Melvin L. Carlton

Melvin L. Carlton, 95, passed peacefully to his heavenly father and to his beloved wife Christine on Dec. 25, 2018, in Arcadia, Fla. Born in Nocatee, Fla., on Oct. 10, 1923, to parents Albert Carlton and Lucy Garner Carlton, Melvin was the youngest of seven children. He married Christine Redish Carlton on Nov. 20, 1943, and shared 69 years of devoted and loving marriage.

Mr. Carlton graduated from DeSoto High School in 1941 and immediately accepted a position with military contractor Embry-Riddle as a parachute-packer in Clewiston, Fla. This is where he met Christine. They were married at the DeSoto County courthouse.

Following WWII, Melvin began his 40-year career as a detective with Atlantic Coastline Railroad, retiring on Aug. 31, 1983, as claims agent with CSX Corp. During this time the family lived in Waycross and Jesup, Georgia; Tampa and Ocala, Fla., returning to his family roots in Nocatee upon retirement.

A devoted Baptist, he continued serving God by moving his membership from Highlands Baptist Church in Ocala to Calvary Baptist Church in Arcadia, serving on its Finance Committee for many years. He was also a member of the Masons and Silver Springs Lions Club, where he served as president.

Melvin and Christine built a retirement home in Nocatee in 1987 and immediately began traveling around the U.S. with a travel-trailer. They were particularly partial to the Smoky Mountain region and the western U.S.

Melvin is survived by his sister, Dorothy Sellars of Nocatee; children Beverly (Jim) Marshall, Gregory A. (Barbara) Carlton, Michael C. (Terri) Carlton, and Dwayne L. (Gwen) Carlton; 14 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and seven great-great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife Christine in 2012; one sister, Evelynn, and four brothers, Earl, DeVaughn, Smiley and Claude.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. (Thursday) Jan. 3, 2019, at Calvary Baptist Church, 1509 E. Oak St., Arcadia, with Pastor David Langley officiating. Visitation will be held prior to the celebration service beginning at 10 a.m. Interment will be held at Joshua Creek Cemetery immediately following.

Melvin will be remembered for his deep love of God and family, devotion to friends and as a true southern gentleman. Those wishing to consider a memorial donation are asked to consider charities which touched Melvin’s life, such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Bright FOCUS Foundation, 22512 Gateway Center Drive, Clarksburg, Maryland 20871, support.brightfocus.org, or to Tidewell Hospice, Philanthropy Department, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota 34238, tidewellhospice.org.

Ponger-Kays-Grady Funeral & Cremation Services, Arcadia, has been entrusted with the arrangements. Online condolences may be made at pongerkaysgrady.com.

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