Walter Louis Carter made his transition on July 3.
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Walt was born on Dec. 14, 1935, to Claude and Irene Carter in Live Oak, Calif.
While attending high school, Walt excelled in football, track, baseball and basketball.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1954 and served his time in the infantry division in Hawaii. He was honorably discharged in 1956.
Upon returning home from the Army Walt worked in a grocery store for several years, and in 1957 he married Eleanor Karrigan in Yuba City, Calif. They made their home in Live Oak where they raised their two sons, Craig and Steven.
He loved fishing and hunting deer, elk, duck and geese with his boys. He enjoyed all sports with a special love for football.
Eleanor's father, Tom, helped them get their start in farming and this became Walt's true calling. He enjoyed farming peaches, prunes and wheat. After a few tough years with peach crops and bad weather, he began farming rice and raising kiwis. He did this for over 35 years and during this time he served on the Cling Peach Advisory Board and on the Sutter Extension Water Board.
Walt and Eleanor were later divorced.
Walt retired from farming in 1992. Upon retiring, he enjoyed working in the yard and raising his beautiful yellow roses.
He then wanted to get away from the fast-growing California area so he moved to Ashton in 1994. He discovered Ashton after spending time hunting there.
Walt and Tracy Bower were married by the mayor of Ashton in 1997. They asked the mayor to perform the ceremony in the mountains in the middle of winter. The following is Walt and Tracy's poem, which was written by friends who went along for the ride and to witness the ceremony.
"High Up On A Mountain Top"
In the year of 1997
You couldn't have chosen a place closer to heaven
Snowmobiles transported you there,
to take your vows of love and care
Looking around above and below
All nature is covered in pristine snow.
As the snow melts away,
This special memory with you will stay
Each new year as the first snowflakes fall.
This wedding day you will recall
High up on a mountain top'
A love was bonded that will not stop.
High Up On a Mountain Top.
Walt never knew a stranger. He always had a smile, a twinkle in his eyes and a hearty handshake. One of his friends remarked that Walt was the sweetest, kindest, most gentle man he had ever met. To know him was to love him.
Walt was most peaceful in nature. Smelling and touching fresh tilled dirt, mowing his lawn or just being quiet sitting outdoors with Peanut on his lap and Beau at his side.
Walt is survived by his wife, Tracy; companions Peanut and Beau; sons, Craig Carter, of Yuba City, Calif., and Steve (Debbie) Carter, of Live Oak Calif.; grandchildren, Drake, Thomas, Jaycee and Clay; brothers, Lester Carter, of Live Oak, Calif., and Hubert (Imogene) Carter, of Yuba City, Calif.; and sister, Gwen (Ronnie) Finch, of Indio, Calif.
He was preceded in death by his parents; oldest brother, Leroy Carter; and very close cousin, Dick Carter.
Walt was under the care of Hospice at Heritage Homes Assisted Living in Rexburg. In the brief time he was there, he was treated as if he were family. Their patience, compassion and respect for him was remarkable. A special thanks goes out to Kate Hill and Mary Berry.
A memorial will be held at Walt and Tracy's home and will be announced at a later date.
Published in Rexburg Standard Journal on July 7, 2012