Carolyn F. Tarleton, 73, passed away suddenly on Saturday, June 15, 2013. She was born in Houston, Texas on August 13, 1939 to Floyd and Valerie Fuselier.
Carolyn was a longtime civic activist, political consultant, award-winning gourmet cook, small businesswoman, proud mother and grandmother and - as all who knew her can attest - a fiercely independent woman.
Carolyn graduated from Lamar High School in Houston in 1957 and Newcomb College of Tulane University in 1961 with a Bachelors in Arts in Political Science and American History. Carolyn believed it was important to be an active citizen. She served on the board of the Rummel Creek Association - a coalition of more than a half dozen neighborhoods including her beloved Memorial Glen subdivision - and played a leading role in the early 1980s in successfully protecting Rummel Creek from being ruined by a corporation that sought to build a private sewage plant next to it. As the group's political liaison, she subsequently pushed the Texas Legislature to increase standards for wastewater treatment plants, a measure that greatly improved the health and sustainability of Texas waterways. Carolyn also worked to improve area parks and beaches. She was active as well in grassroots campaigns in the mid-1980s to make the Spring Branch ISD School Board more accountable to parents, students and taxpayers.
Carolyn served as a Republican Party precinct chairman and election judge for 20 years, was a legislative director for the Magic Circle Republican Women's Club and the Harris County Council of Republican Women's Clubs. Carolyn's on-the-ground political knowledge, organizational skills and work ethic were valued by the many candidates for political office in whose campaigns she worked. Carolyn also served as an appointee on the Harris County Appraisal Review Board from 1987-1992 and was its Chair during her last three years in office. In 1993, she founded Liberty Services, a property tax consulting company.
Carolyn loved to cook and drew on her Louisiana French roots to make unforgettable Cajun and Creole dishes. In 1999, she launched Maison St. Landry, a company that sold specialty food products to upscale restaurants and clubs in the Greater Houston Area. Among top chefs she worked with, she became known as the "Artichoke Lady".
Carolyn was preceded in death by her loving husband of 31 years, John Vincent Tarleton. She is survived by son John Tarleton (N.Y.), daughter Rachael Tarleton Fones (N.C.) and husband Gene, son Edward Tarleton (CO.) and Angela Owens and grandsons Hayden and Riley Fones and granddaughter Leila Tarleton.
Carolyn's family extends their gratitude to Angela Davison, who helped Carolyn live on her own terms and enjoy many of her favorite activities during the final year of her life.
The family Suggests remembrances to Galveston Bay Foundation or the Special Pals Animal Adoption Center.
The Tarleton family will be present to receive friends, Friday, June 21, 2013 from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM at Dettling Funeral Home, 14094 Memorial Drive @ Kirkwood in Houston. A Memorial Mass will be held Saturday June 22 at 11:00 AM at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church at 10688 Shadow Wood Drive, Houston Texas. Visit www.DettlingFuneral.com to leave online tributes.
Published in Houston Chronicle on June 19, 2013