Delno “Del” Wayne Carlton of Emily, Minnesota passed away on October 14, 2019. He was born to Cecil C. Carlton and Florence Vanstrom Carlton on January 9, 1923, in Lynd, Minnesota.
He grew up in the Emily and Crosby area. Del met his future bride, Ruth Russell, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, while stationed on a military base. He knew he had made the right choice when she agreed to go duck hunting on their honeymoon. Together they were gifted with 65 years of marriage, 4 children, 16 grandchildren and 42 great grandchildren.
Del is survived by his daughter Susan Clark of Emily; son Steven Carlton and wife Katherine of Emily; son John Carlton and wife Janet of Emily; and daughter Jane Hall and husband Jack of Houston, TX. Survivors also include sister Marjorie Nortin of Houston, TX; Loretta Gohl of Nisswa, MN; Garnet Nekvinda of Fort Dodge, IA; and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife Ruth Russell Carlton of Emily; parents Cecil and Florence Carlton of Emily; brother Charles Vanstrom “Van” Carlton of Ball, LA; and son-in-law Stanley Clark of Emily.
Del graduated from Tower-Soudan High School in 1940, and attended Crosby-Ironton Junior College from 1941-1942. He often said that he was proud to have had three careers, the first being the military. He was one of the first five Navy pilots recruited by the U.S. Marine Corps to volunteer from the newly formed Night Fighter Squadron. This was the forerunner of the modern all-weather fighter squadrons of today.
First Lieutenant USMC Carlton served our country during World War II in the South Pacific off Okinawa with the VWF (N) 542 squadron starting the day after D-Day providing night attacks and cover for the Naval fleet at anchor. Years later, he wrote a collection of stories and lessons learned during the war published under the title Sent Forth As A Warrior. This little book is a treasure for the family, friends and military who served our country, including former President George H.W. Bush-also a Navy Aviator in WWII-who wrote Del in 2004 of his enjoyment reading it. Del continued his military career with 10 years in the Reserves.
Following the war, he earned a Bachelor of Mining Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota in 1948. The began his second career as a mining engineer with Pickands Mather & Company (PM) for several mines on the Iron Range and later in the company’s Duluth offices. In 1965 he was named Director of Personnel Relations with PM’s corporate office in Cleveland, Ohio, where he and Ruth resided until his retirement in 1980.
In 1965, both Ruth and Del had accepted Jesus as their personal savior and served the Lord as lay counselors and Christian mentors from their Cleveland home. Del’s third career continued as the couple returned to Emily and founded Cornerstone Christian School in 1982. For more than 20 years they were blessed to provide their own grandchildren and children from the surrounding communities with K-12 Christian schooling.
Del counted it another blessing to live on Ruth Lake-on the very beach he swam on as a child! His favorite hobbies included spear fishing and woodworking.
Friends and family are invited to celebrate Del’s life, service and Home-going at Cornerstone Christian Church in Emily at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, October 19, 2019. His earthly body will rest at the Pine Ridge Cemetery beneath glorious pine trees which he planted in early childhood with grandfather, Charles Wesley Carlton, a mail carrier in Emily. Full military honors will be presented. If desired memorials may be given to the Cornerstone Christian Church in Emily in lieu of flowers. Arrangements are with the Koop Funeral Home in Crosby.
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