J. B. Carrington

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J. B. Carrington

(Texas educator)


Born March 31, 1926
Milford, Ellis County
Texas
Died May 30, 2007
Bryan, Brazos County
Texas (his last residence)
Spouse Joan Long Carrington (married 1949-2007, his death)
Religion United Methodist

J. B. Carrington, possibly Jerome Bessery Carrington, Jr. (March 31, 1926 – May 30, 2007), was a Texas educator affiliated with Allen Military Academy in Bryan, the oldest still functioning private secondary school in Texas, and Blinn College, the first community college in Texas, for which he was a dean at the main campus in Brenham and the branch campuses in Bryan and College Station.

Biography

Background

One of ten children of Jerome Bessery Carrington (1889-1937)[1] and the former Willie Mae Bailey (1899-1956),[2] Carrington was born in Milford in Ellis County south of Dallas. When his father died, 11-year-old J. B. and three of his younger siblings were placed at the Corsicana State Home in Corsicana in Navarro County because their mother was unable to tend to all ten children. He played sports at the state home and made lifelong friends that he long regarded as family.[3]

Career

In 1944, he joined the United States Army and served in the Philippines and Japan in World War II. In 1946, he was honorably discharged with commendations and returned to Corsicana to coach the state home football team and to study and play football at the two-year Navarro College there. He was a tackle on the 1948-1949 championship football team. His yearbook picture is labeled, "This boy never let down in a game." His obituary indicates that he applied that same ethic to his faith, marriage, family, friends, and vocation.[3]

At Navarro, he met in a chemistry class Joan Long (1930-2016), the eldest of seven children of Ernest Elvis Long and the former Kathleen Louise Black. Joan was born near Milford in Ellis County, Texas, and reared in rural Frost in Navarro County. In 1949, J. B. and Joan wed in the chapel of the First United Methodist Church in Corsicana.[4] The couple moved to Nacogdoches, where J. B. obtained his Bachelor of Science in history in 1950 and his Master of Education in 1951 from Stephen F. Austin State University. He then coached baseball at Diboll High School in Diboll in Angelina County in East Texas, until 1953, when he became head baseball coach and assistant football coach at Allen Academy. He was later promoted to headmaster at the private school, which also then had a junior college division. When Allen Academy dropped its junior college division, Carrington worked with then Texas A&M University President J. Earl Rudder to offer Blinn College classes at Allen Academy in the evenings prior to the establishment of the Blinn extension campus in Bryan.[5] In 1972, Carrington and his family moved to Brenham, the seat of government of Washington County, where he became the Blinn College dean of men on the main campus. A decade later, he returned to Bryan to lead the Blinn College branch campuses which had newly opened in both Bryan and College Station. Many of the students at the branch campuses transferred to Texas A&M University in College Station.[3] The names of all Blinn faculty, full and part-time, were inscribed on a monument on the Brenham campus for the spring 1983 centennial commemoration.

At Blinn, he worked closely with Alec Philmore "Phil" Pearson, Jr. (1945-2014), a native of Waco, Texas, a first lieutenant in the Army in the Vietnam War, and a Ph.D. graduate in history from Texas A&M University,[6] at which he wrote his dissertation, Olin E. Teague and the Veteran's Administration, a study of veterans issues and the late U.S. Representative Olin "Tiger" Teague of Texas.[7] In 1981, Pearson wed the former Barbara Blythe LeUnes (1942-2017), a native of Bakersfield, California, who retired in 2009 as the Blinn dean and vice president at the Bryan campus. Active in civic affairs too,[8] she penned her master's thesis in 1970 on the history of Allen Military Academy. Barbara Pearson said that she had never met anyone else "more concerned about the welfare of students" than was Carrington.[5]

Personal life

In 1991, Carrington retired from Blinn but continued to work part-time as needed until 1996. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Bryan and a church usher for more than a half century. He was affiliated with Phi Delta Kappa, the Masonic lodge, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.[3]

Carrington was known for his good nature and Christian compassion for others, often going beyond that required to help another in need. He made lifelong friends with students and faculty members from all the institutions at which he was affiliated.[3] Billy Hathorn, a historian of southern politics and the American West who worked under Carrington at the Blinn College branch campuses from 1982 to 1983, recalls Carrington as "a superb dean who watched out for his faculty and was cheerful and considerate. I never knew about the hardships that he had overcome as a boy until I read his obituary. He was always thinking about others, rather than himself."[9]

The Carringtons had three children, Brenda Gail Smith (born 1950) and husband, Keith, of Elgin, Texas; she was formerly married to Ken Barnes of Florence in Williamson County, Texas, by whom she had three children; Kenneth Craig Carrington (born 1954) and wife, Judy, of Frisco, Texas, and Kristi Kay Palmer (born 1964) of Coppell in Dallas County, Texas.[3] and six grandchildren.[4]

Carrington died at the age of eighty-one after a long struggle with the bone marrow-disorder, myelodysplastic syndrome, which had been diagnosed in late 2005. Mrs. Carrington said that she believes he contracted the disease from radiation exposure from the atomic bomb while he was in the war. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimated in 2007 that there were 195,000 veterans who had been exposed to radiation during the post-World War II occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Carrington had stopped treatment for the disease several weeks before his death.[5] Mrs. Carrington, who spent her later years in Coppell, died in Plano in Collin County, Texas, on September 21, 2016, at the age of eighty-six.[10]

Carrington and his wife are interred at Bryan City Cemetery.[3][4] The J. B. Carrington Scholarship at the Bryan campus of Blinn College is named in his honor.[11] The Carrington-Brownlee Alumni Center and Museum at Allen Academy is partly named in Carrington's honor.[4]

References

  1. J. B. Carrington. findagrave.com. Retrieved on December 13, 2015.
  2. Willie Mae Carrington. findagrave.com. Retrieved on December 13, 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 J. B. Carrington. Corsicana Daily Sun (May 31, 2007). Retrieved on December 13, 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Carrington, Joan Long. The Bryan-College Station Eagle. Retrieved on September 25, 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Janet Phelps (May 31, 2007). Educator leaves behind a legacy of service at Blinn, Allen Academy. The Bryan-College Station Eagle. Retrieved on December 15, 2015.
  6. Alec Philmore Pearson, Jr.. findagrave.com (December 2, 2014). Retrieved on December 13, 2015.
  7. Alec Philmore Pearson, Jr. (1977). Olin E. Teague and the Veteran's Administration. Texas A&M University. Retrieved on December 13, 2015. 
  8. Dr. Barbara L. Pearson. Bryan-College Station Eagle (June 1, 2017).
  9. Billy Hathorn of San Antonio, Texas, Blinn College faculty member, 1982-1983.
  10. Joan Carrington. The Bryan-College Station Eagle. Retrieved on September 23, 2016.
  11. J. B. Carrington Scholarship. schoolsoup.com. Retrieved on December 14, 2015.