History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

The Carlson Funeral Home is an independent, fourth generation family-owned and operated funeral home. Kent continues the Carlson tradition of serving families in the New Britain and surrounding area with integrity and compassion.The Carlson Funeral Home has been serving families at it's 45 Franklin Square location for over 80 years. Built in 1861, as the parsonage for South Congregational Church, it is Italiante in architectural style and was home to four ministers and their families until being sold in 1890 to Mortimer Judd, one of New Britain's leading industrialists. In January of 1933, the house was purchased by Aaron W. Carlson for use as a funeral home. Mr Carlson had originally owned a retail furniture store and funeral service in downtown New Britain.

Aaron Carlson was joined by his son, Ernest W. Carlson in the 30's. Ernest's twin brother Leonard joined the firm after World War II. Both served our country in Army graves registration units during the war, Ernest in Europe and Leonard in the Pacific theatre. Together with their sister, Victoria Larson, Ernie and Lennie continued to operate the funeral home after the death of their father in 1955. In 1957 a major addition was added to the home and though renovated, the house still retains it's warm, dignified character.

A third generation family member, Kent Carlson, joined the firm in 1970. Kent's wife Betsy, became a licensed funeral director in 1982 and helped run the business until her death in 2012. Now, along with their father, the fourth generation of the Carlson family have been serving the greater New Britain community for over 17 years. Erik and James Carlson joined the firm in August, 1999 along with their younger sister, Karalyn, who joined them in 2011. 

Our Valued Staff

Kent and Betsy Carlson

Kent and Betsy Carlson, Owners/Funeral Directors

Kent Carlson has worked at the Carlson Funeral Home for over 40 years. He attended Berlin High School, graduated from Suffield Academy and received his B.A. Degree in Business Administration from Gettysburg College. He then attended the Indiana College of Mortuary Science, where he received a degree in Mortuary Science. Kent is a past president and member of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association, president of the New Britain-Berlin YMCA, advisory board member of the New Britain Salvation Army and involved in numerous other organizations. He was the first funeral director in Connecticut to become a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) through the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice, a nationwide continuing education group. He has received many Community Service Awards from the greater New Britain United Way, YMCA, and others..IN LOVING MEMORY: Betsy Carlson graduated from New Britain High School and Central Connecticut State University. A lifelong New Britain resident, she received her funeral directors license in 1982 and was a Certified Bereavement Facilitator, as well as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP). She and Kent are the parents of 5 children. Betsy passed away in 2012.

James Carlson

James Carlson, Funeral Director

James Carlson was born and raised in New Britain and is a graduate of New Britain High School. He then attended and graduated from Central Connecticut State University where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management. James then continued his studies in mortuary school and graduated from Briarwood College where he excelled and his true passion and caring for others came to the fore front of not only his career but his life as well. He has been working at the funeral home since 1999 and is proud to carry on the family tradition as a fourth generation funeral director. He is married to his wonderful wife, Megan (Vitelli) Carlson, and they have two beautiful children, a daughter, Madelyn Mya Carlson, and a son, Bryce Gary Carlson. James is a member of Kensington Congregational Church in Berlin, CT and is a member of the Berlin Lions Club where he selflessly dedicates his free time to help with various Lions Charities and events such as VIP (Visually Impaired Person) Fishing Tournament in Connecticut as well as eye screenings for children in neighboring towns.

Erik Carlson

Erik Carlson, Funeral Director

Erik Carlson graduated from New Britain High School, Quinnipiac University, and Gupton-Jones Mortuary College. He became a licensed funeral director in 2001. He is married to Cara (Scalise) Carlson and has two daughters, Aniela and Nataly. He and his family resides in Southington.

Karalyn P. Carlson

Karalyn P. Carlson, Funeral Director

Karalyn is a lifelong New Britain resident and attended New Britain High School, class of 1999. After high school, Karalyn went on to graduate from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI with a degree in Marketing and later attended and graduated from Lincoln College with a degree in Mortuary Science.

Richard Simonides

Richard Simonides, Funeral Service Assistant

Richard is a US Navy Veteran and worked as a Vice President of an Aero Space Industry supplier for 42 years of service until his retirement. Married in 1967 to his wife Eleanor, they reside in Newington, have a son, a daughter, and 5 grandchildren. Dick and his wife are members of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in New Britain where he has been an usher for over 30 years.

Dennis Collins

Dennis Collins, Funeral Service Assistant

Dennis is a retired US Army Veteran and has been a New Britain resident for over 30 years. After retirement, Dennis volunteered his time doing military honors for Veteran's funerals. He is currently serving the City of New Britain as a Commissioner on Aging.