Monday, January 14, 2008

In Memoriam: Carlton Candler

Posted by Janine Serresseque
Our tight-knit theatre community bids a sad goodbye to our beloved friend, Carlton Candler, who passed away unexpectedly in his Manhattan home on January 6.

Carlton was one of the first friends I made when I moved to Richmond in 1993. I didn't know a soul, sought out the first community theatre group I could find in order to meet people, and had the good fortune to land at Henrico Theatre Company. Carlton and I were both in a production of Rumours and we became fast friends. I'm sure anybody who knew Carlton was fast friends with him. You just got drawn in by his bright, generous and exuberant spirit, not to mention the fact that he was absolutely hilarious! The man could have a whole room of people in stitches with his antics.

He was a very enthusiastic volunteer in community theatre, having performed in and directed dozens of shows for Henrico Theatre Company, Chamberlayne Actors Theatre, Fort Lee Playhouse, and Richmond Neighborhood Players.

Kids were just as captivated by Carlton as we (so-called) grownups were. Carlton was a well-loved and devoted teacher. He didn't consider teaching to be just a way to pay the bills; he was passionate about it. It was his true calling. I'm sure there are many young people in our community who had the good fortune to be his students, as he taught at HATTheatre, Center Stage for Henrico County, and at Ridge and Shady Grove Elementary Schools. After he moved to New York in 2001, he continued his teaching career at several schools in New York, New Jersey, and most recently in Harlem.

A memorial service was held for Carlton last Saturday, January 12th at Shady Grove United Methodist Church. Memorials may be made to Fresh Youth Initiatives, Inc., 505 W. 171st St., New York, NY 10032.

Carlton, we will miss you. Thank you for all the love, compassion and humor you brought to this world.

--Janine Serresseque

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was a real shock to hear of Carlton's sudden passing last Monday. Although we worked together only once, we had remained friends, and "instant messaged" each other regularly. Carlton was always positive and upbeat. The hundreds of people who showed up for his memorial were a testament to how much he was loved and how much he will be missed.

Michael Hawke