Harald Wilhelmsen, 84

November 4, 2023

Harald Wilhelmsen, 84, a longtime resident of Carlisle, passed away October 30, 2023 from complications of a heart attack.

Born in Asker, Norway on 11 July 1939, Harald was the youngest of three sons of Jørgen R. Wilhelmsen and Gerda (Landgraff) Wilhelmsen. 

Interested in aviation from a young age, Harald immigrated to the United States in 1959 and quickly enlisted in the United States Air Force as an aircraft radio repairman. He trained at Lackland AFB, TX and Keesler AFB, MS before reaching his duty station at Pope AFB, NC. He was honorably discharged in 1963. After the Air Force, Harald attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating in 1968 with his S.B. in Electrical Engineering. In 1981, he received his S.M. in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University. 

Harald moved to Carlisle, MA in 1968 after graduating from MIT and subsequently spent his entire career in engineering research and development. But he spent the vast majority of his career at MIT Lincoln Laboratory which he joined in 1981.

His hobbies and interests included a mutual love of genealogy with his wife Elizabeth.  He loved nature, gardening, music, and history and spent countless hours hiking, tending his roses and apple trees, researching and eating antique varieties of apples, listening to jazz, and reading WWII history. He further occupied his time with endless projects on both of his houses in Carlisle and Chatham.  

Harald was preceded in death by first wife, Mary (O’Hanrahan) Wilhelmsen, and his brother Kåre Wilhelmsen. He is survived by his beloved wife of 45 years, Elizabeth Ann (Smith) Wilhelmsen; son Jon Wilhelmsen and wife Ann Sobolewski of Plympton, MA; son Hans Wilhelmsen of Somerville, MA; grandchildren Christian and Brendan of Plympton; brother Svein Erik Wilhelmsen of Asker, Norway; nephew Jørgen and niece Ingeborg. 

Family and friends will gather for visiting hours on Friday, November 3rd from 4 to 7 pm at Dee Funeral Home, 27 Bedford Street, Concord.  His funeral service will be on Saturday, November 4th at 11 am in Lutheran Church of the Savior, 426 Davis Road, Bedford.  Burial with U.S. Air Force military honors at Green Cemetery, Carlisle. 

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Lutheran Church of the Savior, 426 Davis Road, Bedford, Massachusetts, 01730 or Doctors without Borders

Arrangements are entrusted to Dee Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Concord.  For Harald’s online guestbook, please visit www.DeeFuneralHome.com.