Baker City, Oregon
Truman C. Carter, 87, a retired longtime Baker City teacher, died Oct. 19, 2001, at St. Elizabeth Hospital.
His memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at the First Presbyterian Church, 1995 Fourth St.
Mr. Carter was born on April 24, 1914, at Mountain Top, Ark., to Serenus Warren and Barbara Brunner Carter. He was the youngest of 19 children. When he was small, he traveled with his parents by covered wagon train to Oklahoma. He grew up there and attended Oklahoma State University and East Central Teachers College.
After living for short periods in Texas and California, he moved to Oregon in 1937. In Eugene, he worked at several jobs. He met and married Kay Woolsey in 1939. Mr. Carter graduated from the University of Oregon in 1940, and went to work as a coach at Philomath High School.
The next year, he traded jobs with a junior high teacher from Baker City where he became a physical education and social studies teacher as well as a coach. His first wife died in 1942.
During World War II, Mr. Carter was employed as gang boss at the Sierra Ordnance Depot at Herlong, Calif., where he guarded Italian prisoners of war. Among his other jobs were: gandy dancer on the Alaskan Railroad; teacher of adagio and ballroom dance; movie extra in “The Yodeling Kid from Pine Ride,” and “Paint Your Wagon;” lumberjack for Hudspeth Lumber Co. near Dayville; and lifeguard at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
While working a summer job as a lifeguard at Yellowstone in 1947, Mr. Carter met Betty Scott, who had a summer job working at the Hamilton Store. One month later at the end of the summer, they married at Elko, Nev., and returned to Baker City where they raised six children.
In Baker City, Mr. Carter introduced a weightlifting program at the junior high school, as he had done earlier at the University of Oregon. He also opened an archery shop and began teaching archery lessons. When he retired, after 34 years of teaching, he helped his wife, Betty, run the Carter’s Natural Foods and Elkhorn Archery Co.
An avid bowhunter, Mr. Carter was president of the Oregon Bowhunters Association for two years in a row, and Oregon Bowhunter of the Year one year. He won the fifth National Field Archers Association honorary lifetime membership in the Oregon Bowhunters Association.
He also was a member of the Oregon State Forestry Advisory Board for Eastern Oregon and wrote articles for bowhunting magazines. One of his students at Baker Junior High, Bobb McKittrick, went on to become the offensive line coach for the San Francisco 49ers.
He was preceded in death by his father, Serenus, a Civil War veteran; his mother, Barbara; 17 brothers and sisters; a granddaughter, Alexa Marie Carter; and a daughter-in-law, Susan Petersen-Carter.
Survivors include his sister, Goldie Perkins of Tumalo; his wife of 54 years, Betty; three sons, Barry, Kip and Corry Carter, all of Baker City; three daughters and their husbands, Tamara and Phil Mattson of Troutdale, Holly and Bob Gill of Madras and Libby and Dave Rudolph of Baker City; and nine grandchildren, Deva Williams of La Grande, Adam and Lisa Mattson of Troutdale, Chase, Carter, Kelsey and Turner Gill of Madras; and Koby and Jordan Rudolph of Baker City.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ronald McDonald House of Boise through Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: The Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, October 26, 2001
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor