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Service Information For Our Dear Friend Brett Carlson

Coach, Teacher, Administrator, Servant Leader Was 45 Years Old

Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2022 - 5:49 PM


Brett Carlson.

Brett Carlson’s 23-month battle with stage 4 colon cancer was won by Jesus on Saturday, November 26th when he went to his eternal home in heaven. He had just celebrated his 45th birthday. Brett fought until the end and was surrounded by the love of his wife, Renee; their two daughters, Megan and Sarah; sister, Heidi; and a caring hospice nurse. Brett’s life radiated love, hope and positivity.

Brett was born at United Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota on November 17, 1977 to Tom and Karlene Carlson. He grew up in White Bear Lake. He was proud of his hometown and the educational experience he had through White Bear Lake Area Schools. Brett was extremely active in sports throughout his childhood and into high school where he played football, basketball and baseball. Brett attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he earned a degree in Social Studies education, was a member of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity, worked four summers of Kansas City Chiefs training camps, and met his future wife Renee.

Brett and Renee were married on October 19, 2002. They recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. Their love for each other was unconditional, and they considered their marriage one of their greatest blessings. They were each other’s best friend, biggest fan, teammate, and confidant. They welcomed Megan to the family on October 15, 2007 and Sarah on September 1, 2010. Brett loved Megan and Sarah fiercely and enjoyed watching them learn and grow. He intentionally modeled how they should be cared for and treated by their future husbands by being a loving, kind and hands-on teammate to their mom Renee. Brett encouraged the girls to be themselves while going after their dreams. Spending time as a family, simply sitting on the couches in their living room visiting, was one of Brett’s favorite things to do.

Brett got his first teaching job at Apple Valley High School. He also taught at Champlin Park High School and White Bear Lake Area High School-North Campus. He enjoyed building relationships and making connections with students in the classroom, but he especially loved coaching. Brett coached football, basketball, baseball and track throughout his teaching career. Brett then transitioned into Educational Leadership, and served several administrative roles including Director of Athletics, Activities, and Community Education and Co-Director of Early Learning. He worked at North Branch Area High School, Lakeville North High School, and North Branch Area Public Schools Education Center.

Brett was truly a servant leader and individual, who always put others first. He felt called to speak to students and adults using his cancer diagnosis and journey to share about showing up for others, loving people well, knowing your purpose, the power of a positive attitude and mindset, resiliency, grit, perseverance, and humility. His powerful message was that regardless of who you are, “You’re part of the story.” He spoke to over 20 organizations touching the lives of hundreds and hundreds of people.

Brett will forever be remembered as a devoted follower of Christ whose faith was the cornerstone and guide of his adult life. He spent time with Jesus every morning, reading the bible, journaling, and praying. Brett loved his family deeply and nothing brought him more joy than being with them. He also enjoyed connecting with friends for coffee, watching football, and Twitter. Brett was a natural encourager whose presence and smile lit up a room. He greatly valued people and wanted them to know they mattered. His purpose was to instill hope in the world, and that is exactly what he did.

Brett is survived by his wife Renee Carlson; daughters Megan and Sarah; parents, Tom and Karlene Carlson; inlaws, Gary and Susie Schuetzle; brother, Brandon Carlson (Andrea); sister, Heidi Olson (Ross); sister-in-law, Martha Schuetzle (Dan); 8 nieces and nephews (Alex, Kaitlyn, Aidan, Sophia, Christian, Cameron, Emmett, and Amelia) and countless friends.

A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, December 17th at 10:30 AM, with a gathering of family and friends taking place after the service from 11:30 AM - 1 PM at North Heights Lutheran Church, 1700 County Hwy 96, Arden Hills, MN 55112. A private family burial will be held at Valley Grove Cemetery in Nerstrand, MN. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the family to benefit Brett’s daughters and causes near to his heart.…



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