Caroline Booth, who oversaw Denton’s relationships with businesses as director of economic development, was found deceased in her bed Sunday morning. She was 42.
She was diagnosed with heart failure in November 2017, according to her husband, Mike Upshaw. He said his wife was meant to have a defibrillator installed on Tuesday, which might have saved her life.
Booth served as the city’s economic development director since 2016, and her work included managing tax incentive programs and helping recruit major employers to the area. She first started working with the city in 2014 as the business development officer for Denton Municipal Electric.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Mike and his family,” said Mayor Chris Watts by phone Sunday evening. “It’s a huge loss for the city and a huge loss for our community.”
Despite his wife’s condition, Upshaw said her death was shocking and unexpected.
“We’d gone out the night before and had a wonderful night together,” he said.
The pair had been married for about five and a half years, after first meeting through the Denton Chamber of Commerce. Upshaw said they really became friends through a Leadership Denton class they both took in 2010.
Upshaw described his wife as a person with strong convictions who was always diplomatic.
“She was kind to everyone,” he said.
Booth was quick to help others and full of integrity, Upshaw said, and everybody his wife knew loved her: “And if they didn’t, there’s something wrong with them,” he joked.
Michelle Cunningham, business development officer for the city, said Booth will be remembered as a person focused on providing the best service for Denton possible.
“She was very proud of her family and loved them very, very much,” Cunningham said. “And we’re all just heartbroken for them.”
Denton City Council member Keely Briggs reached out to Booth’s family and friends through her council Facebook page.
An excerpt reads: “Her dedication and service to the City of Denton made our community a better place. Her beautiful life serves as inspiration and motivation for us all.”
Booth is survived by sons Andrew Lara, 11, and Luke Upshaw, 9. She is also survived by her father and stepmother, John Booth and Patti Richard, and mother and stepfather, Julie and Gary Stillwell, as well as siblings, Char Booth, Alex Cappelletti, Matt Stillwell and Kristi Stillwell.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.