Thomas Edwin “Ed” Carter, 94, passed away peacefully with loving family members in his presence. Alert to the very end, he entered his divine resting place with much anticipation and joy. On December 30, 1928 Ed was born in Atlanta, Georgia where he lived until adulthood. Ed never had any doubts about his roots and never had questions about what would become of his soul once he exhaled his last breath.
Despite being raised in a big city, Ed was born in the back bedroom of his family home. His parents were Oliver Carter, Sr. and Cora Denham Carter. He had two older brothers, Roy and Oliver, Jr. He was the last of his immediate family to pass from this world to the next. Ed never gave a straight story on how he and Anne Guillebeau, who was his neighbor, eventually became husband and wife other than to say that his irresistible nature probably had something to do with it. After 59 years of marriage, Anne passed away in 2008. Ed tenderly cared for her throughout her long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Ed and Anne Carter had three children, twin sons Lee Carter (Julie), Les Carter (Jennifer), both of Waco, and daughter, Allyson Carter Mark (Daniel), of Houston. In 2009, Ed married his surviving wife Barbara, who, along with her daughters Carole and Rebekah, brought tremendous joy into his world. He was the proud grandfather of eight grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren.
After completing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Furman University and master’s degree in Psychology from Florida State University, in 1953 Ed entered the military as an officer, serving eight years as an Army Chaplain. He served at Fort Gordon, Ga. and Army installations in Nuremberg and Regensburg, Germany. After a chaplaincy position at the infamous Ft. Leavenworth maximum security prison for military convicts, Ed was Honorably Discharged from the Army. He completed master’s and doctoral degrees in pastoral counseling at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth and then took the family back home to Atlanta.
After his children completed high school, Ed joined the Public Health Service and provided mental health services to military personnel and others. After retiring in 1983, he and Anne moved to Waco to be near their children and grandchildren. Drawing on his chaplaincy experiences, Ed provided ministerial services to members of Columbus Ave. Baptist Church for many years. He also fed an endless desire to explore the world by opening a travel agency, Focus on Travel. He traveled extensively around the world and greatly enjoyed telling others of his vast experiences.
Although he initially married a Methodist girl, Ed considered himself Baptist to the core. He loved hymnology and seldom needed a hymnal when he sang in church because as a young chaplain, he dedicated himself to memorizing hymns. After Ed married Barbara, who is quite an accomplished musician, she tried to teach him to read music, but he resisted. Asked why, he said, “If the word got out that I could read music, I’m sure I’d be asked to sing solos and I’m not interested in that.”
Ed was not a prideful man, but he was immensely proud of his family. He regularly embarrassed his children by exaggerating their good points and gracefully ignoring their flaws. He believed his grandchildren were not only well-bred, but the smartest kids around. And he was quite confident that his great-grandchildren will change tomorrow’s world.
Ed was a voracious reader until the very end of his days. He was a generous benefactor, giving to many organizations and people, both directly and anonymously. In keeping with Ed’s giving spirit, in lieu of flowers, the family requests that you generously commit to being kind to people and causes dear to you. In honor of his lifelong love of classical music, a donation to the Waco Symphony Association would be an appropriate living tribute to his memory. The family would like to express heartfelt thanks to the staff of Amedisys Hospice. Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 5:30 on Friday, May 19th at Grace Gardens funeral home. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 20th at 11:00 a.m. at Grace Gardens and is open to all friends.
Registry for Thomas Edwin Carter
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