David Keith Carlton, 88 of Taylorville, passed away at 3:50pm on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at Taylorville Memorial Hospital surrounded by his family, whom he loved so much. He was born on May 3, 1932, the son of Herman Keith and Alice Minette (Schmidt) Carlton. He married Geraldine Anita Payne on August 23, 1953 in Owaneco, and she preceded him in death on November 27, 1985. On July 3, 1987 he married Mary Louise (Daggett) Adams in Cannon Beach, Oregon and she preceded him in death on May 3, 2011. David was a veteran of the US Army, serving in Arkansas, Indiana, and Japan during the Korean Conflict as Secretary to the General in Headquarters IX Corps. David grew up on the family farm in rural Owaneco and graduated from Taylorville High School in 1950 and from Asbury University in 1954. He attended the University of Illinois where he earned a master’s degree. David served as principal for 34 years first at Brushy Branch School, and later West Elementary School in Taylorville. Saying he loved his West School family is an understatement. He took great pride in each, and every accomplishment of any member of his school family that made West the Best. Following retirement, David and Mary Lou moved to Colorado where they enjoyed many wonderful years together entertaining friends and family who came to visit. He was a member of the Owaneco and Taylorville United Methodist Churches as well as the Taylorville First Presbyterian and Cheyenne Mountain Presbyterian Church in Colorado. David always had a strong faith, and close relationship with God. It showed in his love for his family, friends, teachers, and students. He was a charter member of the Taylorville Optimist Club. In his free time, he enjoyed working on counted cross stitch projects. It gave him great joy to give these as gifts to people that meant so much to him. He later knitted many caps that he donated to charities or gave as gifts just to get a smile from a loved one or acquaintance. David learned to play the piano by ear at an early age and used his talent to serve as an accompanist for many Taylorville Music Festivals and school events. He also enjoyed playing games, especially Bridge, traveling, cooking and entertaining friends and family.

He is survived by his children: Douglas Wayne Carlton of Champaign, and Nancy Lee Landry (Brian) of Springfield; stepchildren: Suzanne Roland (David), Cindy Simonsen (Rory), and Steven Adams (Kathy); grandchildren: Henry Carlton, Ben Carlton, Phillip Bliler, Jennifer Dammerman, and Jill Hedden; step grandchildren: Sarah Peterson, Gabriel Conrad, Ryan Adams, Breanne Kennedy, and Rachel Adams; 8 great grandchildren and 2 step-great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; 2 wives, infant sister: Mary Louise Carlton, and sister: Christine Diss.

Mr. Carlton will be cremated, and a memorial service will be held at 12:00pm on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at the First United Methodist Church in Taylorville with Rev. Nic Showalter officiating. Visitation will be held beginning at 10:00am, for two hours prior to the service in the church. Following the memorial service, friends and family are invited to gather at Manner’s Park Dining Hall to continue the celebration of David’s life. Memorials in his honor may be made to the Taylorville Public Schools Foundation. McClure Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Taylorville is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories of David, or condolences to his family, may be shared online at

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