Swan Funeral Home

1224 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, CT


Richard Stocks Carlson

April 23, 1942February 13, 2020

Richard Stocks Carlson was born on April 23, 1942 and passed away on February 13, 2020.


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Richard Stocks Carlson

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Marc Biagini

February 21, 2020

I met Dick when I enrolled in his Journalism class at Lewis University. It wasn't long before I became his research assistant, got to know him and admire him. I was the best man at their wedding in 1976 in a cute little church in Lisle, IL.

When I met him "The Benign Humorists" had just been published. One day he took me to the side and told me I have a unique writing style and should pursue journalism. He took out a copy of his book, handed it to me and said: "Go home tonight and read the first chapter-only the first chapter-and we'll talk about it in the morning."

The next morning he basically told me his approach to writing the book was all wrong; he had directed his writing at the "high-brow" reader and would be unlikely to sell 50 copies. He advised me to "always, always, always write for the masses." I just went on line and ordered a used copy. Naturally, it belonged to a library, the main purchasers of the book.

I subsequently took 21 hours in journalism classes with a straight 4.0 and worked as a reporter for 3 newspapers, always following his advice.

My 2019 book, Left for Dead at Nijmegen, the True Story of an American Paratrooper in World War II is the Nonfiction Book of the Year with plaudits from Germany, Holland, the UK, Canada and the USA...Believe me, I was following Dick's advice as I wrote it...and continue to do so with my next 4 books.

Dick, I tried looking you up from time-to-time but it was as if you had melded into the masses and disappeared. I appreciated your knowledge, the hours we all spent listening to classical music-something I still do-and drinking martinis.

My writing successes are all thanks to you, my friend.