Corinne Phillips Carleton

Edgar's picture
Article Image Alt Text

Corinne Phillips Carleton, of Midland, passed away on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at her home. She was born October 16, 1929 in Del Rio Texas to Crockett County ranching pioneers Arthur Byrd and Rachel ‘Rae’ Crawford Phillips. Corinne grew up on the family ranch close to Ozona, Texas, where she attended public schools and graduated from Ozona High School in 1947. She was the top rated girl from a senior class of

13. From there she attended Gulf Park Girls School in Gulf Port, Mississippi. After graduation from Gulf Park, she graduated from the University of Texas in Austin, where she was also a member of Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity. It was at the University of Texas, that she met Toby Carleton on a blind date in 1949. Some years later they were married and spent 62 happy years together.

After graduating from the University of Texas in 1951, Corinne and some of her friends went to Newark, New Jersey, where they worked for Prudential Insurance Company on a training program. During their time in Newark they spent their spare time going to Broadway shows and exploring New York and that part of the world. After a year, they were all transferred to Prudential’s Houston office. In late 1952, she quit Prudential and returned to Ozona where she worked in the Sheriff’s office.

On June 20, 1953, she and Toby Carleton were married in Ozona, Texas. After their honeymoon to Saltillo and Monterrey, Mexico, they moved to Lamesa, Texas for Toby’s assignment on a seismic crew with the Ohio Oil Company (now Marathon). During this tour on the seismic crew, they also lived in Eldorado and Ozona, Texas. Subsequently they were moved to Midland, Texas in late 1953, where Toby resumed his employment as a petroleum geologist.

In February, 1954, they were transferred to Roswell, New Mexico. Corinne taught school and worked in a doctor’s office, while Toby continued his job as a petroleum geologist for Ohio Oil Company. In June, 1955, Toby was offered a job in Midland with a new company, Zapata Petroleum Corporation, which was founded by George H. W. Bush and Hugh Liedke. They moved to Midland to accept the new assignment. With the exception of 6 months in Canada, Midland had been their home.

During her time in Midland, Corinne was active in Zeta Tau Alpha as its local chapter president; as a co-founder of the Petroleum Club Ladies Auxiliary; President of the Permian Basin Geological and Geophysical Auxiliary; Heritage Study Club, Girl Scout Troop Leader; member of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church; as a founder of Trinity School; and as a member of Midland Country Club.

In addition, she was an active partner in Tocor Investments, Inc. (Toby and Corinne), which is an oil investment and participation company. Also, she was a partner with her husband in ranching operations in Crockett and Val Verde Counties, Texas.

Corinne loved to travel and she and Toby (and the children when they were younger) traveled extensively. They have driven around and through all 50 states and have been in every province of Canada. They have traveled in much of the Caribbean. In addition they have been to many countries in Europe, Asia, South America and Central America, Africa, and have toured New Zealand, Australia, the Bahamas and Bermuda. Her most treasured vacations and holidays were the time she spent with her family at the Devils River, the ranch and Ruidoso, New Mexico.

One of her biggest sources of joy was being a loving and devoted wife, a caring mother, and a doting grandmother to her 6 grandchildren—all of whom called her “Coco”.

Corinne was preceded in death by her loving husband Toby Carleton, her mother (who died in 1937 when Corinne was 7 years old) and father; her step-mother, Bernice Collins Phillips (who raised her from the age of 9), her brother Arthur Byrd Phillips, Jr., and several cousins.

Corinne is survived by her children: Cathy Carleton Martin and David Martin of Kerrville, Texas; Elaine Carleton and Dori DeJong of Denver Colorado; and Phil Carleton and Kim Carleton of Midland, Texas. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Michael and Dustin Martin of Kerrville, Texas, Caden DeJong of Denver, Colorado, and McKenzie, Madison and Sam Carleton of Midland, Texas, her sister Diane Phillips of Estes Park, Colorado, a niece Elizabeth Hure and husband Mike Hure of San Luis Obispo, California, sister in law, Carolyn Reynolds and her husband Roy Reynolds and nephew Ronney Reynolds and his wife Mary and Nancy Reynolds Springen and her husband Clydeand several cousins. She is also survived by her long-time friend and neighbor of over 50 years, Jackie Comola, who was always there for her.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be donated to The Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity, 1412 W. Illinois, Midland, Texas 79701, the Ozona United Methodist Church, 12 11th Street, Ozona, Texas 76943, or the University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences, 2305 Speedway, Austin, Texas 78712-C1160.

The family will receive guests from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, February 7, 2019 at Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home. Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, February 8, 2019 at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity in Midland. Graveside service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, February 9, 2019 at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Ozona.

Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland. Online condolences may be made at

Rate this article: 
No votes yet