UPDATED – Jerry and Nan Carlton Chosen as Older ‘Sierra Madre’ Americans of the Year

News Net file photo of Jerry and Nan Carlton, click to enlarge. Copyright 2009, Bill Coburn

Originally Posted 3/7/12, updated 3/9/12 – The City of Sierra Madre Community & Personnel Services Department and the Senior Community Commission is happy to announce that Jerry and Nan Carlton have been selected as the Older Americans of the Year for Sierra Madre 2012. Jerry and Nan are longtime residents, active members of the Sierra Madre Friends of the Library, Mt. Wilson Trail Race and Wine & Jazz Walk volunteers, past Sierra Madre Athletic Association Board members, strong supporters of the Sierra Madre Civic Club & Senior Lunch Program and much, much more.

In April of 2009, the Carlton’s were spotlighted on SierraMadreNews.Net in a then-running weekly volunteer column written by former Sierra Madre News publisher Jan Reed.  Here’s what she had to say at that time:

How do you spell “volunteers”? “Nan and Jerry Carlton,” that’s how.

These two Sierra Madre residents really live up the the Sierra Madre mantra — Volunteering is Cool. And their work goes back to 1967 when Nan and two long-gone residents set the stage for the beginning of Girls’ Softball. The same three women harassed the City Council into naming the plot of donated land in northeast Sierra Madre after Hal Dapper, a recently deceased (at that time) volunteer of the Athletic Association.

Jerry designed the present diner at that field. He was chairman of that association and president of Pony/Colt where he managed The Reds in the latter. Jerry was a member of the Parks ad Recreation Commission and was chairman of the Trail Race then. In the ’70s he was Girls’ Softball coach and manager. He and another local man ran the Christmas tree lot for 10 years in the ’80s, with money going to town athletes.

Then in 2007, Jerry walked the whole town of Sierra Madre, checking all 469 fire hydrants in the City. Why was that necessary? “We need to know (for the Fire Department) if they are painted properly, if they’re accessible, are capped, and if the blue dots on the streets, indicating their presence, are there,” Jerry explained. The task took him all summer and the City Council commended him for the job.

Jerry recycles clear plastic bottles and aluminum for the Civic Club and he volunteers at the library book sales. He also substitutes for Meals-on-Wheels and works on the Wine Tasting Committee.

In the ’60s Nan took third graders from local schools to Bailey Canyon on nature hikes, usually going to the waterfall and back. She and friends in ’67 started Summer Little League and “that was the beginning of Girls’ Softball,” she explained. Nan is past president of Civic Club and has been a long-time worker for that club. She participated on all of the Relays for Life held in Sierra Madre.

“About four or five years ago” Nan started a knitting club. “We meet at Bean Town two times a week, and welcome others who want to knit.” She also worked on the Rose Float for at least 12 years, helping youth volunteers.

Both she and Jerry participated in the PTAs for both Sierra Madre School and Wilson, and taught Sunday School for many years.

Their beginnings? When she was a child, Nan and her mother came by train to Sierra Madre to be with Nan’s grandmother, Florence Eakman, who was a well-known poet and children’s book author. Nan has lived here ever since.

After Jerry left the Navy, he and Nan met and were married in 1953. Their son, Steve, is a hydro/geologist and has a son and daughter, Wyn and Liz. Daughter Suzi’s son is Mike. Sierra Madre lost Sheri Carlton Burnett in 2001, and she left another Carlton granddaughter, Amanda.

Nan is recuperating after having had surgery on Nov. 20 last year, and is slowly getting back to activities. “I have to wait until March to resume going to Curves,” Nan remarked.

Why do these two volunteer? Nan answered, “I was a Campfire Girl and that’s where you learn to volunteer. You’re supposed to give back.”

Each year the President of the United States, the Governor of California and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors designate the month of May as Older American Month.  In recognition of Jerry and Nan Carlton’s dedicated volunteer service to the community, Sierra Madre will be honoring them with a local reception held at the Hart Park House Senior Center on Friday, May 11, 2012 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

With some help from City staff, I managed to get the text of some of the nominations for Nan and Jerry as Older Americans.  Here’s what one of their nominators had to say:

Nan and Jerry Carlton have been heavily involved in the City of Sierra Madre for over 45 years. Nan was instrumental in starting the Girls Softball League. They were there to raise money in any way needed to help build our playing fields Hal Dapper for our children that we use to this day. Jerry designed the present diner at that field. He was chairman of that association and president of Pony/Colt where he managed The Reds. Jerry was a member of the Parks & Recreation Commission and was chairman of the Trail Race then. They were in the group that originally organized the Mt. Wilson Trail Race. In the 70s he was Girls Softball coach and manager. He helped run the Christmas tree lot for 10 years in the ’80s, with money going to town athletes.

In 2001, Jerry walked the whole town of Sierra Madre, checking all 469 fire hydrants in the City. Jerry also recycles clear plastic bottles and aluminum for the Civic Club and he volunteers at the library book sales. He also substitutes for Meals-on-Wheels and helps with the Senior Lunch program. Nan and Jerry both have been working on the Wine Tasting Committee for the last 5 years.

Nan is past president of Civic Club and has been a long-time worker for that club. Nan was a Team Captain for the Relay for Life for several years. I am sure there is not anything that they have not been instrumental in helping organize here in our Town. About six or seven years ago, Nan started a knitting club to help raise money for cancer research. She also worked on the Rose Float for at least 12 years, helping youth volunteers. Both she and Jerry participated in the PTAs for both Sierra Madre School and Wilson, and taught Sunday School for many years. It is time that this wonderful couple be recognized for there outstanding commitment to our City.

Another nominator had this to say:

Served on the Little League Board Served on the Pony League Board Served on the Girl’s Softball Board Served on the Athletic Assn. Board

President of Pony League

Pony League Manager, about 5 years

Served on the Dapper Field Development Committee

Managed 2 Girls Softball team – The Green Hornets for 4 years, Snoopy’s Sluggers for 5 years

Served on Parks and Recreation (1972-1976)

Was the first Chairman of the 1st Mt Wilson Trail Race (1972) after the city took over from Search and Rescue Worked on the Trail Race Committee for about 25-30 years

Ran the Christmas Tree Lot with Joe Goudy, all proceeds going to the Athletic Assn. for at least 12 years.  Appeared in the only PTA Extravaganza held at Wilson Jr. High, about 1974.

Served on the General Plan ad-hoc Committee in 1989-1990, this committee was never brought before the City Council and excused, so legally it is still in existence

Worked the Recycling Center. Ever since they quit taking aluminum, Jerry has collected aluminum cans and lately plastic bottles and taken them to the Recycling Center in Monrovia and donated the money to Civic Club philanthropies

Checked every fire plug in Sierra Madre in 2007

Acted as Wine Sergeant for 3 years at Iris Intrigue for the Wine & Jazz Walk.  Delivered Meals on Wheels.

Works in the kitchen serving Senior Lunches on Mondays.  Board Member of  Friends of the Library.

Sets up and tears down for the Library’s Good Used Book Sale every other month. Chairman of Ticket Sales for Friends’ Wine Tasting for the last several years.

Previous Honorees include:  Pat Alcorn, Fran Garbaccio, Ken Anhalt, Eph Konigsberg, Russ Anderson, George Throop, Loyal Camacho, John Grijalva, Joylouise Harte-Smith, James Heasley, Midge Morash, James Tyler, Isbella Paegal, Bonnie Garner, Rose Fafach, Ed Wellman, Celeste McCleary, Dorothy Tillquist, Doris Webster, Elsie Dannmayer, George Mauer & Karl Teigler.

For more information on the Older American Reception or on how you can assist with honoring Jerry and Nan Carlton, please contact the Susan Clifton, Recreation Coordinator at (626) 355-7394.

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