WALTER M. CARLSON

Obituary
2 entries
  • "To the Carlson family, sorry for your loss, may GOD give..."
    - Newton
  • "Terry Carlson"
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CARLSON--Walter M. Born September 18, 1916, in Denver, Colorado, and passed on August 21, 2010, in Los Gatos, California. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Nancy Ellzey Carlson, six children, and ten grandchildren who will hold him in their memories. Walter, a Colorado native from one of the Pioneer Families of the State of Colorado, graduated from East High School in Denver, Colorado in 1934, and the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1939 with a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering. During his years at CU Boulder, he served as the editor-in-chief of the campus Silver and Gold newspaper, where he met his future wife, Nancy Ellzey. He was first employed by the E.I. DuPont de Nemours Company in New Jersey, and then at the Louviers facility in Newark, Delaware. At DuPont he became a recognized expert in large scale computer applications for business uses. He guided DuPont to pioneering use of computers in its corporate business. He published articles in technical journals on computer applications and became well known in computing associations for his vision on the business applications of computing equipment. In 1963, Walter was appointed Director of the Office of Technical Information by the United States Department of Defense Director of Defense Research and Engineering. He successfully completed a project by 1967 in which he developed a fledgling intra-net communications network among both private and public defense research facilities across the country to prevent duplicate defense research. In 1967, he was hired by International Business Machines (IBM) to serve as a Technical Consultant to the Chief Scientist at its corporate headquarters in Armonk, New York. He was then transferred to the Corporate Marketing Department where he worked as a marketing consultant to the Vice President of Marketing. He was later able to transfer his responsibilities to San Jose, California. Beginning in the 1960's, Walter was also active in a number of professional computing trade associations, including the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), International Federation of Information Processors (IFIP) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In the early 1960's he was a founder of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (AFIPS). From 1970-72, he was President of ACM, the world's largest educational and scientific computing society. One of Walter's longest lasting projects was the history of computing archives and project in the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. His tireless promotion of this endeavor led to contributions to it by IBM and AFIPS. Walter retired in 1991 and continued to work on projects with ACM, AFIPS, IEEE, and other organizations for many years. Walter dearly loved golf and travel, enjoyed politics, and later in life, became an avid tennis fan. He particularly enjoyed bringing his family together to celebrate family occasions. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that, in Walter's memory, please make a contribution to Hospice of the Valley, 4850 Union Avenue, San Jose, California 95124. They can also be found at www.hospicevalley.org. A Memorial for Walter will be held at the Terraces of Los Gatos, 800 Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos, California, on December 12, 2010, at 10:00am. Contact (415)459-1850 or [email protected] for further information.

Published in The New York Times on Sept. 12, 2010