Dr. Carlton Van Doren '55


Dr. Carlton Van Doren '55 died on July 29,2016. The following article is from the News-Gazette.

ANDERSON, S.C. – Dr. Carlton S. Van Doren, 83, formerly of Urbana and College Station, Texas, passed away peacefully of natural causes at the National Health Care facility in Anderson, S.C., on Friday (July 29, 2016).

He was married to Sharon Ruth Van Doren (nee Cruthers) who predeceased him in December 2015. Carlton is survived by his daughter, Abigail Van Doren, and son-in-law, Paul Womer, of Brunswick, Maine; his daughter, Rebecca (Van Doren) Minear, and son-in-law, Scott Minear of Houston; and his granddaughter, Mallory Minear, also of Houston.

Carlton was born in Urbana, where he was a high school thespian, lettered in basketball and earned his Eagle Scout rank. Carlton attended the University of Illinois where he received his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in geography; he continued his advanced education at Michigan State University where he was accorded a doctorate in geography. Carlton eventually specialized in travel and tourism and taught at the University of South Dakota, and Ohio State University. He retired as professor emeritus from Texas A&M University in 1996.

Carlton was a founding member of The Academy of Leisure Sciences. He was the first editor of the Journal of Leisure Research and co-founding editor of Leisure Sciences. His interests were reflected in a co-authored text, Travel and Tourism, An Anglo-North American Perspective, and in other principal publications edited or co-authored, such as Land and Leisure and Statistics on Outdoor Recreation. He served on the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) Research Advisory Board, Society of Parks and Recreation Educator (SPRE) Board of Directors and as a trustee of the U.S. Travel Data Center. A Distinguished Fellow of SPRE, Carlton received the Family Camping Federation's Research Award, the Sapora Research Award from the University of Illinois and NRPA's National Research (Roosevelt) Award.

Aside from these accolades, the highest honors came from his students. He was described as a scholar, teacher, mentor and friend. His scholarly abilities were evidenced in the leadership he provided in his profession and research he conducted based on his intuitive insights into leisure and tourism behavior. As a teacher, he taught by example and challenged his students to develop knowledge and sophistication in their chosen specializations. To most students, he was the epitome of "what a professor should be." As a mentor, he exhibited a model of commitment to scholarly inquiry and ethical standards for students and colleagues alike. In addition, he practiced the highest ethical standards throughout his career and life. As a friend, he helped both students and colleagues work through the challenges of an academic career and life in general. With an "open door" always available to listen and talk, he helped others respond to life's professional and personal challenges.

Through it all, he found time to garden, tinker with model airplanes, and indulge his fascination with World War II aircraft. Upon his retirement from Texas A&M, an outdoor bench was placed in his honor and a tree planted in his name. Yet, as an individual who cared both about the environment and his beloved alma mater of Illinois, he remained torn: "... braking for all animals, except Michigan Wolverines."

Carlton will be interred along with Sharon at Woodlawn Cemetery in Urbana at a date to be determined. A graveside service will be conducted for both at that time. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, donations may be made to the University of Illinois, School of Geography, and/or to the Van Doren Family Endowed Scholarship Fund at Texas A&M.

Condolences may be offered online at www.mcdougaldfuneralhome.com. The McDougald Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Anderson, S.C., is handling arrangements.