Cover photo for Joseph W. Karlson's Obituary
Joseph W. Karlson Profile Photo
1944 Joseph 2021

Joseph W. Karlson

August 18, 1944 — January 17, 2021

Joseph W. Karlson, 76, of Auburn, passed away Sunday, January 17, 2021. Joe was a native of West Groton and graduated as Valedictorian in 1962 from Groton High School. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Hobart College in Geneva and his Masters Degree in Mathematics from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Due to a debilitating illness, Joe retired in 1989 after 20 years as a math teacher for Evanston High School and Wendell Phillips High School in the Chicago area. He was an avid supporter of the arts including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony, and the Chicago Art Institute. He was a patron of the Smithsonian Museum and the Everson Museum of Art. Joe was a Chicago Board of Election Commissioner for many years.As a history buff, he enjoyed exploring the local history of Auburn after returning to upstate NY from Chicago. Joe was a member of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago and the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Auburn.

Joe was predeceased by his father, Philip Karlson, killed in World War II, and his mother, Irma Dorr Benedict, and a brother, Thomas Benedict. He is survived by his siblings: Gary F. Karlson of Painesville, OH; Marie (John) Dentes of Aurora, NY; Daniel (Mary) Benedict of Lowville, NY; 8 nieces and nephews and 13 great nieces and nephews; and many cousins.

Contributions in Joe's memory may be made to Hobart College, Geneva NY 14456 or at

Private services will be held at a later date.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph W. Karlson, please visit our flower store.

Visits: 11

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree