Dr. Donald Bunker Carlsen of Midland, died Dec. 4, 2013, at the age of 79. He passed away peacefully in his home following a brief battle with cancer. He spent Thanksgiving surrounded by his family and friends.
Don was born in Detroit on March 19, 1934. He attended Redford High School and went on to study dentistry at The University of Michigan
, and orthodontics at The University of Iowa
. He practiced orthodontics in Midland for over 30 years, creating confident, beautiful smiles all over town
While studying in Ann Arbor, Don met and fell in love with his wife, Janet Sieder Carlsen. Married in April of 1958, they raised four children: Jim (Beth) Carlsen, Sue (Shawn) Wetter, Julie (Tim) Biggs and Lin (Joe) Vollmer. He was also a dedicated and involved grandfather to his ten grandchildren: David, Kathleen, Mac, Sarah, Joey, Connor, Tristan, Kyle, Keegan and Cameron. Over the years, he shared with his family a love for hunting, fishing, skiing, tennis, sailing and water sports. He enjoyed telling ghost stories by the bonfire and trading jokes around the dinner table. He fostered a love for adventure, travel and a desire to try new things. The cottage on Lake Leelanau has been the foundation of family memories and traditions since 1968.
Don was involved with Junior Achievement, the Rotary Club
, Leadership Midland, Adopt a Child's Smile program and The University of Michigan Alumni Association. He is known and respected for his advice, support and "In Life" talks. He has been a wonderful patriarch, a devoted philanthropist and a positive community leader. His motto in life was "Learn, Earn, Return." Above all else, Don valued the importance of family, service and education.
He is preceded in death by his parents Richard and Louise Carlsen; as well as his brother, Paul Carlsen. He is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren and two nephews, Scott and Dale Carlsen.
Memorial visitation will be at the Smith-Miner Funeral Home, 2700 W. Wackerly Road, on Thursday, Dec. 12, from 4:00-7:00 p.m.
A celebration of Don's life will be held Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. at the Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1310 Ashman Street, with the Rev. Wallace H. Mayton III officiating. Family will be present at the church from 10:00 a.m. until time of service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to any of the following:
The Dr. Anne Carlsen School
701 3rd street NW
PO Box 8000
Jamestown, N.D. 58402
The Adopt a Smile Program
Safe & Sound Child Advocacy Center
2716 Jefferson Avenue
Midland, MI 48640
Memorial Presbyterian Church
1310 Ashman Street
Midland, MI 48640