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Former Board Member Donald Carlton Passed Away

by on August 15, 2019

Donald M. Carlton, a former member of American Electric Power's Board of Directors, died Aug. 8 at the age of 82.

Carlton, of Austin, Texas, served as a director at AEP for 11 years. He was appointed to the board in 2000 and retired in 2011. He also served on the board of the Central and South West Corporation prior to AEP's acquisition of the company.

"Don was a valued member of our board of directors for many years," said Nick Akins, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of AEP. "Don was a talented scientist, a successful entrepreneur, a sought-after executive and a true gentleman. He will be missed by our family here at AEP."

Born in Houston in 1937, Carlton earned a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Texas. He founded Radian Corporation, which provides environmental services, in 1969 and led it as CEO until 1996. Other than AEP and CSW, Carlton served on the boards of National Instruments, Temple-Inland LLC, Hartford Steam Boiler and several others. He also served on the Strategic Science and Technology Council of the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Power Operations Advisory Council of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. 

According to his family, "Don was a big believer in giving back and participation in the community." He served on numerous boards and helped run community organizations in his beloved Texas. He was particularly fond of the University of Texas, where he was Chairman of the College of Natural Sciences Advisory Board, on the College of Engineering Advisory Council, and a lifetime member of the Chancellor's Council. He was named to the school's Natural Sciences Hall of Honor in 1992. He was also named to the University of Texas Commission of 125.

Carlton valued family more than all of his accolades. According to his obituary, when asked what gave him the most comfort, he replied, "Being in Comfort, Texas (at his ranch) and a hug around the neck". When asked what he valued most in life he said, "Family and the United States of America".

Carlton is survived by his wife of 58 years, Elaine; children Donna Mauer, Spencer Carlton (Dixie) and Monica Skeete (Jed); and six grandchildren. His brother, Richard Carlton and his family live in LaGrange, Texas. 

A celebration of Carlton's life will be held on Friday, Aug. 16 at 2:00 pm at St. John Neumann Catholic Church Austin, Texas. In lieu of flowers please send a contribution to Saint Louise House at or a charity of your choice. Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, Austin, Texas – (512) 452-8811. Remembrances may be left at


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