Chris Carlson, one of Dickinson area’s greatest athletes, dies at age 41

Chris Carlson simultaneously led a blessed and troubled life.

Carlson, an adoring father to two young daughters and a man best known in Dickinson for his athletic accomplishments, died tragically of an apparent suicide in his home Sunday, family and friends said Monday.

“We all knew he struggled with issues and things of that nature,” said Kyle Carlson, his younger brother. “He tried his hardest to work through it.”

The son of longtime Dickinson High School track and field coach Jack Carlson, Chris Carlson was described by many as one of the best athletes Dickinson has ever produced.

Among his many athletic accomplishments, Chris Carlson was named the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association’s Male Athlete of the Year in 1989, the year he graduated from DHS.

An all-state quarterback and a standout pole vaulter who helped the Midgets track team his father coached to the 1989 state championship, Chris Carlson was also a standout on the basketball court and the baseball field.

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