while
working at the PM office in Hibbing, Gordy met, fell in love with, and married Ione Eckman. They managed to raise their children, grow deeper
in love, and advance Gordy’s career throughout their 62 years together. In
1959 Gordon was put in charge of operations for all of PM’s beneficiating
plants (exclusive of taconite), and then in 1962, they moved to Montreal,
Quebec, where he worked on the design, construction, and manning of
the Wabush Mine pilot plant in Labrador, Canada. In 1964 he was then
transferred northeast to the community of Sept-Iles QE which was
situated at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. This was where the
pelletizing and shipping facility for the Wabush Mine was being built, and
this was where he, Ione, and their children would stay until their move
back to Hibbing in 1974. Hibbing Taconite was about to be constructed
and Gordon was selected to be the Assistant General Manager of the new
mine. It was also during the Hibbing years that the youngest daughter,
Kerri, was born. In 1981, Gordy was chosen to join the PM’s Cleveland OH
headquarters as manager of iron ore mines. He continued on to become
general manager of ore mines and later, after 42 years in the industry and
now part of Cleveland Cliffs Inc after their acquisition of PM, he retired
as vice president-ore operations in 1993. On a humorous note, when
working as the assistant manager for Hibbing Taconite, he was easily
recognizable by the distinctive tilt of his hard hat, the “look” with the
raised eyebrow, and his many “sayings” that he enjoyed sharing with his
co-workers each day. In retirement, our father was an avid fisherman and
carpenter/furniture maker. He, with the frequent assistance of his sons, filled their homes
with craftsman furniture such as rocking chairs, dining room furniture,
wardrobes, many beautiful beds, and grandfather clocks. His furniture
was of such high quality, even though one of his favorite sayings was
“we’re not building a watch.” Whenever any of us children look about
and see the handcrafted pieces of work displayed and in use in our
homes, they will remind us of what a loving, supportive, generous, and
influential father he was to us. As time went on, he enjoyed playing pool
with his sons, almost always soundly beating them (with Mom cheering for
Dad on the side), gin with anyone and everyone, and theatre popcorn and
vanilla ice cream. On a very special note, during their last years while they lived at
Augustana Regents Assisted Living in Burnsville MN, Mom and Dad were so
very fortunate to have a dedicated, skilled, and loving caretaker who
stayed with them and helped them to live the most active, safe, and
fulfilling lives that God meant them to have. Juah’s care, dedication,
and self-sacrifice to our parents was without compare. She gave up years
of her life to ensure that our parents had the best last years that they
could. We will be forever indebted to her for the grace, dignity, and love
she gave to our mom and dad. Due to Covid 19, there was no service for our mother,
Ione, who passed away on 4/23/20. Her obituary ran in the papers at that time. As our
father’s love for our mother could not stand to say good-bye to her in a
separate service, there will be one memorial service to honor both of our
parents that will be held on Saturday, 11/20/21, at First Lutheran Church
in Hibbing MN. Visitation will begin at 11am, followed by the service at
1pm, committal at the Hibbing cemetery. In lieu of gifts, the family would
welcome donations to the, or, 2 organizations
involved in the research for a cure and improvements in the treatments
of Epidermolysis Bullosa, a genetic disease affecting the life of one of
their grandchildren. We welcome any, and all, to join us as we celebrate the lives of both
Gordon and Ione Carlson. They lived, loved, and laughed together for 62 years, and they will now rest together for eternity.
Arrangements are with the Dougherty Funeral Home of Hibbing.

To send flowers to Gordon's family, please visit our floral store.


November 20, 2021

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
First Lutheran Church
2201 3rd Ave. East
Hibbing, Minnesota 55746

Memorial Service
November 20, 2021

1:00 PM
First Lutheran Church
2201 3rd Ave. East
Hibbing, Minnesota 55746

November 20, 2021

1:15 PM
Maple Hill Cemetery

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