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Edward Preston Carleton

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Edward Preston Carleton Obituary
Edward Preston Carleton Ed Carleton passed away at his home on May 1, 2013 at the age of 91. He is survived by Wilma Jo Carleton, his devoted wife of sixty-seven years; his sons Dr. Don Carleton, and his wife, Suzanne of Lakeway, Texas, and Ronnie Carleton, JD, of Fort Collins, Colorado; his grandchildren Ian and Aunna Carleton of Austin, Texas, and Travis Carleton of Woodbridge, Va. and Lorena Carleton of Richmond, Va.; and one great grand daughter, Harley Carleton, of Woodbridge, Va. Ed was a loving husband, father, and grandfather deeply devoted to his family and strongly supportive of his sons and their offspring. A native of Comanche County, Texas, Ed was the youngest of nine children born to his parents, R. M. and Willie Eudora Carleton. He was the last surviving member of his immediate family. His grandfather, Dr. A. L. Carleton, a physician and pharmacist, was one of the pioneering settlers in Comanche. Ed was a four-sport athlete at Proctor High School in Comanche County. After graduation, he received a basketball scholarship to Daniel Baker College (since consolidated with Howard Payne University) in Brownwood, Texas. His goal was to be a high school teacher and coach. Early in 1942, he left college to enter the U. S. Army Air Force, where he was a military policeman at Randolph Field near San Antonio for most of his time in the service. He also played for the Randolph Field basketball and baseball teams that the Army organized to play against collegiate as well as other military camp teams. After Ed's honorable discharge from the military after WWII, Dallas entertainment promoter and movie theater chain owner Phil Isley hired him to plan and coordinate the opening of a series of new movie theaters in Dallas and Houston. Ed also worked for a period of time as the general manager of the Isley theater chain, and as the manager of individual theaters, notably the Granada and Major theaters in Dallas, and the Capitan theater in Pasadena, Texas. After perceiving the negative impact television was going to have on the movie industry as he knew it, Ed decided in 1953 to enter the grocery business as a salesman for Libby, McNeil, and Libby food products in Dallas and the surrounding region. In the mid 1960s, the Shurfine Foods Company of Skokie, Illinois recruited Ed to serve as a manager of sales in Texas and the southeastern states. He later worked as a sales manager for Affiliated Food Stores of Keller, Texas, from which he retired in 1986. After Ed's retirement, he and Jo moved from their long time home in Dallas to settle in Lakeway. Although the war diverted Ed from his youthful goal to be a teacher and coach, the four decades that he worked in the theater and grocery businesses were happy and satisfying years for him. And he did have the great pleasure of being active for many years as a coach of Little League baseball teams in the Pleasant Grove area of Dallas. He was a fervent life-long fan of the University of Texas at Austin's sports teams and definitely "bled orange and white." He was an equally fervent supporter of the Democratic Party and defender of the populist legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society. His final resting place is in the historic Proctor cemetery near the family farm on which he grew up in Comanche County. Ed Carleton's family expresses their deep appreciation to the nurses and staff of Hospice of the Hills for their skilled and loving care of Ed during the last five months of his life. His family encourages donations in his memory to UT Austin's Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

Published in Austin American-Statesman on May 8, 2013
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