Robert W. Carlson

Robert W. Carlson died July 16, 2012. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri on February 20, 1940. Bob always lived in Kansas City and loved every part of our community. He went to Hale Cook Elementary School and was very proud to be a crossing guard. He attended Southwest High School where he played tenacious football. He graduated from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas with a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts, beginning his life-long love affair with art. Bob was an avid art collector and later an art dealer. He had an instinctive “art-eye”.

Bob was adventurous in everything he did. In his younger days he hiked many of the highest peaks in Colorado. He took two exciting, month-long river rafting trips thru the Grand Canyon and always survived being capsized in Lava Falls! He also made many raucous journeys selling art across the country, driving his favorite Volvos and Porsches. He liked to boast that he had the first Volvo in Kansas City.

Bob loved to be with people, belonging to the Plaza Breakfast Club and the Kansas City Breakfast Club, both of which met on Tuesday mornings (and he managed to pull it off!) He was also a member of the Downtown Kansas City Rotary Club and the Print Society of the Nelson Atkins.

Bob was a spiritual person, always trying to find the higher ether. He searched many paths and finally decided that God was in all of us. He beat cancer once but in the end, the treatment got the better of him.

Bob is preceded in death by his parents, Wayne and Milruth Hawkinson Carlson. He is survived by his partner and dearest love, Kathryn Ashenbrenner, his uncle, Frank Carlson, cousins Nancy and Jim Camey, Pam and Mike Clutter, Ann and Gabe Gabrick, Griff and Kathryn Hawkinson and many, many wonderful friends.

Private Burial. Friends are invited to pay their respects at his home from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday July 21st. In lieu of flowers, Bob requested donations to The Jack Lemon Scholarship Fund at the Kansas City Art Institute or KKFI, a non-profit community radio.


  1. Eileen Novosel on September 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    I no longer live in KC and i was sadden to hear of Bob’s passing. Bob and I knew each other for over 30 years. He always put a smile on my face. He was so vivacious you just couldn’t help but love him. My prayers are with you.

  2. Mark Niesman on July 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Bob was a kind person with a great sense of humor. He enjoyed life and was always a pleasure to be around. He will be missed and I am very glad to have known him. – Mark N.

  3. Richard J. Bay on July 25, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Gave me one of my first solo shows and was a great supporter and friend. Always willing to talk and lend support.A GOOD and HONEST FRIEND! Will miss him a lot!

  4. Deborah Ripley on July 25, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I had the great pleasure of knowing Bob for over 30 years. Brilliant, funny, spritual, opinionated, passionate. Really a wonderful person. Bob, I won’t forget your quirky and compassionate way of looking at the world, Deb

  5. jimmy kay Sanders on July 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Bob was a wonderful person. I got to know him many years ago through the art world. He contributed a lot to society. He will be missed.

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