Carroll Eugene Tatom of Abilene, 93, passed away peacefully on April 2, 2023, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.
He was born to William Otis and Viola (Payne) Tatom near Putnam, TX, on June 19, 1929. He attended schools in the communities of Union, Putnam, and Moran, graduating from Putnam High School in 1946. He attended John Tarleton Agricultural College in 1946-47, then graduated from Daniel Baker College of Southwestern University in Brownwood, TX, in 1950 with a degree in School Administration and Physical Education.
Carroll married Elwanda Williams in Brownwood on August 26, 1950, and began his career as a teacher/coach in Colorado City, then in Cisco before entering the U. S. Army, being stationed at Fort Rucker, AL, during the Korean War. Following discharge from the Army, he and Elwanda moved with their new son Steve to Wink, TX, where he served as teacher/coach while spending summers pursuing his Master of Education Degree at Hardin-Simmons University. During their tenure in Wink, sons Stan and Kyle were born in Kermit, TX.
He graduated from HSU in 1959, and then in 1960 was named high school principal at Wink. In 1962 the family moved to McCamey where he served as high school principal until 1964. At that time, he was named Superintendent of Schools in Albany, and later served as superintendent in Winters (1967-74), Brady (1974-83), and Graham, where he retired in 1988. He then was employed as a consultant for the Regional Education Service Center in Abilene for 12 years, fully retiring in 2000 after a career spanning 50 years of public school service.
Carroll received numerous awards and honors, among which are the distinction of coaching the Class B state championship track team at Wink High School in 1959, and being named Region IX Superintendent of the Year in 1986-87. He was an outstanding athlete, starring as a running back and defensive back at Putnam High School and Daniel Baker College, and was named to the Third Army All-Star team in 1953. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award at Daniel Baker in 2000, and was in the inaugural class of the Daniel Baker Hillbilly Athletic Hall of Honor in 2002. A lifelong Baptist, he was a member of the Freedom Class at First Baptist Abilene.
Carroll is survived by sons Steve (Ginger) Tatom of Kingsland and Kyle Tatom (Sheila Stevens) of Abilene, grandchildren Carrie (Seth) Tyler of Irving, Lisa (Luke) Ramsay of Austin, Julie (Nolan) Kovar of East Bernard, Seth Tatom of San Antonio, and Skyler Tatom of Oklahoma City. He also has four great grandchildren, Casey Kovar, Connor Kovar, Liam Ramsay, and Owen Tyler, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by wife Jean (Sneed) Tatom, son Stan Tatom, daughter-in-law Teena Tatom, and sisters Wanda Fleshman and Nelda Cruzen.
Visitation will be from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM on Thursday, April 6, 2023, with services scheduled for Friday, April 7, 2023, at 11:00 AM at Hamil Family Funeral Chapel in Abilene.
Pallbearers are Seth Tatom, Skyler Tatom, Seth Tyler, Luke Ramsay, Nolan Kovar, and Miller Scott. Honorary pall bearers are the friends who met each morning at Athletic Supply for coffee.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, the Noah Project, or a charity of your choice.