Shawn Michael Carter
1983 - 2016
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Shawn Michael Carter

Age: 32 • Colchester

Colchester - Shawn Michael Carter, 32, was taken from this life way too early due to an accidental overdose. Shawn was born on November 15, 1983, in Burlington, the son of Harry Carter and Anne Marie Paquette. He was predeceased by his mother and both set of grandparents - Norman and Ruth Carter and Richard and Mary Somerville, his uncles Billy Carter and Robin Turner.

Shawn is survived by the love of his life, his daughter Marlee Carter, her mother, Kelley Breeyear, by his father Harry Carter, and his best friend and brother, Levi Carter and niece Saebryn and devoted friend, James Bushey. In addition, Shawn leaves behind his aunts, Lori Carter Turner, Joanne Paquette, Mary Paquette, Sara Aiken and Lori Somerville and his uncles Chris Carter, Joseph Paquette, Paul Somerville and Chuck Corle and many cousins and friends who loved Shawn dearly. Shawn's joy in life was to bring a smile to the faces of those he loved. He was always up for an adventure or to lend a helping hand to someone in need. He was a hard worker and jack of all trades including restaurant work and a talented self-employed carpenter. He loved to fish, boat and rock climb with his Aunt Lori and Uncle Chuck. He was a son, a father, a brother, a nephew, a cousin and a friend. Shawn was also a drug addict.

Heroin promised Shawn the world - "I will make you feel accepted and loved and normal - like everyone else. I can make you feel nothing and make you believe that everything will be ok". What it didn't tell him is how it would devastate his family and tear them apart, how it would take jobs and places to live, how it would steal his baby girl right out of his arms, how it would take his smile, his laughter, his love for life and it would take and take and take until it took his life.

Shawn fought a good fight but heroin took his life and forever changed the lives of his family and friends. If heroin or any other substance has you trapped and feeling like there is no way out - you are not alone. There is help for you. Your story doesn't have to end the way that Shawn's did. Ask for help.

A Memorial Service will be held on Monday, October 10, 2016 at 6 pm at Cornerstone Community Church, 26 Bombardier Road in Milton. Online condolences may be made to

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Published in The Burlington Free Press on Oct. 6, 2016.
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44 entries
May 9, 2018
A very impactful obituary, tragic loss. Thanks for sharing, an addict that struggles even 9yr clean! I am stranger to say he lives on helping others.
November 4, 2016
Rest In Peace Shawn ~ You are now an angel to all of us! Send your message!
November 1, 2016
My heart breaks for your family. I know what you are going through. I too lost my son to a heroin overdose the same week you lost your son. Debi Henry
October 13, 2016
I am so sad to learn of this horrible tragedy.I no longer live in Vermont but during my four year stay in Vermont, I saw the devestation of so many young people who became addicted to drugs.This is a horrific illness that destroys so many lives.I hope that al that reads this will have gentle hearts and understand that this young man was not a bad person. He just got into an illness that was so much bigger than he could control.I wish him peace and hope more people will understand what this illness does to young people.Laurie Roberge
Laurie Roberge
October 12, 2016
I am a friend of shawns and he has been an angel in my life. I went through a difficult situation with an abusive man. Shawn helped me through it. His laughter, smile and unconditional love will stay with me forever. The last time I saw Shawn, we were at his apartment in shelburne, he made dinner and we watched a funny episode of Seinfeld. Shawn had the "uncanny" way about him to always make you smile.
My deepest prayers and love go out to his family. He was such an angel here on earth and will be so in heaven.

Emily Smith
October 11, 2016
I didn't know Shawn or your family but my heart breaks for all of you. Having watched an alcoholuc brother ruin his life it is so painful. You want to help but there is nothing you can do unless they want the help. My brother served time in prison for several months but as soon as he got out of jail he went right back to the booze. I so wanted to help him & tried. He had 3 children who went without Christmas or birthday gifts because all of his money was spent on booze & cigarettes. His kids lived a hellish life. I pray for you & your family & others struggling with an addiction. I truly feel your pain. My daughter tells her children all the time "you can't even try it once".Thank you for such a wonderful obituary & your selfless act to make this situation known to others to hopefully help others struggling with the same addiction. He was such a handsome young man. May God be with you & your family & wrap his arms of comfort around you at this difficult time in life.
Debbie Wise
October 10, 2016
So very sorry for your loss. Thank you for your courage in telling his story. You will never know how many this will help.
Pat Mungovan
October 10, 2016
This is a beautiful obituary. I'm sorry for your lose. This is not a battle that I can imagine having to fight, but it sounds like he had a wonderful family to help support him.
Adrienne Gallagher
October 10, 2016
Prayers to all of you. How wonderful to use such a terrible loss to help others. May each one of you find peace, especially his little girl, Marlee.
October 10, 2016
My deepest sympathy to all of you who have lost a precious soul. May God surround you with Angels and give you comfort and strength in this time of grief.
Donna M
October 10, 2016
I didn't know Shawn but I am sending condolences for his family and want to say how brave and selfless he and you folks are to share Shawns struggle . Someone reading his story will seek help and you can have closure knowing that he did not die in vain but that many people will seek help because of your words and love . Tears and hugs sent to you all today .
Kathleen Brown
October 9, 2016
My thoughts and prayers are with you Kelly and Marlee. Love Aunt Sue
October 9, 2016
I have talked to my 14 year old daughter for years about drugs. I just showed her Shawn's handsome picture and obituary . I did not have to say a word. God bless all of you for sharing Shawn's joys, accomplishments, and sorrow . My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Shawn has been welcomed with open arms into God's arms where drugs do not exist. He will watch over you until you meet again. God Bless you
Leslie Gouveia
October 9, 2016
I'm so lost ,shawn, the last couple years I didn't know it was so bad , we lost touch , this illness what it steals what it takes , Matt thought of you as a brother and the 2 of you sure did act like you a were ,to your family Shawn I know that any words I say can't take this horrible pain away you and your family are in my thoughts my heart and tears in my eyes ,i find myself with a thought of you and then then tears happen ,,rest in peace Shawn Carter you maybe in heaven but you will always be here with us in memory
Sue W
October 8, 2016
As someone who lost a loved one to an unintentional overdose, let the pain in my heart first acknowledge the pain in yours. Secondly, I commend you for taking the time and strength during this period of crushing grief to speak up and out about a situation which is all too often kept silent. Thank you for reaching out to those who may be struggling with addiction. While it can not bring back your loved one, may the possibility that your words may reach one lost soul bring a measure of comfort to you all. May God bless you and keep you as you navigate this difficult time.
Heather Hassett
October 8, 2016
What a truly incredible family you are to turn such a tragic loss into a powerful hopeful message for others. May God bring you peace
Jean Ray
October 7, 2016
Heartfelt condolences.
Patricia Labendz
October 7, 2016
Rebecca Burroughs
October 7, 2016
I am so sorry for your loss. I truly respect how you honored his life apart from addiction and shared an important message for others at the same time.
Laura H
October 7, 2016
I didn't know Shawn, but one of my children was born the same year. Having experienced the pain of loving a young person with an addiction, I can still only imagine how difficult this is for his family and friends. My thoughts are with all of you today.
October 7, 2016
Shawn, you, Levi and Joe have been a part of our family for many years. I know you made a big mistake but now God will take care of you. Please say hi to my dad when you see him. He was a joker just like you.
Beeb Geeb
October 7, 2016
I do not know your family, but reading Shawn's obituary made my heart ache. As the parent of a child who struggles with drug addiction, this is my worst fear. Thank you for sharing his story. My heart goes out to all of you.
October 7, 2016
So beautifully said . Although I did not know Shawn I send you my prayers and thank you for reaching out to those afflicted with addiction . God Bless your family at this very difficult time .
October 7, 2016
Harry & LORI, My heart goes out tyou both. He's in a better place.No more demons to fight. Mimi
October 6, 2016
Most candid honest respectable obituary ever. Rest in peace Mr. Carter
October 6, 2016
I don't know you and your family but just wanted to send a sooo sorry for your's painful to lose a child and the pain runs heart breaks for you all...stay strong..God bless..
Paula Sheedy
October 6, 2016
I'm touched by your courageous candor. May he rest in peace, may all who love him find peace in prayer and faith.
Karen Pappas
October 6, 2016
I didn't know Shawn or the family. But I'm reaching out to offer my condolences to you all. You took the courage to explain Shawns death. If this can help one person see the devastation Shawns family is going through with his disease of chemical dependency. May it help others to want to work on becoming clean. It's a Demon for those it grasps and all those around him. May you now be at peace knowing Shawn has passed. Now he will now rest peacefully in a better place. God Bless you all in the days going forward.
October 6, 2016
Thanks for being so brave and honest in talking about addiction. We have to be open about this awful epidemic so lives may be saved. So sorry for your loss.
October 6, 2016
I never met Shawn. It seems he was blessed with wonderful family and friends. You have my sincere gratitude for your honesty and eloquence. Addiction is a terrible disease for the addict and every life they touch.
You light up the darkness by your courage. May you be blessed.
October 6, 2016
I was so sorry to hear about Shawn. You are in my thoughts and prayers. He was the apple of your mother's eye. Her eyes would light up any time she talked about Levi, Shawn or the rest of her kids.
Take care.
Love Sue
Susan Choquette
October 6, 2016
I am so sorry about Shawn, you are in my thoughts and prayers. He was the apple of your mother's eye. Her eyes would always light up any time she talked about Levi and Shawn and all her kids. Take care.
Love Sue
October 6, 2016
Laurie, Levi and all Shawns family,
You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Love Sue
RIP Shawn
Susan Choquette
October 6, 2016
I do not know this man. but what a waste of a handsome young man with what started out as a wonderful life, and, a smile that could light up a room.

Whoever wrote this obituary. Thanks so much for the last two paragraphs. Telling it like it really is. I am not an addict, but for all of you, that teeter on the edge. READ this and let the fear of common sense talk you out of something so very stupid.

R.I.P. Shawn Carter,
October 6, 2016
Rest in peace Shawn. Thank you for sharing his story. Hopefully it will help other families who are going through similar issues.
October 6, 2016
I am so sorry for your loss. We are praying for your family.
Carolyn Steinmetz
October 6, 2016
So very sorry for your loss of a son, brother, father and friend. Heroin is absolutely terrible and is impacting so many families now a days. We here in Richmond have started a Opioid Task Force and are trying to make a difference even if only one little bit at a time. So sorry he could not have been helped and saved from this awful disease of addiction. Our thoughts are with the family and friends during this yet again terrible tragedy.
Linda Donovan
October 6, 2016
Levi & Harry, We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Shawn, We will always remember his beautiful smile and kind heart, You are in our thoughts and Prayers.
Randy & JoAnn Dusharm
October 6, 2016
My prayers to Shawn's family, and thank you for delivering a powerful message within his obituary.
Anne Pierce
October 6, 2016
To the family and friends of Shawn, my thoughts and prayers are with you all during this most tragic time. RIP Shawn
Lisa Lafountaine
October 6, 2016
I didn't know Shawn, but I wanted to offer my sincere condolences for your loss, and my thanks to you for your courageous honesty on the cause of his passing. Perhaps this will save a life.
Alan Botula
October 6, 2016
I didn't know Shawn or your family. I am sorry for your loss and as someone who grew up in an addicted home, this obituary touched my heart and is a poignant reminder to all about the devastating effects of addiction. Thanks for sharing your deep pain in such a way that maybe other families won't experience this same thing with their child or family member. God Bless you all in this time of such immense grief and sorrow.
October 5, 2016
My heart is broken tonite. Shawn and Levi stayed with us after their mother passed away. I truly loved them and was saddened when they left our home. (but never our hearts).Over the years, we have looked at pictures of them and hoped they were safe with their aunt. Please Levi call me sometime. Buddy and I loved and enjoyed you boys. My number is 253-653-0615. With sadness and love. Mary Jane Coolidge.
October 5, 2016
May you rest in peace Shawn.
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