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William P. Carlson

August 6, 1945 ~ July 11, 2023 (age 77) 77 Years Old
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Obituary

William “Little Elvis” Carlson 1945-2023

William P. Carlson was born in Buffalo, NY on August 6, 1945. He was the size of a peanut when he popped out, cigar hanging from his lip, hair slicked back like Elvis and a gurgle in his voice. His eyes wide open while he looked on at his new parents and said, “Thank you, thank you very much”. This was Lil’ Bill Carlson on his way to a new life.

Bill as we all knew him, spent the first half of his life in Jamestown, NY. It was there where he found his first steady job as a furniture maker. Jamestown was once known as the “Furniture Capital of the World” and Bill was part of it. After making furniture, Bill went on to work for Ingersoll Rand making compressors until the early 1980’s when he moved to Ithaca.

When Bill arrived in Ithaca, he found work with the Zaharis family at their West End businesses. When he wasn’t working, he was usually seen riding one of his many bicycles throughout the West-End of town. Smiling and waving to everyone he passed by. You couldn’t miss him with his cowboy hat perched on his head, wearing cuffed-up blue jeans and a black leather jacket. He was a fixture in the West-End that always made you smile when you saw him ride by with a cigar stub hanging from his lip, especially if he was singing Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog, Don’t Be Cruel or All Shook Up. He had memorized every word and of course sounded a little like Elvis when he sang. Thus, the nickname “Lil Elvis” as we so fondly called him. Elvis, Godzilla, Mothra, Super Man, The Ten Commandments movie, his blue wing-backed recliner, his good friends, and especially his adored calico cat Clarice: Bill loved them all with a passion!

Three years ago, Bill moved from downtown to the Ellis Hollow Apartments. Although he loved his neighbors and the staff at Ellis Hollow, he sure did miss being downtown. Bill was extremely independent, unfailingly friendly, polite and a real cantankerous crank at times. But he knew this. If he was wrong, he’d think about it a while and invariably apologize if it was necessary. For all who knew and loved Little Elvis, how about one last, in your very best Elvis-impersonating voice, “Thank you. Thank you very much”. We’re gonna miss you buddy.

Bill was predeceased by his parents, Swan E. and Irene Carlson. He is survived by his beloved cat Clarice. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Ithaca SPCA.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Bangs Funeral Home, Ithaca, NY.  Online condolences may be made to William’s friends at www.bangsfuneralhome.com.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William P. Carlson, please visit our floral store.


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In Loving Memory Of

William Carlson

August 6, 1945-July 11, 2023




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Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event
Ongoing
Online Event

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In Loving Memory Of

William Carlson

August 6, 1945-July 11, 2023




Look inside to read what others have shared


Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   


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