Michael "Kelley" CARTER

CARTER, Michael "Kelley" 68, St. Petersburg, died Dec. 21, 2013, from complications of diabetes. Born in Frankfort, KY, he came to Florida in 1963. Kelley joined the Marine Corps in December of 1964, working in communications. He spent a year in Vietnam and was there during the Tet Offensive. Kelley was honorably discharged as a Sergeant E-5 grade, November of 1968 and went to work in December of that year for the St. Petersburg Independent, now known as the Tampa Bay Times. His employment there included working in News Production with hot type, cold type, then as a supervisor in the News & Ad Production Departments during the transformation to computers. Kelley was employed by the Times for over 34 years. Kelley was the longest regular patron of the oldest bar in St. Petersburg. On Dec. 9th, 1968, after his first shift at the Independent, some of his new co-workers invited him out for a beer at Mastry's Bar. He started with the fathers, Jimmy and Lay, behind the bar, continued as a patron while the sons, Jay and Rick, took over and was there to watch grandsons, Justin and Seth work the bar. His last day at Mastry's was Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. Kelley was Senior Vice Commander of the American Legion Post 14, a member of the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 14 and a founding member of the American Legion Riders Chapter 14. He was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel in 1961, a 25 year member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, a Life member of the VFW Post 6827, a 40 year member of the International Association of Turtles, Inc. and a Makers Mark Ambassador for 12 years. Hobbies included fishing, reading, watching sports and spending time with the many friends who loved him. He is survived by his beloved wife of 20 years, Bonnie; his sister, Lynn & brother-in-law, Ernie Repp of Winter Park; his son, Michael Carter of Clearwater; a daughter; three grandchildren, Brenton and his wife, Brittney Adkins of Connecticut, Katie Dasher of Ft. Myers, Luke Kidd of Pinellas Park; and three great-grandchildren, Bella, Mya and Cooper. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Diabetes Research Center. Please make checks out to F.O.E. Charity Foundation (DRC in memo line), 1623 Gateway Circle, Grove City, OH 43123-9309. In Memory of Michael Kelley Carter, thank you to Mrs. Bonnie Carter. A military service will be held at Bay Pines National Cemetery on Tuesday, Jan. 7th, at 10:45 am, with a wake at Noon at the American Legion Post 14, 1520 4th St. N., St. Petersburg.

Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Jan. 5, 2014