Carol Walton. Credit: Walton family

Carol Ann (Kara) Walton, 86, a nationally renowned author, essayist and education champion, passed away quietly on April 19 while a patient at McClure Rehabilitation Center in Oakland.

Kara was born Carol Ann Dozier, on March 17, 1935, to Wilbur Clarence Dozier and Carol Maunee Smitherman Dozier in Buffalo, New York. She graduated from Fosdick-Masten High School, then attended and worked her way through New York State University at Buffalo, graduating with a bachelor’s in Education. She specialized in elementary education and earned a permanent K-8 teaching certificate.

Carol Walton.

She soon married a young-but-brilliant musician named Ortiz Montaigne Walton, who played bass with the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra. The family moved to Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1957, after Ortiz was appointed as the first African American to play with The Boston Symphony Orchestra.

While living in Boston, Kara completed her postgraduate work and in 1963 was awarded a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Suffolk University. Kara’s next stop was the United Arab Republic, where they lived for several years while Ortiz played with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra.

They next moved to Berkeley, where Kara presented her doctoral thesis in 1975, earning a Ph.D. in Policy and Administration from UC Berkeley. While the family enjoyed their second home, a lovely brownstone in Harlem, for several decades, and became bi-coastal, they remained in Berkeley for over 50 years.

Kara later completed a post-doctoral NIE Fellowship at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and in 1981 she was nominated by Dr. Dolores E. Cross, president of The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, for a position directing the Harlem Extension Program.

Kara later formed her own consulting firm, Multi-Ethnic Associates, in Berkeley, which she ran until she retired. Kara’s work entailed an analysis of experimental educational programs for various client educational entities. She possessed a particular talent in the development, administration and policy concerns of innovative multicultural educational programs. One such program took an art and music approach to delinquency prevention for Berkeley and Oakland youth.

She was predeceased by both of her parents and later, in July 2010, by her beloved husband, Ortiz. Kara is survived by her only child, Omar (Judy) Walton, of Berkeley; her four sisters, Chaplain Diana Smith, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Shirlee (Ronald) Stewart of Fayetteville, Judith (Derek) McDaniel of Cleveland, Anne (Willie) Ware of Niagara Falls, New York; her two brothers, Dr. Richard K. Dozier of Tallahassee, Florida, and William (Diane) Dozier of Cleveland; her three grandchildren, Harmony Walton of Brooklyn, New York, Elon (Destiny) Walton of Austin, Texas, and Jahlil Walton of Berkeley; and by several nephews and nieces, many cousins and a host of friends.

Final arrangements are being handled by Harris Funeral Home Legacy Center, at 1331 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley. There will be no public viewing. Memorial to be announced.