Thursday, December 31, 2020

In memoriam: Tom Carten, blogger

I first came to know Tom Carten under a different name: Jan Souther, the columnist who wrote "The Wax Museum," a jazz history column in the Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice. I was just a kid then, and didn't really know or care much about jazz music, but Jan Souther's column was a fun read. Years later I knew him as Father Tom Carten, the faculty advisor to WRKC, the King's College radio station where my sister was a DJ. She told me stories about him, and the ragtag crew of misfits who kept the station on the air. One of the daily duties of the DJs at WRKC was (and still is) "The Radio Home Visitor," in which  articles and obituaries from the local newspaper are read for the benefit of the blind, a program initiated by Tom Carten. 

My sister kept in touch with Father Tom after she graduated from King's and moved out of the area. I added his blog, Things at Kings, to the NEPA Blogs lists back in April 2006, shortly after he started it. I probably didn't become his friend on Facebook until sometime after he posted his final blog post in February 2011. Somewhere along the way he purged or had to shut down his Facebook page, but then recreated it in a new form some time later. I discovered a friend recommendation for him on my Facebook page a few weeks ago and responded. We officially became Facebook friends once again less than a month ago.

Father Tom Carten died on December 24, 2020, at Notre Dame University, where he had been residing for the past few years.  He died as another victim of COVID-19, joining more than 344,000 other Americans and 1.82 million other people around the world to die of it before the close of 2020. His funeral Mass will be livestreamed Monday, January 4, 2021 at 2:00 PM at

Here is an article about Father Tom, as well as his official obituary. I've archived them both for when they are inevitable removed or paywalled.

Citizens' Voice: Father Carten, beloved priest, radio host, writer, dies at 78

Obituary: Thomas F. Carten, 1942-2020

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear this. I remember reading his posts back in the day, and occasionaly he would comment on mine. RIP. Jen Wade