Carleton Andrew Donop

carleton donop

July 20, 1931 ~ April 30, 2024

Born in: Mason County, Texas
Resided in: New Braunfels, Texas

Carleton Andrew Donop, “Mr. D,” met his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, face-to-face on April 30, 2024. We are comforted and thankful that he has reunited with departed family and friends.

Carleton was born in a stone house next to the Llano River on Hwy 87 in Mason County, Texas, on July 20, 1931, to Charlie Alvin Donop and Bertha M. Fischer Donop. His first language was German, which he maintained until the Llano River flood of 1935. The flood destroyed the bridge, and the road crews who spent their lunchtime at the Donop Store and Filling Station taught Carleton his first English.

After his parents sold the store, station, and land along the Llano, they built the family home on the remaining acreage on the Art-Hedwig Hill Road near Art, Texas, in Mason County. Carleton attended a one-room schoolhouse near Art and often rode a bicycle that is father upgraded with a small motor to make the ride on the dirt roads a little easier and faster. Others often wondered how he could ride his bike so fast. He attended and graduated from Mason High School, then enrolled in Texas State Teachers College and completed two years of study before joining the Navy in 1951.

Carleton’s work ethic, pragmatism, intelligence, sense of humor, and love for God and people was developed growing up during the Great Depression and World War II eras. He was too young for military service in World War II, but he served during the Korean War. He left college and joined the Navy in 1951, serving on the USS Essex, an aircraft carrier. After his time on the Essex, he served at Naval Base Guam for more than a year, honorably discharging in 1954.

Carleton then returned to Texas State Teachers College (now Texas State University) and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. He began his career in education at New Braunfels High School, teaching typing, business math and other business-related courses. In his free time and during summers he sold stainless steel cookware door-to-door in San Antonio. He also had a small Amway distributorship that he ran from his garage. This work gave him the experience and background needed to start the Distributive Education program at NBHS.

After earning his master’s degree in school administration, he served as principal at Lone Star Elementary (3 years), Seele Elementary (3 years), and Carl Schurz Elementary (18 years). He was known to walk the halls whistling, yodeling and telling his funny rhymes or riddles. After 24 years as a principal, Carleton joined the NBISD Central Office as the district’s textbook coordinator, tax collector and transportation director. Growing up on a farm/ranch taught him to be resourceful and solve problems, which was needed running those three departments at the same time. He loved his work, the people he worked with and the children he taught and led, and he was awarded the NBISD Silver Unicorn Award for his service to the school district.

Carleton married his deepest love Helen Ruth Kothmann on July 9, 1960, at the United Methodist Church in Mason. They celebrated their 63rd anniversary six days before Helen’s death in 2023. Their devotion and love for each other was a testimony to their children, family and friends of faithfulness, grace and mercy. Carleton became a devoted Christian early in his life, attending the Methodist Church with Helen and their two boys, until the untimely death of Carl Wayne in 1980. They then became part of the founding membership of Tree of Life Church in 1981. Carleton served the church in many ways and was a member of the church Board for more than 30 years.

In addition to three of his four children, Carleton is preceded in death by his wife Helen, his sister Beatrice Donop Schlots, brothers-in-law Donald Schlots, Roy Adams, and Nathan Wallace, nephew Jim Wilson, and his parents, Charlie and Bertha. Carleton is survived by his youngest son, Neal; sisters-in-law Joyce LaVerne Adams and Pearl Yvonne Wallace; nephews Craig Adams, Arvin Wallace (Amanda & children), Jeff Milley (Jackie & children), nieces Donna Schlots Milley (Ross), Kathy KAS Schlots Wilson, Bonnie Schlots White (Jack), and Stephanie Wilson.

The family would like to thank the nurses and staff of Eden Home, Hope Hospice, Advance Home Health, Caring Senior Services, and Gruene Senior Living. Also, we are thankful for individual caregivers and all of our neighbors, family and friends who have been so supportive, kind and generous. May God richly bless you all and may you all know Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to:
Legacy Charities, Inc., P.O. Box 311671, New Braunfels, TX 78131-1671

A visitation will be held on Thursday, May 16, 2024 from 5:00-6:30 PM at Tree of Life Church, 5513 IH-35 South, New Braunfels, TX 78132. A Funeral Service/Memorial Service will directly follow, beginning at 6:30 PM. A graveside service will take place on Friday, May 17, 2024 at 9:45 AM at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, TX with Military Honors at Shelter #5.

Streaming will be available for the Memorial Service.
Live stream link:


Visitation: Thursday, May 16, 2024 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Tree of Life Church
5513 Interstate 35 Frontage Rd.
New Braunfels, TX 78132


Service: Thursday, May 16, 2024 6:30 pm

Tree of Life Church
5513 Interstate 35 Frontage Rd.
New Braunfels, TX 78132


Graveside: Friday, May 17, 2024 9:45 am

Room: Shelter #5

Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
1520 Harry Wurzbach Rd.
San Antonio, TX 78209


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  1. A life well lived! You will be missed! Joining your beloved wife and children in glorifying God for eternity! Sincere condolences to Neal. Comfort only Holy Spirit can provide.

  2. Neil, you have my condolences for the loss of your father. I know he rests in peace along side your mom; as they both reside in Heaven together now.

  3. Mr. Donop was my principal at Carl Schurz and I remember him as a very kind person who was always in a good mood. He even signed my autograph book when I was moving on to N.B. Middle School and as a little kid, I thought that was pretty special.
    With deepest sympathy,
    Michelle Matocha

  4. Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the passing of your father. His love and guidance will forever be a part of you, and his memory will live on in the hearts of those who knew him. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

    Lynn (Neeley) Plumbley

  5. Dear Neal,
    It is never easy to lose our parents, no matter how many times we reassure ourselves, that we are.
    Carleton and Helen are in your future and not in your past. This is because of the promise that we will all be together again, when we arrive in heaven.
    We have had the pleasure of knowing them and you. Good people are easy to like and respect.
    But the reality is, we will miss them. We pray for you to have peace and comfort during this time.
    Robert and Jerrie Owens
    Mason, Texas
    Mason, Texas

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