Cover photo for Craig V. Carlsen's Obituary
Craig V. Carlsen Profile Photo
1951 Craig 2011

Craig V. Carlsen

August 11, 1951 — May 8, 2011

Craig V. Carlsen, 59, Chubbuck, ID; passed away unexpectedly Sunday, May 8, 2011 at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, in Idaho Falls, ID, from a heart attack. He was a prominent businessman, in Pocatello, and owner of Carlsen's Blacksmith and Repair.

Craig was born on August 11, 1951, in Pocatello, to Thomas Richard and Vivian Aldous Carlsen. He was the youngest of five children, and attended school in Pocatello, graduating from Highland High School, in 1970.

Craig's draft number was 56, which meant he was automatically drafted into the Army. He served from 1970 to 1972, in Germany and Vietnam. Because of his valiant service, he received a Vietnam Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal.

After the war, Craig retuned home to Pocatello, where he did sheet metal work. He moved to Houston, TX to work construction. While living in Houston, Craig met and married Kathy Bell. They moved back to Pocatello, where Craig went to work as a blacksmith, for his father at Carlsen's Repair. Eventually he took over the business. The Carlsen family owned & operated the business for 111 years.

Craig and Kathy had a daughter, Mandelin. Mandelin was the pride and joy of Craig's life. Craig and Kathy later divorced.

Craig married Betty Branson, in Pocatello. They had a son Erik, and Craig was thrilled to have a son, just like him. Craig and Betty later divorced.

In 1996, Craig met the love of his life, Ileen Fried, and they were engaged a few years later. Together Craig and Ileen shared every passion, including being active and social, within the community.

Craig was instrumental in starting the fields for the Gate City Youth Soccer Park. He served as a member of the soccer board and was a soccer referee for many years. He remained active with helping maintain the fields, up to his untimely death.

Craig was an avid snowmobiler. He enjoyed being an active member, and served on the board, for the Pocatello Pathfinders Snowmobile Club.

Craig was a member of the Elks Club. While he was a member, he served as trustee for three years. He did many repairs to the club, helped build the horseshoe pits, and was always willing to lend a hand, when needed. He and Ileen chaired the golf tournament committee for a few years and he was chosen, by his peers, as Elk of the Year, 2007-2008.

Craig found a new passion for golf, during the last ten or so years. You could find him, almost every weekend, at the golf course.

Craig was a proud grandfather. He was always talking about his grandson and always looking forward to the next time he would see him.

Anyone who knew Craig knew he was always willing to help out and get involved. He never did anything ½ ways, and truly portrayed giving 110%. He was wonderful father, friend and surrogate father/grandfather, to so many. He will be truly missed.

Craig was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Lorraine, and his brother Tom.
He is survived by two sisters, Julie Carlsen - Pocatello, Arlene (Weaver) Stopka - Pocatello, his daughter, Mandelin Carlsen (TJ LaFontaine) and grandson, Sebastion -Kent, WA, his son Erik Carlsen (Morgan Wilton) - Show Low, AZ, Fiancée, Ileen Fried - Pocatello and her daughters, Debbie Fried - Pocatello, and Brenda Fried-Chaffin (Jeff Chaffin) - Blackfoot.

The family will meet with friends on Wednesday, May 11th at Wilks Funeral Home, from 6pm to 7pm.

Craig was a simple man and did not want a formal funeral, therefore, a Celebration of Life, including Elks and Military rites, will be held at Pocatello Elks Club on Thursday, May 12th, at 2:30pm, where casual/golf attire is encouraged.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests, donations to be made at Citizens Community Bank, in Craig's memory, to assist in medical and final expenses.

Please take a moment to share any condolences, stories or photos that you have of Craig with the Carlsen family.

Service information is posted under the "Service Schedule" tab above.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Craig V. Carlsen, please visit our flower store.


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