CARLTON, Helen Buchan, age 90, of Plant City, passed away May 26, 2014 at Garden Court Hawthorne Village of Brandon. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ida & Robert G. Buchan; husband, Harry S. Carlton (husband of 52 years); sisters, Leola Alford, Nita Miller, Julia Simmons, Roberta Huskey, Ruth Buchan, Marjorie Cooper; and brother, Homer Buchan.
Mrs. Carlton's parents moved to Coronet, a phosphate mining community east of Plant City as she began her sophomore year in high school. Upon graduation from historic Plant City High School, she went to work utilizing her secretarial and bookkeeping skills locally, as well as in New York for the A and P Tea Co. She spent many years as a secretary and bookkeeper for Miles Motor Co. and M.C. Spreader Service, a business partnership between J.A. Miles, Jr. and Harry, as well as Carlton Brothers Inc., a small agricultural concern. Her husband's work ethic for his agricultural interests and passion for community service required long hours away from home. As a result, Helen became excellent at multi-tasking as a fulltime bookkeeper/secretary (bringing that work home too), homeroom/PTA mom, chef, housekeeper, chauffeur, lawn keeper, activist in adult/youth church events, etc. She was a devoted wife and mother.
Harry and Helen were members of the First United Methodist Church of Plant City where they were married at high noon January 2, 1944. While he was overseas during World War II, she lived with his parents, taught his youngest sister how to drive and worked fulltime. His five sisters claimed "Helen" as their sister too. Sunday and holiday family get-togethers with the Carlton's as well as with her own parents, sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews brought Helen much enjoyment. Her extended family, in turn, relished her personable, hospitable ways. Mother was happiest doing for others. Her lifework was focused on giving whatever care or support was needed to any that crossed her path. Helen was the first to make a donation to Willis Peters ESC for the construction of their playground for students with special needs. Indeed, she has left us a with a beautiful legacy of caring and generosity. Her servant heart continues its work in heaven.
Mrs. Carlton is survived by her son, Robert Carlton of Plant City; daughter, Pam Anders (Lynn) of Clermont; grandchildren, David Anders (Ronni) of Rockledge; and Katie Helen Anders of Plant City; great grandchildren, Reagan, Grace and Gatlin Anders; sister, Winifred Higbe of Jacksonville; brother, Robert Buchan of Punta Gorda and many nieces and nephews. Heartfelt thank you's to her guardian angels: Ruby Davis (Paradise), Barbara Dexter (Plant City), Mellie Mabry (Dover), and Kathaleen Renfro (Thonotosassa), Dr. Anita Patel, staff and administration at Garden Court and Lifepath Hospice.
The family will receive friends at 10am, Saturday, May 31, 2014, followed by a Celebration of Life Service at Wells Memorial Funeral Home at 11am with the Rev. David Baldridge officiating. A committal service will follow at West Oaklawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those who wish may contribute to Florida United Methodist Children's Home, Health Partners Center for Memory and Aging (Alzheimer's Association) 7900 W. 78th Street Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55439 , Lifepath Hospice or other charity of your choice.