Wilton A. “Bill” Carlson

June 16, 1943 - May 11, 2022

Wilton A. “Bill” Carlson, 78, Oakland, CA and Lincoln, NE, passed away May 11, 2022. Born June 16, 1943, in Buffalo, NY, to George and Doris (White) Carlson.

Bill grew up in York and Lincoln, NE. He graduated from Lincoln Southeast High School and attended the University of Nebraska Lincoln for two years, where he played flute and piccolo in the UNL Marching Band. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1964.
Bill briefly studied law at UNL before attending Officer Candidate School, graduating as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1967. He served in Korea until his discharge with the rank of first lieutenant in 1969.
Bill then settled in San Francisco and later Oakland. He worked for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in both cities until his retirement in 2003. He returned to Lincoln in 2021.
Bill was an avid photographer. From 1969 to 1979 he devoted himself to capturing images of San Francisco and environs. As a result, he was selected for a grant-funded history project called “San Francisco Neighborhoods.” The subjects of his photography ranged from city officials to the homeless and whatever street scenes struck his fancy.
He was also an avid amateur magician, walker, hiker, cyclist, and world traveler, always carrying his camera with him. He traveled to all the continents except Australia and Antarctica and to most of the United States, including Hawaii.
Preceded in death by his parents, Bill leaves behind a sister, Janet Carlson, Lincoln, NE., and nephew, Joe Wetherell, Sarasota, FL, as well as many lifelong friends.
We will all miss this smart and sociable guy and his whimsical sense of humor. R.I.P., dear friend.
A celebration of life will be held later. Memorial gifts may be directed to the Sierra Club, the Lewy Body Dementia Association, or The Eastmont Foundation, 6315 O St., Lincoln, NE 68510 for charity care at The Monarch hospice facility.

Share a Memory or Condolence

May 25, 2022

So sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. My uncle, Douglas Moritz, was a long-time friend of Bill. I specifically remember a day back in 2015 when I picked up Doug and Bill, who were visiting from California, and took them for breakfast to meet other Lincoln friends at the Hi-Way Diner. After breakfast we took a trip to the SAC Air Museum, an art gallery in Omaha where Jerry Jacoby showed his art, and lunch at King Fong’s restaurant in downtown Omaha. Carlson, as Doug called him, had many photos of Doug and the Gang in San Francisco that included Will Fowler, S. Clay Wilson, Don Williams, Gary Hodwalker, Larry Johnson, John Riddell, Doug Moritz and Bill Carlson (photo will not upload). Doug and I stayed with Bill in Oakland in January 2016 before flying back to Lincoln when I brought Doug back from Arcata CA. Doug died later that Spring. I have many letters that Bill sent Doug over the years that I’ll share if there is any interest. I can only imagine the party going on in heaven with Carlson, Wilson and Moritz – friends together again for eternity.

– Don Freeman

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