Ralph Arnold Carlson, age 81, of St. Simons Island, Georgia and formerly of West Brookfield and Wilbraham, Massachusetts, passed away Wednesday, January 20,2021 on St Simons Island.
Ralph was one of four children born to Stewart and Gertrude (Petersen) Carlson. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, obtaining a BS in geology and later a MBA in marketing. He first worked as a product manager for General Foods in White Plains, NY, then Vice President and Account Manager for SSC&B Lintas Advertising in New York City. From there he worked for Spalding Sports Worldwide where he served as VP and General Manager for 27 years. While at Spalding Sports, his primary focus was in the licensing department where he made the name of Spalding a household name worldwide. His final position was with the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts where he managed the EDC Board of Director’s Marketing Committee.
Ralph was a member of, and held board member positions in many corporate organizations including the Sporting Goods Manufacturer’s Association, Golf Ball Manufactures Association, Association of Golf Club Manufactures, the Baseball and Softball Manufacture’s Association and Etonic Shoe Company. He was also active in several non-profit organizations including Wilbraham United Church, Evangelical Covenant Church, Western Massachusetts Regional Technology Association and the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts.
In addition, Ralph served on various civic association committees.
Ralph loved his Lord and Savior and was always active in any church to which he belonged. He also loved his family and was a very humble and sweet man. Ralph was a member of Evangelical Covenant Church where he served as vice-chairman of the executive committee, deacon and chair of the deacon board. He was also a member of St. Simons Community Church.
Ralph loved traveling, golf, skiing, boating, fishing and watching all kinds of sports, especially the Green Bay Packers, University of Wisconsin teams and the Patriots. After vacationing on St. Simons Island, Ralph and his wife, Sandy, moved to St. Simons in 2009. The couple continued to spend summers at their lake home in Massachusetts, but always looked forward to returning to their beloved St. Simons Island.
Ralph is survived by his wife of 58 years, Sandra Tuhus Carlson, of St. Simons Island; a son, Mark Carlson and wife Jen of West Brookfield, MA; a daughter, Kari Belcastro and fiance Jon, of Longmcadow, MA; grandchildren, Brett and Paige Belcastro and Chase Carlson; a great granddaughter, Olivia Thompson, a brother, Jim Carlson and wife Ellen of Milwaukee, WI and his beloved dog, Bailey. In addition to his parents, two older brothers preceded Ralph in death.
Ralph’s Graveside Service will be held on Friday, August 20th at 11:00 AM in Woodland Dell Cemetery, Wilbraham. Wilbraham Funeral Home is assisting the family.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Georgia Hospice Care, 777 Gloucester Street, #303, Brunswick, GA 31520 or to the Parkinson's Foundation, 1359 Broadway Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018.
The family would like to thank the entire staff at Thrive and GA Hospice Care for the wonderful care they gave Ralph.
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