The Obit For Carl Lewton

Carl Lewton, former Carthage coach, teacher, umpire dies

By Cody Dyer and John Hacker
Carthage Press, Friday, October 30, 2009

CARTHAGE, Mo. - Beloved icon and Carthage legend Carl Lewton died Friday morning. He was 81.

It’s hard to express what he meant to everybody in Carthage, not to mention the countless lives he impacted as an umpire and coach.

Lewton spent more than 50 years of his life, from Little League all the way through the minors of professional baseball, as an umpire. Of course, umpiring was not Lewton’s only passion, as he touched lives locally and abroad.

“He was a good solid citizen and an avid sports fan of all the sports, not only the ones played in the field but the ones on the courts and other places as well,” said Marvin VanGilder, Carthage historian and former editor of The Carthage Press. “He cared about people and worked with people of all ages and he had a harmonious relationship with everyone.”

Neel Baucum, with Knell Mortuary, said Lewton died at 2:22 a.m. Friday at McCune-Brooks Regional Hospital in Carthage.

John Hall, author of the books The KOM League Remembered and Majoring in the Minors, said he was a bat boy for the Carthage Cubs of the KOM League when Carl Lewton started working as an umpire.

He started umpiring in the KOM League in 1950 and was a long-time umpire for the National Baseball Congress. He was supervisor of umpires starting in 1971 and his association with the NBC lasted for 24 years.

He was named to the NBC Hall of Fame in 1996 with Harry “The Hat” Walker and Howard Minas.
Hall said Lewton loved baseball and he loved educating children. He was a teacher and coach in the Carthage school system for many years.

Hall said Lewton played a key role in restoring the old Rock Stadium, which now bears the name Carl Lewton Stadium.

“He was a good man and a good umpire,” Hall said on Friday. “You always speak well of the deceased, but if you had called me yesterday I would have said the same thing.”