Lester Carlsborg

On Christmas Day, 2022, Lester Julian Carlsborg peacefully went to be with his Lord, surrounded by his family. A memorial service will take place Friday, March 24, 2023 at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Ames. Cremation was performed by Grandon Funeral Home in Ames and his ashes will be scattered at his request near a trout stream in northeast Iowa.

Lester Julian Carlsborg was born to Joseph O. Carlsborg and Lillian K. (Skaim) Carlsborg January 27, 1940  on a farm that crossed the line between Winneshiek and Allamakee counties in northeast Iowa. He was baptized into Christ February 25, 1940 at Glenwood Lutheran Church, Decorah. As a child he walked a mile to and from Glenwood School #4, a one-room country school. In 1951 his family moved to Winona, MN. It was there that he finished country school, and was confirmed May 29, 1953 at Central Lutheran Church in Winona, MN.

He grew up loving the outdoors, hunting and fishing both with his family and by himself. While in Minnesota, he was hunting with his family when he passed out and was taken to a hospital in La Crosse, WI to be treated for polio. There were four cases of polio in his neighborhood. He had no lasting effects, but his best friend had paralysis of his legs.

Shortly after starting high school in Winona, the family moved to Waukon where he graduated from high school May 21, 1957. He enrolled at Iowa State College in the fall of 1957 and enrolled in the Reserve Officer Training Core (ROTC). While there he met and courted Alycia L. Hughes. He graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in Dairy Husbandry May 27, 1961. He joined the U.S. Army and served his country at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri until January 28, 1962, honorably discharged as a Sergeant E6.

He returned to Ames to see his fiancee and found a job as a Data Processing Technician at ISU. He filled their requirements of “handy mechanically, dairy husbandry training and background.” He started his life-long career working for ISU February 1, 1962.

Lester and Alycia were married that spring at University Lutheran Church June 2, 1962. They joined the St. Andrew’s congregation soon after. He had a quiet, private faith that was evidenced in all the work he did through the decades with the St. Andrew’s church family. Over the years, he made banners, served on pastoral search committees, on the finance committee, rarely missed a potluck and enjoyed making exquisite Kringla for the fellowship times after the Sunday service. He loved worshiping his Lord through the Liturgy, hymns and service to the Church.

Back at ISU, he worked with one of the first computers at ISU, a punch card data system where the one computer filled an entire room. As the department grew and generations of computers came and went, he became the Assistant Director of the Administration Data Processing Center (ADP ) located in Pearson Hall, ISU, supervising computer programmers and data management for various organizations, the largest being the Dairy Herd Improvement Association. They processed the records for over 500,000 cows and goats in over nine states every week, and he led this program in developing a very complex and accurate service that dairy farmers used to improve the health and milk production of their herds. He developed fun and friendly relationships across the ISU campus and enjoyed a weekly bowling league for many years at the Memorial Union. He retired September 30, 1997.

At his retirement party, Lester received many compliments on the work he did at the ADP. Kenneth R. Butcher, Director of DRMS (Dairy Records Management Systems), said, “Your leadership of data processing and software development  of the Mid-States DRPC was recognized throughout the industry. The quality of the reports and of the database were a reflection of your attention to all the precision and detail needed in an outstanding information processing system.”

Basil R. Eastwood, Program Leader USDA Extension Service, said, “Your leadership in the application of computers to dairy records for producers throughout the Mid-States area is without equal. Your work has brought much recognition and admiration to Iowa State University over the years, even though your efforts were largely behind the scenes to assure a quality product.”

His passion for excellence and attention to detail was evidenced in all aspects of his life. He always strove to leave things better than he found them. He was an avid gardener, growing vegetables, berries and daylilies. His carpentry and handyman skills renovated all aspects of the first home he purchased for his family on South Franklin in Ames and worked wonders at his acreage on County Line Road.  Growing up in northeast Iowa, he learned the ways of the trout early on and always had his eye on the trout streams; his ability to out fish anyone on the lake or river is still legendary. His annual trips to Canada with his fishing buddies from St. Andrews were sacred times of fellowship and fun.

He loved the people he grew up with and cherished the legacies of his ancestors. He kept track of many relatives through letters and emails, looking forward to the bi-annual Carlsborg family reunions in northeast Iowa. He spent hours and hours researching, scanning historic photos and cataloging dates and histories. His passion for genealogy led him to write the “Carlsborg Family History,” treasured by family members.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Arlene Westby, and brother-in-law, Roger; his infant brother, Lester; and the many relatives that he faithfully honored with his geneaology records.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Alycia (Hughes) Carlsborg; his son, Alan Carlsborg; and his daughter Pamela Clark (Daniel); his grandsons, Nathaniel Clark and David Clark; his sister Arlene’s many descendants; and numerous other relatives.

Lester wrote this Dedication in his book “Carlsborg Family History”: “In remembrance and honor to our forefathers we wish to dedicate this family history to the present and successive generations with a prayer that, like our forefathers, their endeavor my be that expressed in the dear Norwegian Hymn, ‘Guds ord det er vort arvguds’, meaning ‘God’s word is our Great Heritage.’ Amen.

Online condolences may be directed to: www.grandonfuneralandcremationcare.com.