William John Carson III, 78, of Montoursville, known as “Johnny” to his family and friends, passed away on September 29, 2021 at Embassy of Loyalsock after a long illness.
He was born on November 16, 1942 in Williamsport, PA, son of the late William “Jack” and Vera (Appleman) Carson. After graduating from Williamsport High School in 1961, he served four years in the U.S. Air Force Security Service, stationed most of that time in Texas. He was a patriot who loved his country and served it proudly.
After being honorably discharged by the Air Force, he began his career at Brodart Co. in 1966 as a cataloging supervisor. He worked his way through various departments within the company as a product manager, sales consultant, sales representative in Brodart’s Southeastern and South-Central District and sales manager until he was promoted to national sales manager in 1987. John’s passion for libraries to succeed was second only to the success he desired for those he mentored through the years. He was known for reaching out to anyone, regardless of position, and making them feel important. He gave generously of his time within the library industry, serving as President of the Friends of Libraries, U.S.A. for several years and often introduced speakers at state and national level industry conferences. His work took him all across the country, and he never met a stranger.
John’s sense of humor was epic and appreciated by all who knew him. He was doing “Work from Home” decades before it was a thing, always the first to utilize a new gadget to allow him to work on the road, calling on libraries from coast to coast. Dot matrix printers, Telex machines, CB radio (to avoid pesky state troopers’ interference when speeding to his next library), computers, wireless phone, cell phones, and his beloved Blackberry were the tools of his trade. Pictures abound of John on the phone in various locations from hotels across the country and at home in his pool, blending work and home activities seamlessly. He was a sharp dresser and never had a hair out of place. His trademark tie managing system – numbering the backs of his ties with white out to organize them and match them with dress shirts while traveling - became legend.
John was always ready to jump into action to help those around him whether they be strangers broken down on the side of the road, friends who needed advice and a laugh, or helping to alleviate the daily bumps and bruises of his grandchildren with the old family secret- stand on one foot, cover one eye, raise the other hand and start hopping. Interestingly that remedy never seemed to fail, as long as John was on hand with these instructions. He had an uncanny ability to make any situation amusing, leaving many to shake their heads and laugh. Putting smiles on the faces of those within his orbit was his gift, and he enjoyed simple pleasures. Spending time with family, friends and especially grandchildren was his favorite activity, outside of watching his beloved Dallas Cowboys and their cheerleaders, that is. Whether at the pool with a swim-up bar or after the zen of mowing grass, having a cold beer and eating massive amounts of chocolate made his day complete.
In 2003 John assumed the role of Brodart National Accounts Manager and served in that role until his retirement, in 2012 with 46 years of service to the library industry, earning him the title of the “Godfather of Brodart”.
Although aware of each other in high school, Barbara and John moved in different circles. On a blind date set up by Barb’s sister in 1966, they were both smitten after a whirlwind courtship of only three months and married in December of that year. Being a sales manager and being moved across the country several times, Barb packed and unpacked always with optimism and excitement, with the sure knowledge that it would be the beginning of a wonderful new adventure. At John’s retirement party, he gave full credit to Barb for his success stating that he couldn’t have done it without her devotion and unwavering support of him.
John was a man of uncompromising integrity, boundless humor, and constant optimism and
humility. Throughout his life – as son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, coworker, colleague,
mentor and friend – he had no greater passion than for being with other people and helping others and was active in the church. He was a generous man who always put other people’s needs ahead of his own. He lived a full and good life, and he will be sorely missed.
He is preceded in death by his parents, a brother Michael Carson, and his grandson, Bradley Davis.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, the former Barbara Barclay Parsons; daughters, Katharine and husband Jeff Loedding, Cristen and husband Daniel Reat, and Erica and husband Scott Walter; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
The family wishes to thank the dedicated and caring staff at Embassy of Loyalsock for its years of John’s care and Family Hospice for its invaluable service.
There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 4, 2021 at St. Joseph the Worker Parish, 702 W. 4th Street, Williamsport, PA 17701, with Rev. David W. Bechtel as Celebrant, followed by a burial at Mound of Wildwood Cemetery, Williamsport. Military honors will be accorded by the Lycoming County Korean War Veterans Honor Guard. Masks are strongly encouraged and appreciated by the family.
Arrangements are being handled by Spitler Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, please consider a tribute in John’s honor to James V. Brown Library in Williamsport, PA.