ROCKFORD, ILL. — Master plumber, contractor and industry leader Roland E. Carlson passed away Dec. 2, 2013, in a retirement center here at the age of 96.

Carlson became a journeyman plumber in 1939 and a master plumber in 1940. He was the owner and president of S. J. Carlson & Son Inc. for 41 years, retiring in 1983. Carlson was the national president of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association in 1971-1972. He also served as chairman of the PHCC – National Association Apprenticeship Committee and was a past president of the Illinois Plumbing Contractors Association. Carlson participated in Habitat for Humanity well into his 90s, installing mechanical systems in numerous homes.

Carlson was born Dec. 27, 1916, in Rockford, the son of Simon J. and Hulda (Lilja) Carlson and stepmother, Ellen Engstrom. He graduated from Rockford Central High School class of 1934 and married Virginia A. Johnson on June 22, 1940, in Rockford.

He was a member of First Evangelical Covenant Church, a member of the Rockford Rotary Club, and served as a lifetime board member for the Salvation Army of Rockford.

He is survived by his wife of 73 years, Virginia, their three children, along with six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Carlson was buried in a private family ceremony in Scandinavian Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Rockford Rescue Mission, 715 W. State St., Rockford, Ill. 61102; or Carpenters Place, 1149 Railroad Ave., Rockford, Ill. 61104; or First Evangelical Covenant Church.