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John "Steve" S. Carlson

April 26, 1951 ~ September 9, 2018 (age 67)

John Stephen Carlson, 67, of Crystal Lake, went peacefully into the presence of his Lord at his home September 9, 2018, surrounded by his family.

He was born April 26, 1951, in Appleton, Wisconsin, the son of John A. and Roberta (Madison) Carlson.

He was a graduate of Appleton West High class of 1969. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he received a bachelor's degree in political science. He continued his education at the University of Tennessee College of Law, graduating with a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1979.

Steve had two children, Charles and James, from his marriage to Carol Wright Carlson. 

Steve practiced law in Tennessee, served as the Assistant Director of the Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission, and later was Assistant General Counsel for G. Heileman Brewing Company and Stroh Brewery Company before opening the Law Offices of Stephen Carlson in 1999.  Steve continued to practice law until he passed.

Steve was a member of First Congregational Church of Crystal Lake.  After a spinal cord injury in 2000 he championed accessibility initiatives at the church.

He loved the outdoors, boating with his family and friends at Center Hill Lake, Tennessee and fishing trips to Butternut Lake, Wisconsin with his brother.  He enjoyed golfing with his father and long talks with his mother and sister.  Steve was a huge sports fan and everyone knew of his passion for his favorite team, the Green Bay Packers. Steve especially enjoyed the time he spent with his children and was a very proud papa to his grandchildren Christian and Cecilia.

Steve is the beloved father of Charlie (Britt) Carlson of Clive, Iowa and Jim (Alyssa) Carlson of Crystal Lake; cherished grandfather of Christian and Cecilia; devoted husband to former wife of 26 years, Carol Wright Carlson; dear son of John and Roberta Carlson of Appleton, Wisconsin; admired brother of James (Brenda) Carlson of Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin and Sally Carlson of Brown Deer, Wisconsin; cousin, uncle and friend to many.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 15 at First Congregational Church of Crystal Lake at 10:30 a.m. with friends and family welcome to gather for visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m. 

For those wishing to send an expression of condolence, the family suggests donations be directed to First Congregational Church of Crystal Lake ( or the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (

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