Cover photo for Thomas "Tom" Nelson Carleton's Obituary
Thomas "Tom" Nelson Carleton Profile Photo

Thomas "Tom" Nelson Carleton

March 23, 1945 — May 11, 2023

Thomas "Tom" Nelson Carleton

Thomas Nelson Carleton, son, husband, father, Pop Pop, educator, public servant, and friend, passed away peacefully on May 11, 2023, at the age of 78.  Tom was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on March 23, 1945.  He grew up in the Queensborough neighborhood and was a proud 1963 graduate of Fair Park High School.  Tom obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Northwestern State University in 1967 and began his teaching career at Airline High School.  He furthered his education at Northwestern by obtaining a Master of Arts in 1972 and utilized the degree to become a full-time teacher at Bossier Parish Community College in 1974.  At BPCC, Tom was named the Dean of Community Education, promoted to Vice Chancellor of Administration in 1988, and was named Chancellor in 1994.  He served as Chancellor until his retirement in 2009.  He loved leading and serving the students, faculty, and staff of BPCC, and thought of them as his family.  It was Tom’s vision, drive, innovation, networking, and problem-solving skills that allowed the current BPCC campus to come to fruition.

Tom served south Bossier for over 40 years as the Justice of the Peace, performing thousands of weddings in his family home, backyard, and several memorable weddings, including in a hot air balloon, on the Texas Street Bridge on New Year’s Eve, and many other unique locations. He belonged to numerous organizations, including the Adkins Masonic Lodge, El Karubah Shrine Temple, Bossier City Lions Club, River Cities Toy and Model Railroad Club, and while Chancellor of BPCC, he was a member of the Committee of 100.  Over the years, Tom held many leadership roles, including the Chairman of the Board for Bossier Federal Credit Union, President of the Board for the Bossier Public Library System, Willis-Knighton Bossier board member, Tail Twister many times for the Bossier City Lions Club, and was a founding member of Fellowship Methodist Church. Tom received numerous honors, including induction into Northwestern State University’s Long Purple Line,  Bossier Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year 2005, Supporter of the Year Bossier Parish Community College Music Program 2007-2008, American Lung Association Award 2008, NAACP Community Service Award 2009, Grand Marshall of the Bossier Christmas Parade, Committee Chair Award of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Bossier Parish Community College Louisiana Region I Science and Engineering Fair Director’s Award 2009, and the City of Bossier Proclamation “Tom Carleton Day.”

Tom enjoyed attention, laughter, and entertaining people.  He was known for building over the top Christmas decorations in the front yard, creating a haunted trail in the back yard for Halloween, serving in the El Karubah Clown Unit, and taking his beloved pet alligator, Samantha, to civic events and informational meetings. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, Ed and Macie Carleton.  He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 55years, Margie Wilson Carleton; their two daughters, Karyn Carleton Flowers and husband, Eric and Kimberly Carleton Haskins and husband, Kelly; and three grandchildren, Travis Carleton Flowers, Eryn Kathryn Flowers, and Kirby Carleton Haskins.  He is also survived by his brothers-in-law, Buddy Wilson and Marvin Wilson and wife, Laura; and nephews Greg Wilson (Diane) and David Wilson (Lola).

Honoring Tom as pallbearers will be Mike McConathy, Lynn Lyle, Larris Clark, Greg Qualls, Travis Flowers, and Kirby Haskins

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 2201 Airline Drive, Bossier City, Louisiana. Visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m., May 17, 2023, at Rose-Neath Funeral Home. A private burial to follow the service at Providence Cemetery, Ringgold, Louisiana. Officiating the service will be David Dietzel. 

The family would like to express their appreciation to Bill and Johnette Evans and the staff at Red River Home Health and St. Joseph’s Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials may be made to the BPCC Foundation, Shriners Hospital, or a charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas "Tom" Nelson Carleton, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Rose Neath Funeral Homes - Bossier City

2201 Airline Dr., Bossier, LA 71111

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, May 18, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Rose Neath Funeral Homes - Bossier City

2201 Airline Dr., Bossier, LA 71111

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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