Carl Whitmarsh
1952 - 2016
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Carl Edward
Whitmarsh
1952-2016
Legendary Democratic activist, Carl Edward Whitmarsh died unexpectedly of natural causes on Sunday, March 8, 2016 at his home in northwest Houston. He was 64. A native of Brenham, he studied political science at Texas Tech University and made Houston is home "as fast as he could." He was very active in his neighborhood civic club and was a constant resource for all his neighbors. Whitmarsh's political career began in the heyday of the Texas Democratic Party. He soared as an aide to Senator Lloyd Bentsen and continued until his death on Sunday. Despite being active on the state level and contributing to many national elections, his true love and purpose was for local politics. He formerly served as the Executive Director of the County Democratic Party and, at the time of his death, as President of the Oak Forest Area Democrats – a local grassroots group whose meetings were always crowded and routinely attended by prominent elected officials. Carl virtually invented what could be considered the art of political blogging by today's standards through the persistent and prolific use of his deep email list. That contact list was a byproduct of his vast institutional knowledge and local Democratic activism and a lifetime of networking. He started as far back as using LISTSERVs, AOL, and Yahoo Groups, which all morphed into email and eventually social media. Safe to say, if you never received an email from Carl Whitmarsh, you probably were not a Texas Democrat. Carl was always a leader, whether serving in an official party role or on the sidelines; he carved out his own brand of politics that endured the shifting winds of party majority in Texas. The Whitmarsh trademark was brutal honesty, stitching together unlikely coalitions, and relentless party loyalty. He knew his style was not for everyone, even if uniquely effective. You could have heated arguments while agreeing with him at the same time. Whether you were a local activist or powerful politician, he could scream at you one day and sing your praises the next and intend both wholeheartedly. He advertised and proudly exemplified the words of former U.S. Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, "I am a Democrat without prefix, suffix or apology." Carl repeatedly joked that when he died, there would be as many people ready to dance on his grave as to cry over his death. It is certain that he is delighted by the knowledge that, once again, he was right. Carl Whitmarsh is preceded in death by his father Vernon Gray Whitmarsh, his mother Lucretia Mae Whitmarsh and his brother Chris Albert Whitmarsh. He is survived by his honorary brother Lane Lewis, his honorary niece Kqisha Worsham, and his dear friends (honorary siblings) Mary and Floyd Schlett, with whom he lived for more than three decades and considered family. Memorial service to be held 1pm Saturday, May 14, 2016 at St. John's United Methodist Church, 2019 Crawford St. Houston, TX 77002. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Mary and Floyd Schlett, 1445 North Loop West, Suite 110, Houston, TX. 77008.



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Published in Houston Chronicle on May 13, 2016.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
MAY
14
Memories & Condolences
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3 entries
May 15, 2016
I knew Carl for over forty years. A supporter of 'Team Democrat' for as long as I have known him. A single word to describe him is most certainly 'passionate'. Cheers, my friend!
Robert Glaser
May 12, 2016
Carl's brother Chris was a very good friend. Growing up, Chris and I spent a lot of time together so I knew Carl very well as a kid. His chosen profession comes as no surprise to those of us who knew him years ago. I certainly can believe he loved a lively debate. That was his personality; quick, well informed, loved being engaged in a battle of minds, but only if his opponent was sharp and well informed.
A wonderful person lost far too soon.
Ralph Holle
May 12, 2016
Carl's emails kept me informed on diverse topics for years. He was a kind and friendly person, and will be remembered warmly by many people.
Vickie Vogel
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