Carlson, Edward Jerome
May 25, 1943 – April 10, 2019
Age 75 of Plymouth. Jerome Carlson passed away peacefully of natural causes on April 10th, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. His life was full of joy, work, adventure and generosity. Jerome will be missed terribly by his large, blended family and dear friends, who strive to pass on his love and legacy. Jerome was predeceased by his father and mother, John and Myrtle Carlson; daughter, Lucy; brothers, Donald, Lary, and Bill. He is survived by his wife, Linda; children Kjersti Francis (Tim), Juliana Teske (Aaron), Jed (Kerry), Siri Kristenson (David), Dr. Mary Bianco (Dr. Joe), Ed Ulmaniec (Tara), and Chris Swenning (Terry); brothers, Oscar (Val), Martin (Peg), and Fred (Marti); and thirteen grandchildren. On May 25, 1943, Jerome Carlson was born in the farmhouse of John and Myrtle Carlson. He was raised on the farm to age 18. He first attended Hamilton country school and then attended town school graduating in 1961. He was co-captain of the football and baseball teams, served on the Student Council from 5th grade through senior high year, and sang solos in the high school choir. For 15 months following graduation, he worked on construction to earn money for college tuition. In 1962-1963 Jerome attended the University of Minnesota. In the fall of 1963, Jerome transferred to MacPhail College of Music majoring in Voice. He continued at MacPhail for three years and served as the Student Body President during the 1965-1966 school year. While at MacPhail, Jerome also sang professionally with the Lamplighters Sextet and with the popular Edgewater Eight. In 1967, he moved to Chicago, IL continuing with voice lessons and performing. In 1968, Jerome married Julie Diercks from Mound, MN (they later divorced). They had 5 children together, Kjersti, Juliana, Jed, Lucy, and Siri. In 1968 he also co-founded The Instant Web Company. The company grew and in 1976 moved to a larger facility in Chanhassen, MN. In 1979, Instant Web purchased United Mailing, a small mailing company. That same year, Jerome purchased a 40 acre farm from Mr. and Mrs. Schmieg, which became part of an industrial park on the west edge of Chanhassen. In 1981, Instant Web purchased Victory Envelope and in 1982 Instant Web moved into a new facility in the industrial park in Chanhassen. In 1983, United Mailing Company joined Instant Web on the campus. In 1986, Victory Envelope completed the campus by moving into the 3rd facility. The single source, total package option of eliminating freight for the companies’ clients paid off. The growth continued and when Jerome retired in 1998 after 30 years, the Instant Web Companies employed 1,000 Minnesotans. Later, in 2003, he and his partners would sell the companies. In 1984, Jerome would meet and later marry Linda Carroll who brought three children to the blended marriage, Mary, Ed, and Chris. In 1987, Jerome and Linda built New Beginnings, a day care center next door to the companies so that employees could have lunch with their children or be available when needed. In 1999, Jerome built Brendon Pond, a group home for his Downs daughter, Lucy, and three other women. Jerome sang at dozens of weddings, at Orchestra Hall, and at the Carlton Celebrity Theater as a fundraiser for Groves Academy. He sang for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Governor Rudy Perpich, General Colin Powell, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Writing lyrics and creating melodies was another one of Jerome’s passions. This culminated in the production and staging of the musical “Gin” at the Music Box Theater in Minneapolis in 1994. “Spirit of Christmas”, a Holiday song he wrote and recorded, earned him a Gold Record. He also recorded one of his songs in Nashville with Chet Atkins. Jerome was a generous contributor to Mora Dollars for Scholars Program, the Mora Education Foundation, VocalEssence, the Paradise Community Theater, the Kanabec County History Center, and Mount Olivet Rolling Acres (the service provider for daughter Lucy’s group home). He served on various boards including MacPhail School of Music, Groves Learning Center, and The Printing Industry of Minnesota. Jerome was honored by his home town of Mora, MN as their Grand Marshal in 1987. In 1989, he was named Citizen of the Year in Chanhassen, MN and in 1999 was the Grand Marshal in Chanhassen’s annual 4th of July Parade. Jerome enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping in North America, especially in Alaska with his family. Jerome was a bow hunter and quite proud of harvesting a few trophy bucks, a huge black bear, and a classic 6 x 6 bull elk. He traveled to Sweden, England, Germany, France, and Italy. He trekked up the Solukhumbu Trail in Nepal to near the base camp at Mount Everest. He traveled to Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong, and China. He trekked to the summit of Kilimanjaro after camping in the Serengeti. When asked about his spirituality, he said, “It was anchored in the worship of God in nature; always humbling and giving him comfort.” In 2013 he traveled to Antarctica as his brother Martin’s guest. It was an extraordinary experience sailing on the Lindblad/National Geographic ship from Argentina to Antarctica. When they reached Antarctica they stopped several times to hike and to visit with some researchers there at the time. Seeing and watching the orcas, hump backed whales, sea birds, penguins, seals, and icebergs was an experience! A memorial service will be held for Jerome on Sunday, April 28th at 11:00 AM at The Grand Event Center, 2025 Rowland Road, Mora MN 55051. Memorials appreciated to either of these charities that Jerome supported: Mora Dollars for Scholars at PO Box 422, Mora 55051, or in support of the Uveal Melanoma Program at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health in Philadelphia. If sending a check, in the notes section reference “Uveal Melanoma Program” and also note the donation is in honor of Jerome Carlson. Checks can be mailed to: Attn: Emma Laverty/Uveal Melanoma Program, Office of Institutional Advancement at Jefferson, 125 S. 9th Street, Suite 600, Philadelphia, PA 19107. If you prefer an on-line donation please visit the website: Jefferson.edu/Sato (Published in the Star Tribune, April 21, 2019).