August 25, 1927 – November 26, 2021
On November 26 the world lost a unique individual. John Lial Carter (age 94 at passing) was born in Cardston, Alberta on August 25, 1927 – the son of Lamonde Lial Carter and Viva Jones. John was the 4th oldest of 14 children. He married Yvonne (Bonnie) Marie Shields on June 7,1954.
John will be well remembered for owning his own business, Carter’s Sewing Centre, with his wife Bonnie for more than 40 years working 6 days a week to serve the people of this community. He retired at the age of 81.
What do you say about a man who at age 90
renewed his passport for 10 years, at age 93 was still riding his bike year-round wearing his baseball cap backwards saying “I don’t know which way I am going,” loved banana splits, was a Polar Bear swimmer into his 80’s, stood beside Miss Trail for a photo and called himself Mr. Trail? What do you say about a man who ate constantly but never gained a pound? Maybe it was the protein smoothies and the apple cider vinegar. He loved life and never slowed down.
John was one of a kind, often inappropriate, a lively socialite with a quick wit. His voice and laugh could be recognized anywhere and he was positive and smiling even when life was hard. He made daily trips to the aquatic centre to swim and workout in the exercise room. At the age of 92 we had to tell him that he was a retired diver now but he did not quit till his body told him “no more.”
John enjoyed his neighbours – he helped put up their sheds, enjoyed their cats, good conversation and liked to know their stories. He even was a bit nosy in his later years and often had to be told to MYOB!
He could be seen at all hours of the day and night walking, jogging and biking. He talked to anyone, anywhere, any time and always wanted to be helpful. He shoveled snow in his own driveway then the neighbour’s then the church’s. He raked leaves in his own yard then the neighbour’s then the church’s.
He loved Hawaii where he took Bonnie for his 60th wedding anniversary. He enjoyed driving and often drove to Alberta to visit relatives and attend the temple – he loved Alberta sunsets and horses.
He went to Utah, Portland and Palm Springs when he was 90 years old.
John’s son Jerry took him every year to the Raymond Stampede and on an Alaskan Cruise for his 92nd birthday. The pictures taken on those trips are priceless.
He had a great sense of humour. Family dinners will never be the same as he made us laugh so hard we couldn’t breathe. One day there was an Old Car show at Gyro Park. When we asked him if he wanted to go, he replied -“No I owned them all.”
He loved to sing and joined “The Golden Oldies” choir in Castlegar to sing in the senior facilities there. A special thank-you to Nadine Livingston for all her hard work with the choir and for being a friend. He loved to have our family sing Christmas carols and hymns around the piano. Many will remember his days of singing on the radio.
He was always ready for the next hockey season buying his season pass a year in advance. He was always waiting for the next game, the next goal, the next playoff, the next Olympics. He loved all sports watching baseball, hockey, curling and soccer.
He enjoyed memorizing poetry and scriptures. He was an active participant in our family website, posting many stories of his youth and of his family.He loved to tell stories about days of old in Cardston and Raymond. He attended all family reunions. He enjoyed going to graveyards to seek out the gravesites of his relatives. John loved his Latter-Day Saint heritage. He served in many church callings. His favorite calling was to lead the singing for the congregation and pick out which songs they would sing. He was proud that he did not smoke or drink. He had a great perspective when it came to the gospel and eternal life. He extended his missionary spirit to anyone who would listen. He enjoyed his association with his brothers and sisters at church.
He lived a remarkable life when you consider the changes in the world that he saw. His healthy attitude, and his happy demeanor made him a wonderful person to know. He always took an interest in the people he met. There were few people he wouldn’t engage at any time or place. He always saw the humour in any situation. We will miss the news of his strange adventures every day. We missed my mom when she passed as she quietly listened and laughed at all his tales and encouraged him to behave. The stories he told again and again, were the same exacting detail with every telling. He enjoyed the children in the family. He loved all members of his family and was proud of all their accomplishments.
He loved those who were his buddies at the Smoke Eater games. He loved the lifeguards, secretaries and management at the Aquatic Centre. He met his friends there and always said that the staff treated him like family.
A special thank you to the ladies from Home Support, to Ella his wonderful housekeeper and to his amazing neighbours. Thank-you for your kindness and friendship. A special thank-you to the wonderful owners and workers at Chateau Manor, to Deb Sinclair at Kiro Wellness and to those at Columbia View Lodge who cared for him in his final days. A very special thank-you to Jim Morris from Hospice for your unfailing, dedicated weekly visits for more than a year to visit, sing with John and take him for car rides. It meant so much to him and to our family.
We are pleased that he is with his wife of more than 60 years. We know he is making her laugh again and as always holding her hand and singing to her.
He was truly a unique individual. We will miss him dearly but will treasure his memory till we meet again.
He has gone home.
John is survived by his children: Suzanne Smee (Jim), Carol Jo Link (Gary), Jerry Carter (Jerry Dai), 9 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and by one great great grandchild. John is also survived by 2 siblings: Gary (Loretta) and Jimmy (Peggy), his sister-in-law Terry-Ann Hutchinson and a large extended family.
A favorite poem that John recited for years while driving:
Pilot, how far from home?
Not far, not far tonight.
A flight of spray, a sea-bird’s flight, A flight of tossing foam,
Far far no one knows how far…
I see the Lights of home.
I would guess that attitudes, more than age or energy levels make people seem old or young, people who never close their minds never mentally retire, seldom seem to let down. They never lose a kind of childlike appetite for what comes next, and always seem to be listening to a little voice that keeps prodding and pushing them to never miss a sunrise.
He definitely has been honored as the World’s Most Extreme Grandpa by his Granddaughter Megan and her husband Devin Graham. John loved his video and was recognized everywhere he went because of it. Thank-you Devin Graham for this legacy and for making him a legend. In honor of John’s life please watch “World’s Most Extreme Grandpa” on YouTube. Thank-you DEVINSUPERTRAMP.
Thank-you to Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services. Thank-you to Peter Redekop for being a friend and supporting us with John’s final needs.
A gathering to celebrate John’s life will be held at a later date. Interment has taken place at The Nelson Cemetery where many of John’s family have been laid to rest.
You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence by visiting the family’s register at www.myalternatives.ca
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