John Charles Carlson

October 14, 1935May 8, 2021

John C. Carlson (“JC”), age 85, most recently of Byron Center, passed away at home on May 8, 2021. John graduated from South High School in Grand Rapids and was an active member of the Class of ‘53 throughout the years. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from Michigan State University in 1958. John met Mildred Veitch (“Millie”) in junior high school. They married in 1956. John was involved in the commercial construction industry for over 55 years, starting as a teenager, with Beckering Construction Company and then Pioneer Construction. He and Millie formed J.C. Carlson Construction in 1969.

John found great joy in being with his family. He started spending summers at Gun Lake in the late 1940’s and the entire family spent most of their summers enjoying all that lake life had to offer for several decades after that. John spent winters in northern Michigan skiing and snowmobiling. John and Millie were blessed with wonderful friends with whom they took several memorable trips. They skied in the Rocky Mountains and the Austrian Alps, visited England, went on a river barge trip in France, and traveled to Alaska and Hawaii.

John was preceded in death by his parents Charlotte D. and Chester H. Carlson and sister, Sereta Beckering. He is survived by his wife, Mildred A. (Veitch) Carlson; daughters Linda (David) Knowles, Debra Sims, and Karen (Larry) Knowles; nine grandchildren Brooke (Jason) Sines, Brad (Beth) Knowles, Randy (Tressa) Knowles, Ashley (Brandon) Goosen, Robert Knowles, Danielle (Brandon) Cimek, Adam (Lindsey) Sims, Nicholas Knowles, and Zachary Knowles; and 12 great-grandchildren, all of whom were at one time or another fondly referred to by Grandpa as “Buster,” “George,” or “Schweetie.”

The family wishes to thank the people of Faith Hospice for the compassionate services they provided. This made it possible for John to remain at home during the last months of his life; he could be cared for and surrounded by his family.

The family will have a private celebration of life. If you would like to make a donation in John’s memory, please consider Shriners Hospital for Children, which can be found at or Faith Hospice at (616) 235-5125. The family welcomes memories and messages in their guest book online at


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


John Charles Carlson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Gordon Quist

May 24, 2021

Dear Carlson Family,

Over the years, John and I lost touch with each other. I regret that. I knew John from our professional relationship, which necessarily ended over 20 years ago. I remember John as a hard working, honest, and very competent businessman who did what he could to help others.. He always spoke lovingly of his family. Please accept my condolences.

Gordon Quist

John Barrows

May 18, 2021

Hello Mildred Veitch. Please accept my condolences for the passing of John. His name is vaguely familiar from Junior High School, but I never new him well. I am glad that you had a long and apparently happy marriage. It was last week that I was reflecting on former neighborhood friends and yours was there along with Pete and Andy Byleinga, Nancy Peckover and others. We had a wonderful neighborhood in which to grow up.
I am currently living at Cook Valley. My wife Nancy, whom I met in High School (EGR) passed away a year ago.

With sympathy for your loss,


Cornelius Van Dellen

May 11, 2021

I have known John for a long time, we did many projects together and we thought very highly of him, he was a good and fair man and fun to work with. Scared me to death when he invited me on his boat in gun lake. I knew trouble was coming when I noticed the motor on the boat was bigger then the boat. I survived white knuckled but a lasting memory was made.
The Grand Rapids construction scene could use more of JC Carlson Construction Companies. See you on the other side.

Casey Van Dellen, Van Dellen Steel