Ashley Wayne Carlson, 27, of Coudersport, Pa., passed away on Thursday, July 12, 2012, at Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, NY.
Ashley was born December 20, 1984, in Cherry Point, NC, the son of Terry Wayne Carlson and Gina Owens Carlson of Smethport, Pa. He was a 2002 graduate of Smethport Area High School, where he was active in many sports. Later, Ashley attended Pittsburgh Technical Institute, where he studied Graphic Design and met his wife.
Ashley never turned away from a challenge, as is evident when he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He attended Basic Training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC, and later the School of Infantry (SOI) at Camp Lejeune, NC. Ashley was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, 3rd Bat-talion, 6th Marines, India Company, Camp Lejeune, NC, as a 0311 infantry man. While with 3/6, he earned the rank of Lance Corporal and was the Saw Gunner of his squad. Ashley was involved in numerous building clearing patrols. He was decorated with many ribbons and medals, but none as distinguished as the Purple Heart he received during a combat patrol. While on a building search with his squad, he sustained injuries when an improvised explosive device placed in a metal trash dumpster detonated, sending fragments of metal hitting two of the three Marines. The two Ma-rines with Ashley were critically injured. Ashley sustained a traumatic brain injury from the concussion. This injury did not keep him from administering first aid and tourniquets to his fallen comrades; calling for assistance; providing coverage and dragging the men to safe cover until assistance arrived. Ashley Carlson received a commendation for his actions, but never spoke of the ordeal. He was a true hero, but never thought of himself as one. Ashley was a selfless Marine who was respected by his fellow Marines. One of his Commanders stated after Ashley's first two tours in Iraq that "Ashley Carlson is one of the finest Marines I've ever known and it was an honor and privilege to fight beside him, and I would do it again."
Ashley Wayne Carlson
As an infant, Ashley learned to walk before crawling, and as a two year old, Ashley was lovingly given the nickname, "Smurf." His parents knew he was going to be a handful when he learned to turn a door knob for the first time, as it opened the gateway to a Wisconsin winter. He was extremely artistic and loved music, so much so that he taught himself how to play bass and electric guitars. He loved painting, drawing, camping, working outside and fires with the family. He also enjoyed working in the family pumpkin patch and playing recreational sports with family and his friends.
In addition to his parents, Ashley leaves behind his wife, Colette Haskins Carlson of Coudersport, Pa., whom he married on September 8, 2007; a brother, Terry Shane O'Neil Carlson, Gifford, Pa. and sister, Yevonne Dannielle Carlson, Smethport, Pa.; uncles, Roland Carlson, Columbus, Oh., Larry Carlson, Smethport, Pa., and James Owens, Jr., Bridgeton, NC; two aunts, Renee Owens, New Bern, NC, and Trisha Owens, Bridgeton, NC; a grandfather, James Owens, New Bern, NC, and grandmother, Joan Hous-ton, New Bern, NC; and numerous cousins.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Roland O'Neil Carlson and Jane Olive Johnson.
Friends will be received at the Peterson - Blick Funeral Home, Inc., 1003 Penn Ave., E., Warren, on Friday, July 20, from, 6 to 9 p.m., and at the Grace United Methodist Church, 501 Penna. Ave. E., Warren, for one hour prior to a funeral service to be held there on Saturday, July 21, at 11 a.m., with Rev. Kevin Haley, pastor, and Max Simms, pastor, Hilltop Baptist Church, co-officiating.
Burial will be in the Wesleyan Cemetery, Sugar Grove, Pa.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ashley Carlson memorial fund, Hamlin Bank, 333 West Main Street, Smethport, Pa 16749, or any Hamlin Bank Branch.
The family will be receiving e-condolences through www.petersonblickfuneralhome.com.