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Gardiner - Kenneth J Carlson Jr passed away Saturday, May 12, surrounded by family at his home in Gardiner. Ken was born October 2, 1950 at Gardiner General Hospital to Norma Elizabeth Cater and Kenneth John Carlson. Upon graduation from GAHS in 1968, Ken joined the Air National Guard and went on to graduate from Eastern Maine Vocational Technical Institute, which led to a career as a Right of Way Draftsman at the Maine Department of Transportation. Many lifelong friendships were forged in his 21 years in the Guard and especially in his 40 years at DOT. His retirement celebration in 2010 was a well attended event full of laughter, as Ken was known for his friendly presence and excellent sense of humor.
Ken was well known for his artistic abilities and penchant for puns, which not only served him well at the DOT, but also with the editorial cartoons he contributed to the Kennebec Journal over the years. Since his retirement, when Ken wasn't golfing with his good friends, he was perfecting his watercolor painting. A Plein Air Painter, he was a student of Tony Van Hasselt, and could often be found painting outdoors around the Boothbay region in nearly any weather. His artwork was revered and collected by those who appreciated his special view, particularly of Gardiner landmarks.
Ken was the epitome of a good man; a hard working, devoted, present and loyal son, husband, father and grandfather. He was predeceased by his father, Kenneth J Carlson Sr, step father Darrell Porter, and an infant son John Adam Carlson. In addition to his beloved wife of 48 years, Laurie J Carlson, he is survived by his mother, Norma Porter, of Farmingdale, sister Patricia Carlson and her partner Richard Fein of Manchester, daughter Kathryn Carlson, Gardiner, Son and daughter in law Kenneth and Meaghan Carlson of Gardiner, grandchildren Freya, Hanna, Asa and Sophia Carlson, all of Gardiner. Ken is also survived by nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours will be Tuesday May 15, 4-7 at Staples Funeral Home on Brunswick Avenue in Gardiner. The funeral will be held at The First Baptist Church at 47 Church Street in Gardiner Wednesday May 16th at 11am. Burial with military honors will follow in the Oak Grove Cemetery Gardiner