Harold C. Carter, 88, of Rochester, peacefully went home to the Lord on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, at Cottagewood Senior Community in Rochester.
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Harold Clark Carter was born Sept. 8, 1925, in Winona, the fourth of five children to William J. and Eva (Grummons) Carter. The family moved to Plainview in 1928, where William J. opened the Gem Theatre. Harold spent much of his youth working and learning in this family operation. He graduated from Plainview High School in 1943 and soon thereafter joined the U.S. Army Air Force. While on leave from the service in 1944, he married his high school sweetheart, Ethel Koenig. They would be true companions for the next seven decades.
Harold and Ethel lived in Plainview after Harold's discharge from active duty in 1946, and in 1949, they moved to a farm west of Plainview. On this farm, which everyone in the family affectionately called "the Ranch," Harold and Ethel raised 11 children. The couple moved to a home they built in Elgin in 2000 and then moved to Rochester in 2008.
Harold was a leading example of his Greatest Generation: he was guided by deep core values developed while growing up during the Great Depression, he was a proud World War II veteran and lifelong patriot and he always put his family first while giving generously of his time to his church, his neighbors and his community. Harold was successful in several roles during his long career, but none gave him more satisfaction than his 12 years as Wabasha County Veterans Service Officer from 1966 to 1978. He welcomed and tirelessly served all veterans with dignity, respect and compassion and made special efforts to reach out and lend a helping hand to Vietnam Vets, many of whom have remained lifelong friends.
At age 60, Harold started college, graduating from Rochester Community College with an Associate in Arts degree in Accounting in 1987. He was active in numerous organizations including the Plainview Jaycees; the Knights of Columbus, where he was a member for 62 years; the Minnesota County Veterans Service Officer Association, where he served as state chairman; and also was a more than 50-year member and past Commander of American Legion Post 179 in Plainview.
Harold was preceded in death by his loving wife, Ethel, who passed in May of this year.
He is survived by children, Harry (Marie), of New Brighton, George (Joanne), of Mendota Heights, Joe (Jan), of Madison, Wis., Mary (Phil) Nestor, of Elgin, Pat J. (Vicki), of Madison, Wis., Kathy (Warren) Olson, of Cross Plains, Wis., Tim (Crystal), of Madison, Wis., Susan (Robert) Askildson, of Rochester, Sharon (Lee) Mollan, of Richfield, Sandy (Brian) Rauls, of Sun Prairie, Wis., and Tracy (Daren) Hofschulte, of Elgin; 21 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. He is further survived by many well-loved in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Harold also was preceded in death by two children at birth, Patrick D. and Patricia; his parents; brothers, Bill, Bob and Jim; a sister, Mary Ellen Carpenter; and son-in-law, Phil Nestor.
The family sincerely thanks the entire staff at Cottagewood Senior Community in Rochester along with the staff of Seasons Hospice of Rochester, all of whom teamed together in taking such tender care of their father.
Visitation beginning with the rosary will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27, at Schad & Zabel Funeral Home, 57 S. Third St. S.W., Plainview, MN 55964, 507-534-2003, schadandzabelfuneralhomes.com.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, at St. Joachim's Catholic Church, 900 West Broadway, Plainview, MN 55964, with Fr. Robert Meyer officiating. There will be a visitation in the church narthex for one hour before the Mass. A reception and lunch will be held at the church after the Mass.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to Harold's favorite charity, the Salvation Army.
Published in The Post-Bulletin on Dec. 25, 2013