Bret J. Carlson – – WISC-TV3

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MIDDLETON – On Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, Bret J. Carlson passed away peacefully at age 45 in Middleton, Wisconsin. Born to loving parents in Salt Lake City, Utah, Bret graduated from East High and went on to graduate from the University of Utah in History. Growing up, some of Bret’s most cherished times were spent watching Ute football games with his family in their stadium seats as decades-long season ticket holders. Go Utes!
An appetite for adventure and a passion for flyfishing led Bret to ownership of Spinnerfall Guide Service on Utah’s famed Green River. His strength as an oarsman, his expertise in casting and reading water, and his welcoming nature kept clients coming back year after year just to spend time with him in his drift boat. Off-seasons spent working on oil rigs in Eastern Utah eventually led Bret to a career change specializing in energy efficiency for the oil and gas industry. Bret spent the last eleven years, most recently in Madison, solidifying his place amongst colleagues as a valued and respected energy consulting professional.
Bret and his wife Raenee started dating in 2015 and knew immediately they’d found the one. They were married in picturesque Spring City, Utah in 2017 and had their son Cooper on May 28, 2018. A romantic at heart and a family man, Bret shared unconditional love with his wife and son for the short time they were afforded together. As the oldest of five siblings, Bret had been the ultimate big brother to his three brothers and one sister, always providing assistance from how to navigate life’s obstacles to how to cook restaurant-quality meals like him. Bret was the anchor to his immediate family and was loved by many in his own as well as his in-law’s extended families.
Bret’s love of hockey and golf persisted from childhood to present, and along with flyfishing, were tangible expressions of his unique athletic combination of strength and finesse. For the past year, Bret was energized by passing the love of hockey on to his son Cooper. In recent years, Bret’s creativity and love for the outdoors were expressed through the hobbies of plein-air landscape painting and bird watching. Bret’s binoculars were always on hand in his car in case he needed to ID a bird on this treasured birding list. As a bonus, the birds’ habitat offered great ideas for future landscapes to paint.
In ways both more subtle and broader than his career, talents, and interests, Bret will of course be most regarded and missed for how he made people feel – at ease and valued. He had a counselor-type personality where people wanted to tell him things and were naturally drawn to him. With his big smile and a twinkle in his blue eyes, when he asked, “how are you,” you knew he genuinely meant it. The positive impacts of the deep friendships and many meaningful acquaintances Bret nurtured throughout his life will be felt for years to come. Often described as an “old soul,” Bret was truly a caring, creative, engaging, and generous spirit. He is so profoundly loved.
Bret is survived by his wife, Raenee, and his four-year-old son, Cooper. Bret is also survived by his parents, Ron and Lynn (Duffin) Carlson; brothers, Joel, Corey (Cynthia Din) and Crew (Elsie); and sister, Elease (Joel) Stice. Eight nieces and nephews are lucky to call him Uncle Bret.
A celebration of life memorial will be held on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, at Twenty & Creek, 2050 Creek Road, Sandy, UT. Please check this posting for updates on the event time and other details.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to Cooper’s “my529” college fund at the following link (gift code Z2RSIW). Online condolences may be made at

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