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Funeral services will take place on Thursday, October 7, 2021 at 10:00 AM (Mountain).

Presbyterian Church
Kadoka, South Dakota

Thursday, October 7, 2021 - 2:00 p.m.
Black Hills National Cemetery
Sturgis, South Dakota
Visitation will be held an hour prior to the memorial service at the church.

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In memory of

Melvin Carleton

of Kadoka, South Dakota, died on Sunday, October 3, 2021 at Ft. Meade V.A. Medical Center near Sturgis at the age of 87

Melvin Lewis Carleton was born to Paul and Rosa Carleton on May 31, 1934, in Gonzales, Texas, near San Antonio. Seven more children were born into this family – three daughters and four more sons to Paul and Rosa.

Melvin graduated from Devine Texas High School and entered the United States Air Force right away as a career. He served over twenty years of military service until he retired for the USAF in 1978. He was a Korean and Vietnam veteran for both wars.

On July 1, 1956, Melvin was united in marriage to Wilma B. Carson in Kadoka. They were blessed with two children, Sandra and Randall. After his retirement from the Air Force, they made their residence in Kadoka. For about four years, his love of driving took him across the United States driving big rigs. He was always proud to tell stories of being in all fifty states due to the USAF and driving truck.

Family were the pride and joy of his life, along with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Early in life, Melvin became a Christian and took Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

Melvin loved being with family and friends. Eating watermelon, fishing, wearing his mufflers and bunny boots in the cold snowy South Dakota winters, exploring old houses and junkyards were the fun hobbies he shared with his kids.

He loved taking anyone and everyone out to eat. If we knew he was coming he’d say “invite so and so.” Strangers were invited to our table to eat and be blessed. He liked to give money away, after all it is just paper according to Sam Walton. The family enjoyed getting Lincolns and Benjamins many times as well as a candy bar.

Mel wasn’t a stranger, and he made friends wherever he went, he always introduced and told them he was from Texas and asking where they were born. Most people were very obliging to tell him about themselves. Mel was always happy to tell people about his daughter’s birth story, including being born in Morocco, North Africa.

Survivors include his loving wife Wilma B. Carleton; one daughter, Sandi Luisi and son-in-law Pat Luisi of Black Hawk; two grandchildren Charity Ann Luisi Torres and husband Milton and their children Amariah, Zander and Gracie; his grandson Timothy Paul Luisi and his wife Monique; his daughter-in-law Cheryl Carleton Rassmussen and her daughter Catrina and her husband Trevin and Mel’s step-great-grandchildren Chyan and Tanner and Cheryl’s son Christopher.

Mel also has four brothers, Charles, David, Daniel and John; three sisters: Mildred, Doris and Mary. All of his siblings reside in Texas. Mel is also survived by his brothers-in-law Ronnie and Renate Carson and Oliver and Gayle Carson; and by a multitude of nieces and nephews; and many other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by their son Randy; his parents; and Wilma’s parents.

Today he is enjoying his freedom in Heaven. God is so good.

Cards and memorials may be sent to P.O. Box 398 Kadoka, SD 57543.

Memorial services will be held 10:00 a.m. Thursday, October 7, at the Presbyterian Church in Kadoka.

Interment with full military honors will be held 2:00 p.m. Thursday, October 7, at the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.

Thursday, October 7, 2021 - 10:00 a.m.
Presbyterian Church
Kadoka, South Dakota

Pastor Shawn Shoup
Pastor Deanna Shoup
Pastor Jesse Taylor

Pastor Shawn and Deanna Shoup - Musicians
Congregational Hymns
“Amazing Grace”
“It Is Well With My Soul”
Special Music
“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)”
“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
“The Blessings” - “It Is Well With My Soul”
“Ten Thousand Reasons”

Ron Carson - Oliver Carson - Pat Luisi - Bud Weller
Bill Bouman - Dale Sassman - Charles Paul Carleton
David Carleton - Daniel Carleton - John Carleton

Thursday, October 7, 2021 - 2:00 p.m.
Black Hills National Cemetery
Sturgis, South Dakota

  • Thanks for serving ~ A VETERAN (10/17/2021)
  • Sandi and family, I am so sorry for your loss! My thoughts and prayers are with you all! ~ Renae Aubert Rapid City, SD (10/8/2021)
  • We have known Melvin for a long time through his many ups and downs. He had a remarkable memory. He often told me how he, and Wilma were married by Reverend Paul Strieb at the old church which stood where the present parsonage is now.
    He was very proud of his military service both here and overseas. No one could claim to have been a greater patriot and he had stories about all that he had done and seen.
    He never met a stranger and he loved to travel. He had been to many countries. One of his great joys was to drive his car whether to Ellsworth, or Belvidere to post a letter. He would drive to the Longvalley store to visit with anyone that was there and then stop to see his faithful friend Bud Weller.
    When we moved to Ohio Melvin called us to keep us informed of all that was happening with Wilma, with his family and in Kadoka
    He was a prolific letter writer. He wrote to Presidents, congressmen, governors, and anyone else. He would use any paper that he happened to have on hand.
    I (Gary) was so glad that I got to spend an hour with Melvin at the Veterans Hospital in Sturgis when Ruth and I were in South Dakota in August.
    ~ Gary & Ruth McCubbin 667 Wall Rd, Wadsworth, Ohio 44281 (10/8/2021)
  • Wilma and family, just wanted to extend our sympathies for your loss. We always enjoyed seeing (Bubba), when we could and visiting with him on the phone. If i could say one thing about my uncle ... he lived life to it's fullest capability. I know my grandparents were happy to see their first born again in heaven!
    It's sad to know he left us however, i know he has to be happy in his new travels! Love you Bubba!
    ~ stephen Whittley Adkins Texas (10/8/2021)
  • So sorry that Tammy's message was sent to Mel's obituary. Dear Wilma, our thoughts and prayers for you and your family. We always appreciated Mel's great love for his country. Hugs. ~ Justin and Joyce Wheeler Philip SD (10/7/2021)
  • Tammy and family, so sorry to hear about Cindy. Always enjoyed our quick little visits with her---our thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this difficult time. ~ Justin and Joyce Wheeler Philip, SD (10/7/2021)
  • Dear Sandi and family: May the peace that passeth understanding surround you and your family at this time. You are in our thoughts and prayers. ~ Heather Crawford Rapid City, SD (10/7/2021)
  • Heaven has welcomed home a truly great and faithful servant. Mel was always so good about checking on my dad. He was so concerned about others. Such a caring and considerate man. God's peace and blessings to Mel's family. ~ Roxy Richardson (10/6/2021)
  • Sandi, I am sorry to hear about your father's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family ~ Bonnie Oliver Box Elder (10/6/2021)
  • Wilma and Family:
    A life well lived. A hole in your world. May you find peace in God's grace. Holding you close in thought and prayer.
    ~ Becky Janz Rapid City, SD (10/6/2021)
  • Wilma,
    I am sorry to hear of Mel's passing. Prayers for you and your family.
    ~ Carrie Weller Marion SD (10/5/2021)
  • So sorry to hear about Mel. He was always so good to my mom. Because of his help she was able to live out her life in her own home. He had a big heart! ~ Coleen Kayras Sturgis, SD (10/5/2021)
  • So sorry for your loss. Mel had amazing stories to tell and so loved to drive around the area. May your memories give comfort . ~ Bill and Marsha Sumpter Kadoka (10/5/2021)
  • So sorry for your loss. Mel was great person. I enjoyed visiting with him when ever we met somewhere. Hugs and Prayers for all the Families. Thanks for serving. ~ Bonnie Madsen Kadoka, SD (10/4/2021)