Obituary: Lee Arlene Carlson

November 18, 2022

Lee Arlene Carlson, 75, of the Town of Forestville, died after a brief illness, Friday November 18, 2022, at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay.

She was born September 25, 1947, in Sacramento CA, the daughter of Frank Foster Stilson and Arlene (Cushman) Stilson. Lee Graduated from Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove, CA and continued her education at a local Tech school training as a key punch operator.

Lee was employed for many years as a data entry specialist and private contractor for the United States government at McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento County, CA. This is where she met her future husband, Thomas Carlson, who also worked there and went out of his way to meet Lee. They were united in marriage on October 6, 1979, in California. After living in Tom’s house in Sacramento for a few years, Tom and Lee designed and built their first home together in Elk Gove, CA. Surrounded by pecan trees that Tom planted, they lived together with their German shepherd, Jesse, and Lee’s mother, Arlene, whom she took care of. Through her years of employment at the Air Force Base, Lee acquired a high-security clearance which enabled her to work on data for the stealth bomber. Upon their retirement, Lee and Tom moved to Door County, WI, and he built their second home in the Town of Forestville.

Together with Tom, Lee was a member of American Association of Woodturners, Northeastern Wisconsin Woodworking Guild, Northeastern Wisconsin Woodturners out of Neenah, and Bay Lake Woodturners in Green Bay. Lee was also a member of the Mayflower Society as a confirmed descendant of one of the passengers. Prior to meeting Tom, she enjoyed going on adventures with one of her friends who had a Corvette and off-roading in a dune buggy in the area foothills. Lee was an avid knitter and crocheter who would make kitchen washcloths by the bucketful and all the scarves for Tom’s signature snowmen and other projects. She loved animals, especially cats. Lee had sharp, photographic memory which served her well professionally and also at home. Her family recalls how she could “walk” them right through the house to find almost any item.

Lee and Tom were blessed to share over 42 years of marriage. Tom preceded her in death earlier this year, on February 8, 2022. 

Lee will be missed by her brother-in-law, Donald Carlson of the Town of Forestville; Don’s children, Laurie (Phil) Adams, Jeffrey (Sue) Carlson, Eric (Rachel) Carlson, Douglas (Catherine) Keith, Robert (Coreen) Keith, Richard (Amarjargal) Keith, and multiple grand nephews and nieces.  Cousins, Carol Ann Athenour of Gardnerville, NV, Gregory Richard Peterson of West Sacramento, CA, David Lawrence Peterson of North Highlands, CA; other relatives; special friends, Debbie and Billy; and her cherished cat, Clancy.

She was preceded in death by parents; husband Tom; sister-in-law, Helen Carlson; and other relatives.

Lee’s life will be honored with a memorial service held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 28, 2023, at Huehns Funeral Home, 1414 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 with Pastor Gary Scharrig officiating. She will be laid to rest in Bayside Cemetery in the Town of Sevastopol, beside her husband, Tom.

Visitation for family and friends will be held at the funeral home on from Saturday, January 28, 2023, from noon until the time of service.

Memorials may be given in her name for the Bay Lake Woodturners, the Northeastern Wisconsin Woodworking Guild, American Association of Woodturners, Wisconsin Humane society and ASPCA.

Our family would like to express our heartfelt thanks to CeCe (Lee’s caregiver) for the wonderful and devoted care you gave to Lee over the last year. A special thanks also goes out to the critical care unit staff at St. Vincent Hospital, especially, Dan and Hannah, for the excellent, compassionate care you gave to Lee.”

Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Lee may be shared with her family through her tribute page at