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William Earle Carlton, Jr., 89, passed away in his sleep on September 18, 2013. He is loved and survived in San Antonio by his son, Doug Carlton and in Houston by his daughter, Dr. Rhonda Smith; grandchildren Rhiana and Logan Smith; brother, Jack Carlton; nephew and nieces, Greg Obets, Patti Jo Bliss, Madeline Hoffman, Caroline Kelly and their many children and grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Annette E. Carlton; parents, William and Arlie Carlton; and a brother, Robert.
William (Bill) was born in Grapeland, Texas, and grew up there and graduated from Crockett High School. Although underage, his mother signed a release to allow him to join the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1944. He trained in Texas and several locations in the States, finally being sent overseas on his request. He served proudly in North Africa, Italy and France - his proficiency in paperwork keeping him tied mainly to desks despite his training in mortars. After mustering out, he attended the University of Texas briefly then traveled to California for a stint as a forest firefighter. Missing the excitement and travel, he joined back up and transitioned into the new U.S. Air Force. His skills placed him within a few years in the Air Force's Security Service, in counter-intelligence, after tours including Japan and California.
Bill had met his future wife briefly while stationed at San Antonio's Brooks AFB and then remembered her when his colonel in Wiesbaden, Germany, needed a secretary. In 1952, they were married there and honeymooned at the most famous locations in Europe. Around this time, he accepted a promotion to Warrant Officer and upon retirement, held the highest rank of Chief Warrant Officer (CWO-4). He also transferred to the Office of Special Investigation (OSI), an Air Force division which conducts investigations domestically and performs intelligence work overseas. Along the way, the Carltons found time to welcome their daughter Rhonda, in San Antonio and their son Doug, in Paris. While stationed at a SAC base in Missouri, he commuted to The University of Omaha, receiving a Bachelor's degree in History. The last foreign posting was in Okinawa, an island in the East China Sea, afterwards returning to San Antonio and retirement from the Air Force. They built their dream house and Bill started a security business.
Bill worked hard in the business, becoming one of the most respected polygraph examiners in the state. He was known for assisting others in the field, training several examiners and helping others with their own businesses. Annette worked with him to make the company a success and they both retired for good in 1983. They delighted in spoiling their two grandchildren and enjoyed the quiet life at home. Bill lost much of his vision in the 90s which made him shy with groups of friends and colleagues, but he maintained memberships in associations of former OSI Special Agents and former Security Service personnel.
Funeral services will be held at Noon, Saturday, September 21, 2013 at Funeraria Del Angel Roy Akers. A Graveside Service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery with military honors. Please visit www.funerariadelangelroyakers.com for online tributes.
Published in Express-News on Sept. 20, 2013