Cover photo for Daniel Steven Carlson's Obituary
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1947 Daniel 2023

Daniel Steven Carlson

June 28, 1947 — August 21, 2023

Fort Collins, Colorado

Daniel Steven Carlson was born June 28, 1947 in Red Oak, Iowa to Harley and Marie (Swanson) Carlson. Living in nearby Stanton, Iowa, he was the third of five children.


Dan spent the first four years of his education attending elementary school in Stanton prior to the family moving to Denver, Colorado in 1956. In Denver, he completed his education, graduating from South High School in 1965. With a desire to serve his country and follow in the footsteps of his father and older brother, he joined the Navy while still a senior at South High School, leaving for basic training upon graduation. At the completion of basic, he was deployed to Vietnam where he was assigned to a combat salvage unit, then later to the destroyer U.S.S. Turner as a Gunner's Mate. It was here that he was first exposed to the defoliation herbicide, Agent Orange, that adversely affected so many young men in our military.


Upon being discharged from the Navy in 1970, he went to work for Armco Steel. He later worked for the Public Service Company as an engineer at the Fort St. Vrain facility.  


On February 16, 1973 Dan married Diana Meyer in Broomfield, Colorado.To this union was born a son, Steven in 1977, and a daughter, Lisa in 1980. Dan and Diana began their married life living in Commerce City, Colorado, but after Diana became pregnant, they moved to an acreage near Brighton, Colorado. In 1987, the city of Denver purchased their home to make way for the current Denver International Airport. Wanting to move from the hustle and bustle of city life, Dan found a small 92-acre farm outside of Longmont. This became a busy time for him. Along with his daily job, he enrolled and completed college while continuing to do the farming. 


In 2002, he was diagnosed with cancer. He and Diana decided to sell the farm and purchase a home near Fort Collins in Poudre Canyon. Surrounded by Ponderosa Pines and beautiful scenery, he became involved with the local fire department and ultimately became a certified first responder. With his new surroundings, he, along with three other gentlemen, formed the Northern Colorado Model A club in 2006. He became a cornerstone of the organization by having the honor of serving as its first president. Dan was extremely proud of the club and what it meant to the members and the community.


When it became exceedingly more difficult to maintain the property to Dan's standards, he and Diana decided to move to Sunflower Community in Fort Collins.



During his last few years, his body began to fail him but his spirit and faith never wavered. He continued to fight through any challenge that confronted him and he relied on his faith that the Lord would guide him through.


In June, Dan was able to realize a bucket-list desire by being selected along with his good friend and guardian, retired Col. Rich Thomas, to participate in the 2023 High Plains Honor Flight to Washington DC where they were able to view many of the magnificent memorials around the Capital such as WWll, Korea and the Vietnam Wall, along with the Lincoln Memorial.


Dan passed on August 21, 2023. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Dean.  He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Diana, his son, Steve (Amy) of Wisconsin and his daughter, Lisa of Fort Collins, 6 grandchildren and one great granddaughter, his brothers Dave and Dale and his sister, Mary.


In lieu of flowers, please send donations to: High Plains Honor Flight, PO Box 363, Ault, CO 80610 or through their website:

Services will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, August 31, 2023 at St. John's Lutheran Church, 305 E. Elizabeth, Fort Collins, Colorado. A Military Ceremony will follow at the American Legion, 2124 County Road 54G, Fort Collins, Colorado. 


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Daniel Steven Carlson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Thursday, August 31, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Mountain (no DST) time)

Saint John's Lutheran Church - LCMS

305 E Elizabeth St, Fort Collins, CO 80524

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Reception American Legion Post 4

Thursday, August 31, 2023

11:00am - 2:00 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

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