Gary Lee Carlson was born on January 17, 1954, to the parentage of Mel and Mary Lou (Harper) Carlson in Fairview, Pennsylvania. He passed away on May 6, 2023, in Garland, Texas.
Gary went to Fairview High School where he was an outstanding athlete in numerous sports, including football, wrestling, track, and basketball. He took the bronze medal in the PA wrestling championship in 1970. In 1972, upon graduating high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy and worked as a mechanic on the P-3 Orion submarine chaser until November 1976. Gary served in the Navy for four years before going on to work for Lockheed Martin in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as a Manager Technical Advisor. He traveled to Bangkok, Thailand, and met his bride, Thongsit (nicknamed "ON"). The two fell in love, married on August 6, 1980, and moved back to Erie, Pennsylvania. They traveled the world for their honeymoon. Gary then went to a technical school and got his AMP license and decided to relocate to Dallas, Texas, where he began working at Air Associates at Dallas Love Field in 1980.
After settling and residing in Dallas, they welcomed their daughter, Lena, in July 1983. After working for Air Associates at Love Field, he went to work for American Airlines in 1985. At American, he became a maintenance manager. He remained a dedicated employee at American, receiving many awards for his hard work. After 33 wonderful years of service, Gary finally retired from American in January 2018.
Among many hobbies, Gary delighted in flying radio AC airplanes, cooking smoked meats, trying new recipes, and traveling around the world to go to airshows and aircraft museums which was his life passion. He also loved to spend time with his family who loved and adored him.
Those left to cherish fond and lasting memories include his wife of 43 years, Thongsit Carlson; his daughter, Lena Carlson; his 99-year-old father, Mel Carlson; siblings - Gail, Eric, and Dean - and all their spouses; and many nieces and nephews. His mother, Mary Lou, passed away in 1997.
Gary was a very loving husband and papa. He always provided for his family. He made sure his family was taken care of, and always had a big heart. He let his wife go to Thailand every year. He will be missed and loved forever.
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