Frank Anderson Carlton Jr.

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 10, 2009

GREENVILLE, Miss. — Funeral services for Frank Anderson Carlton Jr., 74, of Greenville will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church. He was called home to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, March 8, 2009, in Greenville following a sudden cardiac death. Burial will be at Greenville Cemetery under the direction of Boone-Wells Funeral Home, Greenville.

He was born Feb. 12, 1935, in Hollywood, Calif., to Hazel and Frank Anderson Carlton.

Frank was a man who lived many lives well, all at once. His life was punctuated by a love for his family, a love for his community and country, and a love of God, which he shared with others in unique ways.

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Frank graduated as valedictorian of his senior high school class from Jefferson Military College located in Washington, Miss.

During this same time, he lived with his aunt, the Hon. Zelma Price, while working as a teenager for the Mississippi Legislature in the Post Office during its sessions. This is where he first developed a love for the law, the legislative process and public service.

Frank went on to attend the University of Southern Mississippi on a Golden Gloves boxing scholarship. He was proud of his Golden Gloves record. He was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, where he served as president, 1956. He was active in student government at USM, serving as president of USM Student Body 1956–1957, and he was selected as the 1957 Outstanding Male Graduate for USM. Frank graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. He was commissioned through ROTC.

Frank reported for active military service at Fort Benning, Ga., for Basic Infantry Officer’s Course.

Frank entered law school at the University of Mississippi in 1957 and achieved notoriety by serving as the emcee of the “Murder Bowl” football game between the Pharmacy School and Law School. He dropped out one semester to make his first run for the Mississippi House of Representatives, an unsuccessful political campaign, but it was during this time that he met his future wife, Frances Caillouet.

Frank later served as president of the Senior Law Class and graduated in December 1960. He returned at that time to Greenville, where he opened his private law office. During his legal career, he was a member of the Washington County Bar Association, Mississippi Bar Association, the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association and the American Bar Association.

Frank and Frances were married on his birthday, Feb. 12, 1961, in Greenville.

In 1963, Frank successfully ran again for the Mississippi House of Representatives and served 1963–1972. He was a leader on education issues, helping to pass legislation critical to the funding for the Mississippi Public Broadcast System. He was noted by all for his humor and camaraderie.

Frank began his career as a prosecutor in 1971 until 1975 as an assistant district attorney in Washington County before returning briefly to the private practice of law. In 1979, he ran for the post of district attorney for the Fourth Circuit Court District, which he won and held until his retirement in 2004. He was an active member of the Mississippi Prosecutors Association, serving as president and mentoring his colleagues. He continued to support the organization beyond retirement.

Throughout his legislative and legal career, he had an active military career. He was a Special Forces Green Beret. Most notably, he was a founding member of the original Mississippi Army Guard SF “E” Company in Jackson, Miss. He served an extended time as an “A” team leader, eventually rising to be the commander of “C” Company in Columbus, Miss. He was honored by his airborne comrades in the 20th Special Forces Group as the “Best Damn Trooper to Stand in the Door.” He retired from military service as “Colonel Carlton” in 1984.

Frank loved Greenville, Washington County and the State of Mississippi. He served over 25 years as chairman of the board for Washington Warren Issaquena Sharkey Community Action Agency. His service was honored when the board established the Frank Carlton Humanitarian Award. He was a 25-year board member of the Washington County Opportunities Inc. (Head Start). He received the Greenville Chamber’s Point of Pride Award.

For a time, he operated a newspaper known as “The Delta Gazette” featuring uplifting community interest stories. He organized the Barbeque, Catfish and Hot Tamale Cooking Contest and its companion, the Greenville Blue Grass Festival. He was the proprietor of the Big River Goat Ranch Kick Ass Cooking Team, which prepared the food for his annual Christmas in July, a community celebration for 39 years. One day before he died, he won first place in the tamale challenge for the Louisiana Hayride Performance Event held in Greenville.

He was a lifelong member of the First Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday School.

When not spending time spoiling his grandchildren, Frank had many notable hobbies. He loved his family’s homestead, and he was an avid gardener and goat rancher. He passed away while tending to his goats on the land where he was raised, where he raised his children to love the land and where he communed regularly with his Lord and Savior.

He was preceded in death by his father, Frank Anderson Carlton; his mother, Hazel Wells Carlton; and his brother, Walter Carlton.

He is survived by his wife, Frances Caillouet Carlton; his children, Scott Carlton and his wife, Virginia, of Columbia, Miss., and their children Rachel, Harrison Read, and Phoebe; Frank Carlton III and his wife, Peggy, of Germantown, Tenn., and their children Chandler, Zachary and Chase; and Neely Carlton and her husband, David Maatallah, of Madison and their children Marissa, Adam and Joshua, as well as by his aunt, Walter Lou McIlwain, cousins Billy Eugene Wells, Zelma McIlwain, Willard McIlwain III, George Read Carlton and many other family and friends.

Pallbearers are Walter Brown, George Read Carlton, Jim Carraway, Lynwood Easterling, Mike Keller, George T. Kelly, George F. Hollowell Jr., Charles McKeller and De-wayne Richardson.

Honorary pallbearers are the Mississippi Bar Association and the Billy Ireland Sunday School Class.

The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 Wednesday evening at First Baptist Church.

Memorials may be made to Jefferson Military College Foundation, P.O. Box 11, Washington, MS 39190.