Willard Charles Carlsen, 79, passed away unexpectedly at home on Sunday, July 26th, 2020 in Taylorsville, Utah. He has had diabetes for years, but had been doing well recently. He was often known as the watch repair man, Grandpa Carlsen, or Willy.
Willard was born Feb 12, 1941 in Murray, Utah to Charles (Chick) Leroy Carlsen and Crystal Hannah Reynolds. He is the 4th of 7 siblings and has 3 half-siblings. He had a difficult childhood, but had supportive siblings and good friends.
He was on the swim team at Granite High School and graduated in 1959. At a dance, while attending Granite High, he met the love of his life, Janice Peterson. Jan shared stories of how Willard “knocked her socks off” with their first kiss. She knew after that kiss that he was the one. Jan and Will were too young to be married in Utah, so they eloped to Blackfoot, Idaho on June 25, 1960. They were later married in the Salt Lake City Temple on June 25, 1962. They had 7 children; Willard Dean (Billy), Shawn, Ryan and Randy (twins), DeAnn, JoAnna, and Rhonda and one foster-son, Russ Pearson, whom they have always considered their own. This year would have been Jan and Will’s 60th Anniversary.
Willard was determined to make a better life for his wife and family. He worked hard to make ends meet. Will worked full-time at Litton Guidance and Control Systems for over 35 years (now Northrop Grumman). There he tested the stable element which keeps a planes' inertial platform system parallel with the earth at all times. Those guidance systems are also used in the Apache Helicopters, F-15's, F-14's and other high security governmental equipment.
He also worked part-time temporarily with Zales jewelry where he started to pick up the watch repair trade. He had his own small business and serviced many watch and jewelry shops around the Salt Lake Valley, including Primrose, Mike's Jewelry, Zales, and JcPenney's. He also repaired watches for neighbors and friends, often without charging them. The money he made working nights at home helped to provide extracurricular activities for his family.
Willy was the biggest kid of all the Carlsen's. He loved life and enjoyed trying new things. He was a silent party animal. He loved a good time and loved those good times to be shared with people from all walks of life. Willard took care of everyone. He loved all people. It didn't matter if you were rich or poor, he wanted to see you have the opportunity to experience a beautiful part of life through activities.
Willard supported his children in many sports, including baseball and softball. He even umpired softball games. His children played softball and took care of the Taylorsville softball fields for many years. They worked alongside of each other mowing the fields and watering them. He was an early supporter and contributor to the fields of the Taylorsville Softball Parks that we see near Vista Elementary today.
Willard had a scooter or motorcycle most of his life and even pulled around a small cart behind his motorcycle for his golf clubs. Later he owned his own golf cart and hauled it to many golf courses around the valley. He loved the water and swimming and took the kids to the Kearns swimming pool often. He also loved a good deal and after having breakfast at Grecian Gardens, he and Jan would head out for yard-sales looking for treasures on most Saturdays.
He learned and became an avid skier in the 1980's. He even competed in the Coca-Cola Cup for his age group. It was a big part of his life and many good memories were made with his children during that time.
Whatever Dad did, it wasn't alone. He opened the door for others or dragged them right along with him. He taught people who would not typically have the opportunity, and he found satisfaction in it. He taught and encouraged others to bowl, ski, water-ski, boat, camp, fish, hunt, and travel. With all the things he did, he included his children and others. As with Mom, he felt "the more the merrier."
Willy spent years taking his family up boating and camping at Echo Reservoir, Deer Creek, East Canyon, Jordanelle, Utah Lake, and Willard Bay. The kids all learned how to ski and loved boating. Later in life, 3 waverunners followed him home. That's his story, and he's sticking to it. Waverunning and boating are still a favorite family past-time even for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He taught us all to work hard and to play hard.
Mom and Dad worked together as a good team. Mom kept Dad informed as to what the kids were up to as Dad worked to provide for us all. Willy was a man of few words. But when he opened his mouth or said something, it was always important. His words taught major life lessons in one simple sentence. They were plain, simple, direct, and powerful. He laid down the law when he needed to. He was so respected that disappointing him was just not an option.
He was full of life. He loved living and taking it all in. Will reveled in the joy of others. He was willing, daring, and brave enough to try it all. He had a strong belief in God and a forgiving heart. If he saw a need he filled it. He loved each one of us and found a way to connect with each of us on our own terms and in our own interests. Making strong bonds that will last for eternity.
Willard has always been the head of the family and we will miss his silent strength. He was a warrior of virtue with a quiet and strong example with sound principles. Thank you Dad, for your faith, for your example, and for loving us and giving us your time. You and Mom have taught us so much in life. We owe you everything. We know you loved Mom dearly and are grateful that you are happily reunited with each other in heaven. We will miss you both beyond words, but we look forward with faith till we meet again through our Savior Jesus Christ.
Will is preceded in death by his parents; Charles Leroy Carlsen, Crystal Hannah Reynolds; his siblings: Darlene Crystal Stephenson, Charlene Rudell Peay, Dannie LeRoy Carlsen, Dorothy Edna Randolph, Calvin Boyd Carlsen, and his twin sons Ryan Eskel Carlsen, and Randy Scott Carlsen.
He is survived by his children, Willard Dean Carlsen (Marilyn), Shawn Charles Carlsen, DeAnn Marie Hansen (Clifford), JoAnna Luella Turner (Thomas), and Rhonda Lee Amicone (Timothy); his brother Jay Bryant Carlsen; 22 grand-children, and 41 great-grandchildren.
A viewing will be held Tuesday, August 4th, 2020 from 12:00pm-1:45pm at Redwood Memorial Estates, 6500 S. Redwood Rd. West Jordan, Utah 84123. Funeral Services will commence at 2:00pm in the chapel. Graveside services will begin approximately 3:00pm.
Due to the COVID-19 guidelines, 50 people will be allowed to participate in the viewing at a time. Masks are required for Salt Lake County.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks you consider a donation directly to the family for the beautiful flowers and funeral services they have already purchased. To donate, please use the app Venmo, and search @Rhonda-Amicone to donate to Willard's daughter, Rhonda.
To participate in the services from your own home via live stream, please view instructions below:
1. Joining by computer
a. Go to zoom.us in any internet browser
b. Click “join meeting”
c. Enter the meeting id - 8019693456
d. A box will open saying “https://zoom.us wants to open this application”. Click “open zoom”
e. Click “Join with Computer Audio”
f. Click “Mute” in the bottom left hand corner so that your audio does not interrupt the funeral services
2. Joining by phone or iPad
a. Download the Zoom app
b. Open the app and select “join a meeting”
c. Enter the meeting id - 8019693456
d. Select “join without video”
e. Select “Call using internet audio”
f. Select “mute” in the bottom left hand corner so that your audio does not interrupt the funeral services.
Life Story Info
So sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. He must have missed his wife so much that he decided to join her. I know that it’s hard to lose both of them so close, but you can take comfort knowing they are together and are free from the health problems they had. Your Dad was collecting pennies at one time, and since I worked at the bank for so many years that was our bond. May Heaven bless each of you as you continue moving forward, and remember all the memories you have in your hearts. Sister Meldrum
Thank you, Joyce. You have always been such a good friend and support to my parents and my family. You have no idea how right you are about Dad missing Mom so much. I am glad they are both together, and happy with each other, instead of suffering any longer from health issues. Thank you for the blessings, may you and your family be blessed as well.
Found some misc photos to share with family of Willard Carlsen as I am his nephew.