Charles Rogers Carlton

Charles Rogers Carlton POWAY, Calif. - Charles Rogers Carlton died March 29, 2013, at Poway, Calif. He was 93 years old and had lived a full life, rising from extreme poverty in the Depression to a long career in teaching, retiring from California State University Northridge in 1983. Mr. Carlton was born in Paris, Texas, on June 18, 1919, to Lloyd Sayner Carlton and Annie Rogers Carlton. Growing up in West Texas and New Mexico, he graduated from high school and then Wayland College in Plainview, Texas. He attended Texas Tech in Lubbock only one semester before being drafted in 1941. Training as a medical corpsman, he went to England and then France in September 1944 with the 327th Medical Battalion, attached to the 102nd Infantry Division. His unit went through the Battle of the Bulge and then through Germany, ending in Austria after the end of the war. He was discharged as a technical sergeant with several citations, including a Bronze Medal for his service in the European Theater. With the aid of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 (G.I. Bill of Rights), he earned a bachelor's degree in music at the University of Texas in 1948, working part-time as a carilloneur. Although an accomplished pianist, he chose English linguistics and literature as a career, completing an English B.A. at Austin in 1949 and beginning graduate work at the University of Michigan that fall. From 1951 to 1958 he alternated his doctoral work, mainly in the summers, with teaching at New Mexico State College in Las Cruces and Butler University in Indianapolis. In 1952 and 1953 he made train trips to Chicago with his younger brother and sister, exploring the Field Museum of Natural History, the Adler Planetarium, and the El. During this time he also spent several months soaking up languages in Mexico City and in Quebec. Receiving a Ph.D. in June 1958, he was hired that September at San Fernando Valley State College (renamed California State University Northridge). Teaching linguistics and literature, with several publications in linguistics, he spent most of his summers in Europe, living in several parts of France one summer and several counties in England in other summers. An inveterate bachelor, he continued to travel widely, to Australia, New Zealand and South America, spending some time in every European country except Albania, Greece and Finland. He also traveled to many music competitions and festivals in the United States. His life was marked by discipline, modesty, independence, hard work and devotion to family. He was especially close to his aunt Mamie Law, who had cared for him and his mother during a difficult period in the 1920s. In 2003 he moved to San Diego to be closer to his brother. He is survived by his sister Pat Pare, of Atwater, Calif.; his brother, Robert Carlton, of Fallbrook, Calif.; his cousin Rogers Law of Dallas; his cousin Peyton Ramey of Quanah, Texas; and in California his nieces Julie Kutz of Madera, Vicki Paré of Tustin, and Melissa Wise of Vista; and his nephews Shawn Kutz of Madera, Christopher Kutz of Fresno, and Morgan Carlton, Brendan Wise and Cayden Carlton, all of Vista.


Published in Plainview Daily Herald from Apr. 14 to Apr. 15, 2013