William Winston “Bill” Carter went home to be with the Lord on March 23, 2015, at the age of 93.
A memorial service will be held at 3:00 P.M. on Thursday, March 26, 2015, at the First Presbyterian Church of Amarillo, 1100 S. Harrison, with Reverend Howard Griffin officiating. Burial will be private. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Bill was born at home in Amarillo, Texas on February 19, 1922, weighing more than 14 pounds. Three doctors were required, but miraculously mother and baby were fine. He attended school at Margaret Wills, Sam Houston Junior High, graduated from Amarillo High School in 1939, and started at Amarillo College. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and was on active duty from 1942 – 1946 during World War II, primarily with Fox Battery, 2d Bn, 14th Marines of the 4th Marine Division.
Bill served on the battlefield in the Marshall Islands (Roi and Namur), Marianas Islands (Saipan and Tinian) and Volcano Islands (Iwo Jima). When his battery’s fire direction team were all killed by a single shell hitting the fire direction center during the battle for Saipan, Corporal Carter alone directed the battery under enemy fire until relieved. He received the Bronze Star for his conduct. Sergeant Carter celebrated his 23rd birthday offshore Iwo Jima on D-Day and landed on D + 1. Bill then received a battlefield commission to Lieutenant of Marines, and he was on Guam training for the invasion of Japan, when peace was declared. But he never talked about the War. All gave some, and some gave all. There was nothing else to say, but for Bill, and many others who were spared, the gift of life was not to be wasted.
Bill married his high school sweetheart, Melba Naomi Baker, during a brief furlough and a trip home in early 1943 before deploying to the Pacific. He returned to her after the War and graduated from Amarillo College in 1947 and from West Texas State University in 1949 with a degree in business. Soon thereafter, he was employed by Baker and Taylor Drilling Company where he would spend the next 31 years as Vice-President of Baker & Taylor and subsequently as President of its successor, Yucca Petroleum Company. He also served as President of the Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners Association, Vice President of the Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association and in many other industry positions.
Bill’s wife, Melba, preceded him in death in 1979. Yucca Petroleum Company sold in 1980, and Bill became Managing Partner of Carter Investments for the next 35 years. For this second half of his adult life, he was loved and supported by Elizabeth Pounds Carter, his spouse and devoted caregiver until his death.
Bill served the Amarillo community throughout his life. He served as Budget Committee Chairman of the United Fund; Director of Amarillo Chamber of Commerce; President of the Amarillo YMCA; Trustee of the Amarillo Independent School District for six years (serving as chairman during the transition to integration and later the relocating of Amarillo High School); Elder of First Presbyterian Church; Member of the Texas State Board of Education; Co-chairman-Major Gifts Division of Harrington Cancer Center Fund Drive; Chairman of Decade 80’s Education Committee; Chairman of Capital Fund Committee of Amarillo Good Samaritan Retirement Center; Chairman of the Endowment Committee, Vice President, and President of Amarillo Art Center; Finance Chairman of West Texas State University Foundation; Chairman of the Board of West Texas State University Foundation; and in many other positions.
As much as Bill loved his work, there was no greater joy or priority in Bill’s life than his family. He was predeceased by his parents, Winston and Ethel Carter. Bill is survived by Elizabeth Pounds Carter, his beloved wife of 35 years and their children, Kay Brown and husband Richard, Terri Bagot, Winn Carter and partner Tom Peaslee, Janice Carter, Mike Pounds and wife Melissa, and Jana Pounds and partner Donna Bullis. Bill is also survived by two brothers, Jimmy Carter and wife LaRue and Curtis Carter, ten grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, many wonderful nieces and nephews, and faithful friend Alzia Dean Smith.
A child of the Great Depression, hero and survivor of the War, educated and educator, industry leader, tireless community servant, father and family patriarch, giving and caring, a godly man who loved the Lord – Bill Carter was a good man who lived a good life, and he is one of the reasons his generation is the Greatest Generation.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the First Presbyterian Church, 1100 S. Harrison, Amarillo 79101; Texas Wounded Warrior Project Foundation, 4301 Fillbrook Lane, Tyler, TX 75707, or a favorite charity.