LIVINGSTON — Carlos Lydell Bullock, 40, former Tribal Council chairman of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, died in his sleep on Tuesday, Aug. 29.
Visitation was held from 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, and a memorial service was held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3. Both were in the Tribe's Multi-Purpose Center, 333 State Road 56, near Livingston. Miller Thompson was scheduled to officiate both services.
Bullock "walked on" from his home on the Tribe's reservation near Livingston.
He was first elected to the Tribal Council in 2004, and eventually served as both vice-chairman and chairman of the council.
Bullock also served his Tribe in many additional capacities, including as the chairman of Tribal Housing Board, the head of the Tribe's Public Information Office and, most recently, as acting director of housing.
Regarding his varied service to the Tribe, current Tribal Chairperson Jo Ann Battise said, "When our people needed someone to come to their aid, no matter what the issue, Carlos could always be counted on. He was far too young to pass and he had too much left to accomplish. His passing is a great loss to our Tribe."
He was born on Feb. 5, 1977, the youngest of Genny and Wayne Bullock's two sons. His older brother, Keith, gave him the nickname, "Hi-C," a label that Bullock happily answered to all his life.
He graduated from Tarkington High School in 1995. A gifted student, Bullock also excelled in sports and played on the Tarkington Longhorn baseball, basketball and football teams.
After graduation, he initially studied at Baylor University before transferring to Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. Bullock received his Associates Arts degree from Haskell in 1999.
Initially remaining in Kansas after graduating from Haskell, Bullock returned to the Tribe in 2002, drawn by the prospect that his Tribe might improve its economic development opportunities through tribal gaming.
"From the time that he returned home, both during his time on council and otherwise, Carlos worked tirelessly to help our Tribe permanently secure the right to offer gaming," said Ronnie Thomas, vice-chairman of the Tribal Council. "He truly believed that gaming would help our Tribe in its drive for self-determination and would help bring jobs and opportunity not only to the Tribe, but for all of Deep East Texas."
In that regard, Bullock spent the better part of the last 12 months traveling throughout East Texas meeting with government and civic leaders to explain how Naskila Gaming, the Tribe's electronic bingo facility, was benefiting the entire region.
"To many of Naskila's employees and local community leaders, Carlos was 'Mr. Naskila,'" said Tribal Secretary-Treasurer Nita Battise.
In addition to his lifelong passion for sports, particularly all things Baylor and softball, Mr. Bullock was a self-trained artist. According to his brother Keith, "Out of nowhere Carlos taught himself to paint, weave, bead and carve, and he produced beautiful art that will always remind us of Carlos."
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Carlos Bullock Memorial Scholarship, through the Alabama-Coushatta Education Department, 571 State Park 56, Livingston, Texas 77351.
Cochran Funeral Home of Livingston is in charge of arrangements. To sign the online guestbook, go to cochranfh.com.