Oliver Luverne Carlson was born to Elmer and Nellie (Nelson) Carlson on a farm near Milner, North Dakota on August 10, 1919. He passed away peacefully at Royal C. Johnson Veteran's Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD, at the age of 94 years and six months.
As a child growing up on the farm, Oliver enjoyed hunting and trapping. He attended Plain View School in rural Beresford through the eighth grade, and then joined his father, working the fields with his team, Skeeter and Davis.
In 1942, the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, Oliver received greetings from Uncle Sam and spent the next four years with the 139th Artillery Division of the US Army as a gunner. He landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day plus 2, and spent eleven months on the European front fighting in five major battles, including the Battle of the Bulge. Later in life, Oliver was generous in sharing accounts of his perils with his family, friends, and high school classes. His recollections of his role in the liberation of Dachau, digging foxholes in 10 degree below zero temperatures, and close calls with death provided us with priceless history lessons. He was thrilled to join his veteran brothers aboard SD's Honor Flight in 2010.
Following the war, Oliver met his life-long sweetheart, Juna Voog. They settled on a farm near Beresford where they raised three children. Besides producing sheep and cattle, Oliver was an order buyer, and he worked for Tri-State Livestock Company for 35 years, clocking over a million miles on his stock trucks. He never lost his skill for picking corn by hand, and was twice the SD State Champion.
Oliver accepted Christ at the age of 19 and has been bold in sharing his faith and beliefs ever since. He hosted revival meetings near the small lake on his farm and taught Sunday school at Brooklyn Evangelical Free Church for many years. He was a member of the Gideons, served on the Board of Directors for the Union Gospel Mission and the Brooklyn Township Board.
Oliver is survived by his children, Linda and Gary Bovill, and their children, John Bovill (Sara), Mark Bovill (Karla), Kimberly Hofer (Paul); Lee and Jane Carlson, and their children, Christopher Carlson (Kari), Joel Carlson, Emily Hjelm (Jon) and Maria Carlson and her fiancé Jason Campbell; and Luvern and Lorry Carlson and their children, Lisa Koeppe (Bob) and Laura Sorlie (Nick). He is also survived by 19 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Oliver is preceded in death by his loving wife, Juna; his parents, his brothers, Alvin Carlson, Victor Carlson, Emil Carlson, Paul Carlson; his sisters, Della Bushall and Elvina Nomansen and four grandchildren.
He always ended our visits by declaring, "If I don't see you tomorrow down here, I will see you up there." What a day that will be for all of us.
Funeral services will be 2PM Saturday, February 15, 2014 at Brooklyn Evangelical Free Church, rural Beresford. Visitation will be 3-8PM Friday at Wass Funeral Home in Beresford with the family present from 5-7PM.
Published in The Argus Leader on Feb. 12, 2014