Cover photo for Truman Carlson's Obituary
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1926 Truman 2023

Truman Carlson

November 10, 1926 — March 25, 2023

Please Note Change of Date For Truman's Service

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, April 11 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris with visitation beginning at 12:00 p.m. until the time of the service. Burial will be held later at Valley Grove Cemetery in rural Nerstrand, Rice County, MN.

Truman Bertrum Carlson was born to Clarence and Anna Carlson on 11/10/1926 on the family farm in Norway Township, Fillmore County, MN. He was baptized at Highland Prairie Lutheran Church and confirmed at Rushford Lutheran Church. Truman died on 3/25/2023 at the age of 96. 

Truman was a 3-sport athlete at Rushford High School. As a 16-year-old in his senior year, he was an “all area performer” on the undefeated football team. After graduating in 1944, he enlisted in the army reserve at age 17 and shipped out overseas as the war ended, serving in the Philippines and Guam. He was discharged in November 1946 with the rank of staff sergeant. 

Truman married the love of his life, Edna Hanson, in 1948, in a wedding officiated by her father, the Rev. Olaf M. Hanson, himself a Norwegian immigrant. Truman and Edna became parents to five children. 

In 1950 Truman graduated from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, with a bachelor’s degree in biology and physical education, and later earned an M.A. in biology from Drake University. He served as a teacher and coach in Felton, Jordan, Lyle, and finally in Morris, MN. Most of the girls’ athletic programs at Morris High School were developed during his 15 years as athletic director. Truman once estimated he may have influenced as many as 5,000 students during his 36-year career. What he enjoyed most through the years was seeing his former students leading successful and happy lives after high school. 

After retiring in 1986, Truman and Edna enjoyed many wonderful summers at the cabin he built with his son David near Vergas, MN. They did Norwegian folk dancing in the Norskfødt Danseringen that performed in MN, ND, SD, and IA. They also valued their friendships and gatherings with other retired teachers. 

Truman and Edna spent about 30 years researching their Norwegian ancestries and sharing their work with relatives. That led to meeting second and third cousins through correspondence and in person here in the US and during two trips to Norway.

Truman was an active member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in rural Starbuck, MN. He was also a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, National Education Association, MN Education Association, MN State Coaches Association, MN Athletic Directors Association, and the Sons of Norway’s Norskfødt Lodge. 

Truman was preceded in death by his wife Edna, his parents and parents-in-law, brothers Clair and Rockwell, sisters Marie Elizabeth and Margaret, and sons-in-law Bruce Anderson and William Parks. He is survived by children Jeanne Anderson, Maple Grove, MN; David Carlson, Watertown, SD; Cathryn Carlson (Parks), Asheville, NC; Elizabeth Carlson, St. Paul, MN; and Richard (Karen) Carlson, Rochester, MN; six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. 

Donations to Valley Grove Preservation Society are suggested in lieu of flowers. Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of the arrangements. 

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, April 11, 2023

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Pedersen Funeral & Cremation Service

101 South Atlantic Avenue, Morris, MN 56267

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Memorial Service

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Pedersen Funeral & Cremation Service

101 South Atlantic Avenue, Morris, MN 56267


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