James Roger Carlson was born on October 26, 1943 in Los Angeles, CA. He was the oldest son of Roger and Kathleene (Dvoracek) Carlson. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Tyndall where he resided throughout his childhood until he entered college. Jim was involved in several high school activities that included football, basketball, track, band, and debate. He was also the last 75 yard dash record holder at Tyndall High School. Local colleges were recruiting him during his freshman year to play football. Due to an unfortunate knee injury his athletic aspirations took a different direction. Jim attended the University of South Dakota (Springfield) where he majored in English and became student body president his senior year (1965).
He married Kay Francis Pudwill and together they had four children: Brad, Bryan, Christine, and Clayton. Jim was hired as head debate coach at Sioux Falls Washington High School where he won several state high school debate championships. His multiple state championship teams rivaled competition coaches Carl Swanson (Sioux Falls Lincoln HS) and Don Roberts (Watertown HS). They became close friends outside the coaching world. Jim later coached debate successfully at Rapid City Central HS, Brookings HS, and Vermillion HS. Jim earned his Master’s in English from The University of South Dakota (Springfield). He finished out his debate/teaching career at Sioux City Heelan HS with another state championship title. His success as a high school debate coach was undeniable. He knew how to win. Some of Jim’s hobbies included bowling, fishing, horseshoes, and pool…plus he was a die-hard Vikings and Nebraska Cornhusker fan. Jim passed away on Saturday, April 28th 2018 at Accura Healthcare Center in Sioux City, IA.
Jim is survived by 3 sons: Brad Carlson of Kansas City, KS, Bryan Carlson (Kelley) of Rapid City, SD, and Clayton Carlson (Mary) of Spokane, WA; fifteen grandchildren; ten greatgrandchildren; and sister Charlene (Matt) Gassen of Sioux Falls.
In addition to his parents, Jim is preceded in death by his daughter Christine Carlson and his brother Ron Carlson.
one hour prior to service