Donald Lee Carlon
Donald Lee Carlon died the morning of December 1, 2020. He was preceded in death by the one woman he ever loved, Bette P. Carlon (d. August 2017) and are now rejoined. In many ways he lived a remarkable life. Born in 1925 in Beaver, PA he was an active leatherhead and golfer who learned the game by hitting thousands of chokecherries fallen from trees. He attended Geneva College and during his freshman year was drafted to serve in WWII. He was an infantry man in the 42nd Division from 1943-1946 and achieved the rank of 1st Sergeant. Among many heroic stories and receiving the Bronze Star, Don participated in the liberation of Dachau and it was this moment when he affirmed a desire to serve others through medicine. He returned and married Bette in 1947 and graduated Pre-Med from Geneva College in 1948. He pursued an MD degree from State University of New York -Syracuse and graduated in 1952. He completed his radiology residency at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN in 1956. Don and Bette relocated to Willmar, MN serving many communities as the central Minnesota radiologist. In 1963 the family moved to Moorhead, MN, where Don served as the Chief of Radiology at St. Ansgar Hospital until his retirement in 1980. He was a physician by training and artist by passion. Prior to Don’s retirement he found an artist passion in metal sculpture while traveling to many artist retreats and symposiums with Bette, who was also a notable landscape artist in the region. Don was an engaged artist and went so far as to build a bronze casting blast furnace in the driveway of his home. Which when fired up, alerted his neighbors that something big was happening. Don provided daily care to Bette for more than 15 years as she fought debilitating dementia prior to her passing. He never stopped loving her.
Don Carlon is survived by his three children Jane (Matt), Ann and Todd (Suzanne), seven grandchildren – Chad (Angie), Ross (Emily), Cole (Devon), Jay, Tom, Cris (Shawna) and Chase, two step-grandchildren Brenda and Robert and four greatgrandchildren – Linden, Bennett, Whitney and Knox.
A private invitation only memorial service will be held virtually, and internment is planned Spring 2021.