FLINT TWP. — Flags at the police and fire stations were being flown at half-mast all week in memory of former township supervisor Douglas Clayton Carlton, 62, who died on Wednesday, February 3.
Carlton served as township supervisor from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that he served as township constable from 1992 to 1996, was elected to trustee in 2004 and served until he was elected supervisor in 2006 to fill the position following the recall of supervisor Linda Barber.
At the time of his death, Carlton was in Texas for work. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, February 12 at Trinity Baptist Church, 4222 N. Elms Rd., in Flushing, Pastor Seth Ferguson officiating. Burial will follow in Flushing Cemetery. Visitation will be held from noon-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Thursday, February 11 at Sharp Funeral Homes, Miller Road Chapel, 8138 Miller Road in Swartz Creek and on Friday at the church from noon until the service begins.
Carlton was born on January 7, 1954 in Flint, the son of Elwyn Clayton and Barbara Marie (Loewen) Carlton. He was a 1972 graduate of Carman High School and owner of Carlton Construction for 30 years. He is being remembered as a friend, mentor and staunch advocate of public safety.
As supervisor, Carlton worked tirelessly for the passage of successful Road, Fire Equipment and Police Millages, according to information provided by the township clerk’s office. He also started the Road Advisory Committee which still exists today. Carlton was instrumental in the modernization of Flint Township fire services with the purchase of three fire trucks and he initiated the installation of 18 Safe City Cameras located throughout the township.
“We lost a supporter of the police department and of public safety,” said Police Chief George Sippert, who knew Carlton back during his days as constable when he worked as a liaison between the police department and the community.
Sippert became police chief at the same time that Carlton was elected a trustee in December 2004.
“One thing I’d say about Doug is that his heart was always for public safety,” Chief Sippert said, recalling that Carlton actively went out and campaigned for the successful passage of the 2007 police millage.
Chief Sippert also recalled that Carlton had a “great sense of humor,” and was able to see the lighter side of things.
Carlton welcomed phone calls at his home, even on weekends, and always wanted to know if anything tragic had happened, Chief Sippert recalled.
“He would always call me up and say ‘George, what’s the scoop?’ That was one of his favorite phrases.”
Even after leaving office, Carlton occasionally kept in touch and wanted to know how things were going.
“He was a friend,’’ said Chief Sippert, who added that he was shocked and saddened by Carlton’s unexpected death.
“He was my friend and mentor,” said Township Treasurer Marsha Binelli, who previously served as deputy supervisor under Carlton.
Reflecting on Carlton’s life, Binelli and Flint Township Clerk Kim Courts said he lived life the way he wanted while always thinking of ways to improve and better his community.
In addition to helping to make Flint Township a better place to live and work, Carlton was also a very successful businessman and held patents for pit cans and pit dryers for NASCAR. He designed and manufactured couplers for drain tiles around structures. Carlton also was known for helping those with special needs and employed individuals from Goodwill Industries in his Flint Township plastics plant. “Doug loved to have fun,” Courts said. “I will always remember him by his greeting: ‘What’s the scoop?’ “He was very adventurous. He had a license to fly a helicopter and he enjoyed fast cars and boats.”
According to his obituary, Carlton enjoyed traveling and spending time with his beloved family and friends and was the type of man who never met a stranger.
He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Jeraline Sue (nee Reed) of Flint Twp.; children, Tracy Carlton of Grand Blanc, Leighann (Jeft) Sammons of Buckley, MI, Holly Carlton of Flint, and Buddy Carlton of Flint Twp.; two grandchildren, Max and Marin; mother, Barbara Marie Carlton; sisters, Diane (Dan) Crane of Flint, Renee (David) Juhl of Fenton; and many other relatives and friends.