Friends Remember Rev. Robert Carlson 

A man known for his service to the community was found dead Sunday morning.68-year old Reverend Robert Carlson’s body was found in the Penobscot River.The Waldo County Sheriff’s office say Carlson was found near the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, which crosses the river between Verona Island and Prospect.Police say his death is still under investigation and won’t release any more information, but for those who knew and worked with Carlson, the news has been devastating.Caroline Connolly spoke with some of them, Sunday.====You can measure the loss by simply talking to those who’ve gained so much from knowing Reverend Robert Carlson.”He was like my second Dad. Super, super guy,” said Reverend Carl Schreiber, who met Carlson 20 years ago. They worked side by side at the East Orrington Congregational Church. “That was his love. He built it up to a faith community that’s unbelievable. Anybody that came into contact with him knew him in a personal way and that was the amazing thing. Bob was all about relationships,” said Schreiber.Rev. Bob, as he’s known, spent years building them with with hundreds at the church and thousands throughout the state.”Washington knows him, Augusta knows him and thank God we do. I’ve seen him sit with homeless people as if it’s second nature. He’s active in the Hope House, look at Penobscot Community Health Care and the healthcare system and the way that it’s been built.”The list goes on and on.”He had a hand in everything,” said Schreiber.As Chaplain for Husson University, Rev. Carlson managed to leave an imprint all over campus.”He seemed to care, he wanted to help people,” said Julie Green, spokeswoman for the University.Green was in charge of hiring Carlson years back.”He was our one and only candidate. I remember the first time he came into my office he blew through the door and he took all the air out of the room as he often did. He said he thanked God for my call because he was looking for something to add to what he was doing.”Helping students appeared to be the answer.”When they were having struggles they’d pick up the phone and they’d call Bob, that’s who he was,” said Schreiber.And Schreiber, along with others who knew Carlson, want him to be remembered as a loving husband and friend who dedicated his life to helping others.”I don’t know if the community has ever had a person such as Rev. Bob. What’s the old saying, it takes a community to raise a child, well, Bob raised a lot of us and now it’s our turn.”And whose work will be kept alive through the legacy of service he’s left behind.+++++A number of Maine leaders are expressing their condolences on the loss of Reverand Carlson.Senator Susan Collins released this statement, saying “I am shocked and terribly saddened. My thoughts are with Bob’s wife, Elaine, and their family during this tremendously difficult time.”Senator Olympia Snowe and former Governor John McKernan junior released a joint statement- “We were deeply saddened by the news of Rev. Bob Carlson’s passing. The greater Bangor region and indeed the state of Maine has lost a beloved friend and an extraordinary figure, who has been a passionate voice improving countless lives.” “Rev. Carlson consoled and comforted many families, including my own, during very difficult times,” said former Governor John Baldacci. “He fought hard to make sure everyone had access to quality health care. The work he has done with Penobscot Community Health Care has helped thousands of people to have a better life. His work has had a tremendous impact on the community.” “Bob always had a smile, a big handshake and a kind word. He was there for people when they needed him,” says Baldacci. “My prayers go out to his wife, his family and his many friends. I hope they know that there are people who are here for them now like Bob was for so many other families.”