Ronald Edmund Carlson passed away peacefully at his Claremore farm surrounded by family on Sunday, May 3, 2020.
Ron was born the third son of John Albin "Dib" Carlson and Marian Gertrude Carlson née Lane on November 16, 1931 in the Swedish community of Titusville, Pennsylvania. The family of four boys and one daughter included older brothers, Jack Jr. and Tom, and younger brother, Steve and sister, Linda.
Ron and his family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, when, as Controller and Sr. Vice President of Kewanee Oil, his father moved the company west from its roots in the original Drake Well at Oil Creek. Ron and his brothers finished school at Will Rogers High, the two older brothers attending Tulsa University, Ron and Steve attending Oklahoma A&M in Stillwater.
At A&M, Ron became a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, Army ROTC, Sword and Scabbard, the cheerleading team, and was the school handball champion. During the summers from 1949 and 1953, he worked for Midwestern Pipeline Constructors as a skid hustler, hoosier pole man, swamper and a helper to put himself through college, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering.
After college, Ron served in the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps for two years in Germany and became maintenance officer for all battalions of 280mm atomic cannons stationed in Europe.
Upon discharge, Ron resumed his education at the University of Oklahoma, earning a Master's Degree in Business and Finance in 1957. Ten years were spent as an engineer for Shell Oil Company, specializing in equipment design and sales for structural resins and corrosion coatings in New Jersey, Atlanta, and Houston. In 1967, Ron founded Commercial Resins Company and returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to raise his five sons. He pioneered a series of novel machines and received a number of U.S. patents including specialized spray guns, the first field coating machines to employ induction heating, robotics for internal pipeline inspection and a fully portable coating plant in shipping containers among others.
The '70s and '80s saw his small company grow internationally to include engineering of pipe coating facilities in the U.S., Saudi Arabia, the U.K. with British Gas, South Africa, Columbia, Mexico and Australia, and offices in Tulsa; Houston; Napa; Monterrey, Mexico; and Bedford, England. Thirty years after his first summer job for Midwestern, Ron bought the company and folded their coating, double-jointing and welding activities into Commercial Resins.
During these exciting times, Ron found time to serve fifteen years as Cubmaster and Scoutmaster, building one of the largest scout troops in Tulsa: Troop 10. Summers were spent on high adventure backpacking in the Rocky Mountains, Philmont Scout Ranch, and the Canadian boundary waters. Neither the troop nor Ron ever missed a monthly outing, and many Eagles went on to work for his company and on to successful careers. In 1977, he received the national Silver Beaver award for "distinguished service to boyhood", and in 1979, he led the Southwest contingent to the World Jamboree in Sweden.
In 1981, Ron met and married the love of his life and tireless companion, Vanessa Anne Hogarth, of Bedfordshire, England. The pair travelled the world for business and pleasure, settling in Claremore, Oklahoma, to build an internationally known horse farm specializing in breeding and training German warmblood horses for dressage. The progeny of their mares and stallions continue to earn national awards and are sought after in the breed. Ron developed his own interest in competitive carriage driving, was active in OHHA and helped build Oklahoma's only permanent CDE course at the Payne County Fairgrounds in Stillwater. He participated in many Combined Driving Events and especially enjoyed participating in the National Drive in Kentucky. Ron also loved to spend time at their cabin and on the water at Grand Lake.
Ron was a talented woodworker, a sailor, having built his own sailboat in the basement of his home in New Jersey, and a private pilot. Some will remember his problem organizing the removal of a boat larger than a stairwell, or his curious Piper prop over his mantel, purchased from the rental office after removing the tops of several pine trees at the N.J. municipal airport. All will remember his sense of humor, abundant optimism, calm demeanor, and uncanny good luck.
Ron shared his love of the great outdoors and his love of the water, all things nautical, and sailing with his five sons. In particular, he imparted his natural curiosity, his wide interests and entrepreneurial spirit.
Ron is survived by his loving wife, Vanessa; his five sons, Ron Jr., Gregg, Mark (Carol), Bo and Kevin (Brady); grandchildren, Thomas (Anne), Robert, Ben, Caroline (Zach Holland), Jake, Kyra and Alex Carlson; and great-granddaughters, Zoey and Lily Holland; his brother, Tom (Pat) of Dallas; and sister, Linda (Fred Scholer) of Chincoteague, VA; and a host of other relatives and friends.
A memorial service at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Claremore will be planned at a later date. Details can be found on Stanleys Funeral Home website.
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