Gary Wayne CARLSEN(01/14/1945 - 02/11/2014)

CARLSEN, Gary Wayne January 14, 1945 - February 11, 2014 Lifelong Spokane resident Gary Wayne Carlsen, Sr. died at his home recently. He was born January 14, 1945 in Long Beach, California to Enoch Earl and Morstene Sophia (Anselmo) Carlsen. Gary attended JJ Browne Elementary. At the age of eleven he built his first crystal radio set. From that day forward he knew he wanted to go into broadcasting. He was a 1963 graduate of North Central High School. He participated in cross-country and band. He played the trombone. He and friends formed a band and entertained at the Veteran's Hospital. He entered the United States Navy, was in the Navy band and was stationed on Treasure Island. He organized a Dixieland band and played a variety of benefits. He went to the U.S. Naval Electronics School on Treasure Island and his remaining three years of duty were on the USS Point Defiance during the Vietnam War. After his Navy service Gary worked for KREM television for 39 years in a variety of capacities: control room engineer; special effects developer; cameraman and technical coordinator for on-location coverage of EXPO 74; original director for KREM's Nostalgia Theatre; designed and constructed the Northwest Gallery set. During his tenure at KREM he won several awards. Gary married Paula Owsley (North Central, class 1962). They had two children: Gary "Kip" W. Carlsen, Jr. and Colleen Carlsen (now Kerrigan). Gary bicycled on a solo trip across the Northern Cascades. He and his son bicycled on a round-trip through Northern Idaho. Gary sang karaoke, but would not sing as himself. Instead he entertained with the use of a hand puppet, a dog named "Manhattan." Gary was a stylish dresser. When he would dine, it was as much for the ambiance and camaraderie with good wait staff as it was for good food. In his latter years he suffered from multiple sclerosis. Gary was preceded in death by a brother, Ronald Earl Carlsen, and his parents Enoch and Morstene Carlsen. Gary was cremated and interred at Fairmount Memorial Park. His ashes were placed in his father's crypt. He is survived by his ex-wife, Paula Burge and her husband Fred; his son Gary Wayne Carlsen, Jr. and his wife, Pilar, all of Davenport, WA; his daughter Colleen Kerrigan of Long Beach, CA; five grandchildren: Gabriel, Galen and Keegan Muske, all of Long Beach, CA, and Arianna and Hadrian Carlsen of Portland, OR; brother Robert James Carlsen and his wife Vicki of Spokane; sister Janice Arlene Cuff and her husband Paul D. Cuff of Kennett, MO; a welter of nieces, nephews, and cousins. No service is planned by the family at this time. The family plans to have a memorial service at a later date. To leave a condolence message for the family, there is a memorial page at the Community Cremation & Funeral web site:


Funeral Home

Community Cremation & Funeral - Spokane
4407 N. Division St., Suite 103  Spokane, WA 99207
(509) 483-3440

Published in Spokesman-Review on Feb. 19, 2014