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Elizabeth "Liz" Carlton Lithio
April 30, 1987 ~ September 17, 2023 (age 36) 36 Years Old
24 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Elizabeth "Liz"'s family - View on Tribute Wall
Our brilliant, brave, and beautiful Elizabeth, 36, passed away on September 17, 2023 in Evanston, Illinois after a 6-year journey with colorectal cancer. She was a beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister, granddaughter, relative, and friend.
Elizabeth Davis Carlton was born in Houston, Texas on April 30, 1987 to Dr. Jeff and Lynne (Flowers) Carlton. At 20 months old, she was joined by her brother Charlie. Liz spent her earliest years in Houston and Dayton, Ohio before the family moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1994.
In Cheyenne, she attended Jessup Elementary, McCormick Junior High, and Central High School, where she graduated at the top of her class. She loved singing with the All-City Children’s Chorus and her various school choirs. She was also an avid swimmer, sprinting her way to a number of state titles and helping Central achieve two state championships.
Looking for a college that provided solid academics and a competitive swimming program, Liz landed at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. While at Kenyon, she majored in Biology and received many academic honors, including membership in Phi Beta Kappa. She also won nine individual and team events at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships. She was Kenyon’s 2009 Senior Athlete of the Year and a three-time Academic All-American. She was elected to Kenyon College’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2019. More important to her than all the accolades, though, were the close friendships she forged there with her fellow swimmers, coaches, classmates, and professors.
After graduating from Kenyon, Liz headed to Indiana University to pursue a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. There she met and fell in love with fellow grad student, Dan Lithio. Not long after graduation, Liz and Dan were married on May 23, 2015 in Bloomington, Indiana. They then moved to Evanston, Illinois, where Liz, who had enjoyed mentoring youth throughout her years of study, completed a Masters in Secondary Education at Northwestern University. She then taught Science and led the Robotics team at Gemini Junior High until her diagnosis.
In the midst of very challenging times, Liz and Dan welcomed their shining star, Anna Jean Lithio, on October 25, 2017. Their precious, precocious, and energetic girl brought unbounded joy to Liz’s life, and Liz embraced motherhood with a deep passion. She was actively involved with Anna’s preschool, Sunday school, and multiple other activities that are requisite for a child who never naps.
Liz is survived by her husband, Dan; daughter, Anna; parents, Jeff and Lynne Carlton; brother, Charlie Carlton (Kristen Bukowski) and nephew, Jesse; Grandmother, Jeanie Flowers; Aunts and Uncles, Ruth (John) Clowers, Fort (Beth) Flowers, and Joseph (Lori) Flowers; 11 first cousins; a large extended family; best friend, Sarah Zukowski; and cat, Punzie.
A lifelong United Methodist, Liz will be celebrated at a 1:30 p.m. memorial service on Saturday, October 14, 2023 at First United Methodist Church of Evanston, 516 Church Street, Evanston, Illinois, 60201. Reception will follow.
Live-Stream of the Memorial Service can be found at