Carl Moldthan dies

Dateline: Thu 16 Jun 2011

"Carl E. Moldthan 65, of Indianapolis, passed away on Monday June 6, 2011. He was born in Indianapolis on January 3, 1946 to the late John and Rita (Royse) Moldthan. He retired in 1987, after 20 years with the Indianapolis Fire Department. He was a member of the Local Union #416. He was a member and past director of the Indianapolis Taxpayers Association. He was honored in 1987 as the State of Indiana Man of the Year. He is survived by three sons Roderick, Matthew, and Jason Moldthan; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; four sisters, Mary Shumaker, Kathleen (James) Findlay, Eileen Green, and Margaret (James) Green; a brother, John (Debbie) Moldthan; numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Martha Moldthan. A memorial service will be held at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Parish, Saturday, June 18, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. A celebration of life gathering will follow. Arrangements entrusted to Jessen Funeral Home, Whiteland Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Indianapolis Fallen Firefighters Children's Fund, co Local 416, 748 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis, IN. 46204."

The above obituary appeared in the Indianapolis Star today, and prompted some reflection from readers of this blog.

"He was an interesting and unique character," wrote one friend.

"Carl was a chip off the old block; firefighter, tax mensch, and unassuming guy who once ruled the city with his vision," wrote Tom Henderson, who explained the St. Joan of Arc connection, since Mr. Moldthan was a Southsider. According to Tom, Mr. Moldthan's mother Rita used to live in the St. Joan of Arc parish (St. Joan being at 42nd and Central, on the Northside). Being a "chip off the old block" also references his mother, who, Tom says, was "a stitch."

Moldthan was regularly featured in the pages of the Star and the Indianapolis News in the past for his tireless fight against taxation. He was a champion of the working-class person, and he knew and understood much about the inner workings of the city -- its politics, prejudices and peccadilloes. Other sources indicate he paid dearly for that understanding, or perhaps simply had a personality that was in some regards tortured and restless.

With sympathy for his family, and with thanks for comments from readers of this blog.


Tell The Truth [Member] said:

The obit does not mention--wasn't he on the IPS board?

2011-06-17 04:23:28

ruthholl [Member] said:

From Paul Pogue in NUVO, circa 2004, when Moldthan was opposing a $200 million bond plan by IPS to renovate 12 schools:

"Moldthan has been acting as a watchdog on IPS for many years, and organized and served on an efficiency committee for the school board in 1990."

I could find no mention of him being elected to school board (in fact he was never elected to office) but he certainly was on this committee in 1990. Perhaps that's what you're thinking of?

2011-06-17 06:27:01

ruthholl [Member] said:

Link to the above piece:

2011-06-17 06:28:04

George Stuteville [unverified] said:

Well, that's some sad news. I always liked Carl. I can remember a few Saturday morning press conferences with Gov. Orr or Mayor Hudnut that I was sent to cover instead of the regular beat reporter. Usually a pointed question Carl would pose at these news conferences provided the lead I needed to get the piece to split page or even page 1.

2011-06-17 08:42:26

ruthholl [Member] said:

As Andrea Neal observed, Indy has not been kind to those who go against the grain or challenge the status quo. She included Clarke Kahlo (former city planner) and Dr. Scott Robinson (FACE clinic for the low-cost spay/neuter option.) Carl might have been in the same class. Seems so.

2011-06-17 14:12:53

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Clark tilts at windmills a lot, and sometimes he's right. He has zero reputation with decision-makers because he can't pick his battles. That does not mean he's wrong. It means he has little or no edit function. But Andrea is--again--right.

OK: time to lighten up. The Robinson reference reminded me: There was a low-cost spay/neuter clinic on N. Illinois, about 3600 block...operated for several years, and left the building. Shortly thereafter, a pizza place opened, under the name "D&C Pizza." I kid you not.

They used the same sign outside, scraped off the spay wording, and painted over the D&C Pizza words. At night, when lit, the sign displayed both names, albeit the spay title faintly.

2011-06-17 15:45:57

hendy [Member] said:

I keep getting Clark Kahlo mixed up with Clark Kelso. Kelso graduated from Brebeuf, became the California CIO, then went on to become the Federal Receiver for the prison litigation in California: he's the reason that CA must reduce its prison population-- and got it through the SCOTUS.

I know Kelso from other missions; Kahlo knew my father.

2011-06-17 20:10:47

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