Paul Dean Carlin

In his 1961 yearbook photo from Morningside High School in Inglewood, California, Paul Dean Carlin – everyone called him Pete – appears, like the rest of his male classmates, as perfectly clean-cut and dressed in a coat and tie.  One speculates that may have been the last occasion he was seen in a coat and tie.  Born May 16, 1943, by the time of his passing on Oct 6th of this year the man with the white Santa-Claus beard had lived a full life, largely on his own terms.

 

We don’t know Pete’s motivation for joining the Air Force in 1964, but we do know he served as an electronic warfare repairman in Vietnam, a critical behind-the-scenes career field that undoubtedly protected the lives of many Airmen above the skies of that war-torn country.  Serving as an instructor when he was discharged in 1968, Pete went on to a career working highly technical jobs in electronics, research and development, and instrumentation until his retirement.  Possessing uncommon intelligence, what he may have lacked in formal education he more than made up for in self-study, becoming fluent in Spanish through his own initiative.  A quick survey of his home library reveals texts spanning the gamut from Marks’ Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers to Geology Illustrated to John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley.  His surroundings reveal an ordered mind, with every useful thing neatly in its place.

 

A keen judge of character and possessing a sharp wit, Pete Carlin enjoyed observing the human condition, never flinching from an honest acknowledgement of people’s foibles and frailties, occasionally with an epithet thrown in for good measure.  Grumpy at times, Pete nevertheless showed by his actions that he had a good heart (not literally – his physical heart was failing).  His stepchildren, whom he freely claimed as his own, experienced his generosity in all the ways that mattered – materially, emotionally, and through his wise counsel throughout their lives.  They, his wife Sonia, his extended family, and his friends knew that he loved unconditionally, and all miss him without measure.

 

Pete was predeceased by his mother, Hortense Lansdowne Carlin, his father, Richard Simms Carlin, and his sister, Sue Anne Carlin.  He is survived by his wife Sonia, his three stepchildren Marvin Aguilar Hernandez, Sharlene Nava (Juan), and Lindsay Alcaraz (Domingo); step-grandchildren Marvin Jr., Sonia, Darlene, Marvin Hernandez, Joseph, John, Silvana, and Demetreus (Jahaira); and step-great-grandchildren Nakiya, Kai, and Angelic.

 

Private services will be held at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to a charitable organization of the person’s choosing.

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