Who was our dad? He wasn't famous. No one outside our family and a few close friends will be aware that he is gone but my dad was special. He had a gift. He made people love him without even trying.He was a depression child, born in the harshest of times. His father was a farmer who harvested hidden dreams of being a writer. His mother was an eccentric free spirit who would have been at home in a Tennessee Williams play. He was alternately beaten and smothered by his parents until one day, at the tender age of 17 he had had enough. He walked away from the broken down tractor, the pot belly stove and the pain and enlisted in the Marine Corps. The year was 1941. The next four years would haunt his life for the better part of 70 years. He went in a child and emerged a man, yet the price he paid was heart breaking.After the war, Dad went to college at West Texas State on the GI Bill, becoming the first in his family to earn a college degree. He was a teacher, a prospector and an adventurer. He met and married our mother, Margelo Carter, in the late 50's and adopted her two children, Ronald and Sharon. Just like that, Dad had a family! The youngest child, Jackie, came along four years later and Dad settled into domestic life. He entered the work force as a chemist and the family eventually settled in California. Dad never really considered himself a "Californian" however. Once a Texas boy, always a Texas boy.Mom and dad stayed married for 45 years, until cancer separated them and took mom away in 2001. Dad spent the remainder of his years traveling the world, watching the sun turn the sky burnt orange on Pismo Beach, walking his dog and hanging out with his kids and grandkids. He lived with his son Ronald and his dog Zoe in the same house for 37 years. He left this world better than he found it and he will be missed very single day. He is the last of a dying breed, the greatest generation. That's who our dad was.Jack R Cater was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Grilie Carter, his sisters Margaret, Kay and Annabeth and his loving wife Margelo Carter. He is survived by his three children, Ronald U Carter, Sharon Coleman and Jackie Carter Ganiy and well as six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
The Marine Corp will honor my dad for his sacrifice and send him to God with dignity in a small ceremony at Hillcrest Memorial Park on Saturday, March 29th at 11:00 AM on the Hill of Valor.