Gary was born into a time long before the age of technology when a boy could walk a dirt road to school with his dog every day. As he did with his earliest friend, Sport, with whom he would share his lunch daily. Gary remained an avid dog lover throughout his life. Often quipping there was something wrong with anybody who didn’t like kids and dogs.
Gary enjoyed life in the country as a youth, including working with his mule Jack. Early responsibility was soon upon Gary following the sudden death of his father when he was only sixteen. Gary dropped out of school and began working, taking and driving trucks across several states.
From an early age Gary loved to play music. He was a multi-instrumentalist and objectively one of the best and most respected Dobro players in the area.
On June 5, 1970 Gary married the love of his life, Margie Randall Carlton. They would go on to have four children over their 45 year marriage. When later Gary became sick, Margie was always by his side with hopeful nobility.
Gary worked at Ikerd-Bandy Coal Company for eleven years before buying his own truck to do what he loved. He hauled for only a brief time before being besieged by the illnesses that would plague him for the remainder of his life.
Through many operations and set-backs, Gary never gave up hope and he lived in spite of physical infirmities.
In 1992, Gary formed the bluegrass gospel band, the Chimney Rock Boys. Named for the church he attended for many years until he physically could not. He and his oldest son co-founded the Chimney Rock Boys. Early lineups included Clifford Adams, Mearl Price and Glen “Pig” Arthur. Many more talented musicians would play with the band over the years, using a musical platform to spread the words and message of the gospel.
Gary was a man of great faith. He also played the piano at Chimney Rock Baptist Church where he was a member for most of his life.
Gary passed away at his home on January 31, 2016 at the age of 64. He was preceded in death by his mother, Gladys Burdine Carlton Adams and father, Raymond Carlton. As well as two sisters, Donna Kay Carlton and Barbara June Carlton. His stepfather, Herman Adams, and grandparents, Ramon and Florence Burdine and Emmett and Ara Carlton.
He is survived by his wife, Margie Carlton, three sons, Tony Carlton, Chris Carlton and Gary Carlton, Jr. and one daughter, Robyn Carlton. He is also survived by several animal friends.
The things written have only been a snapshot for a few simple words cannot express the scale of a life in full. So with that in mind, it is asked that those who knew Gary remember the times you had. Though Gary has at last walked the eternity mile he will live on in our hearts and minds. Gary was a great father and friend and he will be missed. He awaits the Great Reunion.
Visitation will be on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 after 5:00pm at Lake Cumberland Funeral Home.
His funeral service will be held on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 1:00pm at the Chapel of Lake Cumberland Funeral Home with Bro. Aaron Roberts officiating. Burial will be at Acorn Cemetery.
Lake Cumberland Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangement for Gary Allen Carlton