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Roll Call Tribute

Carroll Cairnes '54 April 4, 2024 3:36 PM updated: April 4, 2024 3:42 PM

Carroll Byron Cairnes 

September 30, 1932 - November 17, 2023 

Blue skies and tailwinds to Carroll B. Cairnes.

Carroll Byron Cairnes passed away peacefully at home on November 17, 2023 surrounded by loved ones, he was 91.

A Texan at heart, Carroll was born September 10, 1932 in Visalia, California and grew up in Palacios, Texas where he played high school football for the Palacios Sharks with his lifelong friends. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 1954 where he was Air Force Squadron Commander in the Corp of Cadets. Carroll received his degree in Animal Husbandry in 1954 and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the United States Air Force where he was a jet pilot and later retired at the rank of Captain.

Carroll was captain of his own destiny. He could teach himself how to do anything by reading a book. Carroll was a career pilot and captain for Eastern Airlines where he flew commercial airliners for 26 years. He realized his dream of becoming a gentlemen farmer and rancher on his 100-acre farm in Blessing, Texas. He sailed around the Caribbean, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico as captain of his sailboats. He owned several small airplanes that he flew his family around in. He had many adventures and loved his family and friends fiercely. He was also a high school teacher, a lover of history, a hunter, a house builder, and a bronco buster. He loved the Fightin’ Texas Aggies, the country, the ocean and dogs, especially Labradors.

Carroll is survived by his wife of 40 years, Judith; daughter, Elizabeth Alford (Cairnes) and son-in-law Craig Alford of Dripping Springs; son Norman Kyle Cairnes; stepson Jason Main and family; 5 grandchildren Cade, Reese, Maxine and Eva Alford and Jordan Cairnes; a great grandchild as well as nieces and nephews that regarded him as their favorite uncle.

He is preceded in death by his parents John Carroll and Mildred Cairnes; son Carroll B. Jr.; sisters Arlene and Patricia; brother Arthur Clokey as well as many lifelong friends that he complained about their leaving him behind on Earth.

A service honoring the life of Carroll will be held on November 22, 2023 at 2pm at Palacios Funeral Home, 701 1st St., Palacios, Texas 77465. Interment will follow at Hawley Cemetery.


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