Walter Frederick ‘Fred’ Carlsten, 78

Walter Frederick “Fred” Carlsten, 78, of Milford, Del., passed away peacefully Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, at Beebe Healthcare in Lewes, Del. He was born in Philadelphia, Pa., the second son of Rolf Norbert Carlsten and Marian DuBois Carlsten.

While he was growing up, his family moved often. He lived in Wilmington, Del., Philadelphia, Denver, Colo., Montague, Mich., Morris, Ill., and Lewes, Del. In 1959, he graduated from Lewes High School, where he was a member of the football team and the Future Farmers of America.

Carlesten served in the U.S. Air Force at the Strategic Air Command Goose Bay Air Base during the Cold War and Cuban Missile Crisis. After his discharge, Carlsten studied mechanics and graduated from Spring Garden Institute in Philadelphia.

After graduation, he settled in Lewes and moved through a series of businesses and jobs. He was the owner-operator of a Mobile gas station and a Mary-Carter paint store. He worked for the University of Delaware marine college as a mechanic. He managed the Stokes Marine Lewes boatyard and became a Realtor at Anderson-Stokes Realty.

Carlsten provided maintenance for Mills Island Hunting Club and owned the Mispillion Boatyard before finally settling in as a partner with Reds Dolson for 35 years at John L. Briggs General Contractors in Georgetown — a company that built many of the schools, libraries and public buildings across Southern Delaware. He retired to Slaughter Beach Farms near Milford.

Carlsten enjoyed boating, hunting, shooting-sports, working on/fixing anything mechanical and farming, in his retirement. He was active in many organizations. Among his favorites were Ducks Unlimited, the Delaware Trapshooting Association, Broadkiln Sportsman’s Club, the Cedarfield Ruritan Club and American Legion Post 17, where he received the 2003 Outstanding Service Award.

Carlsten is survived by a son, Fritz Carlsten; a brother, Rolf Carlsten of Enid, Okla.; his nieces, Ingrid Sadler and Astrid Elliott; and a special friend, Carmen Sockriter.

A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Melson Funeral Services, 32013 Long Neck Road, Millsboro, Del. A funeral and burial will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, the family suggested donations to Ducks Unlimited, to a local fire company or to a charity of the giver’s choice. Condolences may be sent online at