Dr. Harold Gene Carter, age 88, of Jefferson City, Mo., passed away Wednesday, January 9, 2019, at his home surrounded by family.
He was born on January 30, 1930 in Lee’s Summit, Mo., the son of Albert and Florida (Epple) Carter. He was married on December 29, 1951 in Jackson, Tennessee to Paula Jean Ross who survives of the home.
A lifelong resident of the Central Missouri area, Harold graduated from Lee’s Summit High School in 1948 – he was known there as the “Lee’s Summit Flash” for his numerous football and track accomplishments. He led Lee’s Summit High School to three consecutive indoor state championships as well as one outdoor track championship. He earned 14 medals at the Missouri State track meets with 8 being gold. He also led their basketball team to one state title and finishing runner-up. Harold earned 12 varsity letters in high school in football, basketball, track and baseball. He then attended the University of Missouri – Columbia on an athletic scholarship, majoring in Physical Education and minoring in Science. He graduated from MU in 1952. While at Mizzou, he earned six varsity letters as well as playing in the 1949 Gator Bowl. On the Gator Bowl trip, the team was invited to the White House to meet President Harry S. Truman. Harold played football under Coach Faurot and ran track under Coach Botts, both iconic coaches that are both in their respective sports halls of fame. In his football career at Mizzou, he served on both the offensive and defensive sides of the field as well as returning punts and kickoffs. Following the University of Missouri, Harold went on to the Kansas City University School of Dentistry and graduated in 1958.
Harold worked as a science teacher for the Richmond High School from 1952-1954. While there, he coached football, basketball and track. Dr. Carter went on to be self-employed as a dentist in the communities of Jefferson City and Iberia, Mo., until his retirement in 1992.
Harold was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and the QEBH, which was a senior honor society for scholar-athletes at the University of Missouri – he was one of only eight initiates in 1952. He was recognized by the MU Athletic Department as having the highest GPA among athletes. He was a member of both the Xi Psi Phi and the Omicron Kappa Upsilon dental fraternities, as well as the Central District Dental Society where he served as President (1978–1979). Harold was active in both the American Dental Association and the Missouri Dental Association where he served as the Secretary Treasurer (1986-1992). They awarded him the Distinguished Service Award in 1992. Harold also participated with the American College of Dentistry – Fellowship and the Gold Spade Club at the UMKC School of Dentistry. With golf as a hobby, Harold was a member and board member with the Jefferson City Country Club. He also served as the President of the Missouri Senior Golf Association in 1996. This just touches on a few of his honors and accomplishments – he was truly a gifted man.
In addition to his love of sports, and especially track and field, Harold enjoyed golfing. While wintering in Florida, he was known to play golf at least five days each week. He loved to travel: beach trips in Mexico, skiing in Colorado, boating at the Lake of the Ozarks, floating the scenic rivers of Missouri and fishing in Canada being some of his favorites. Harold enjoyed family fishing trips to Montauk and teaching his grandkids how to fish. Some of his fondest memories were sail boating in the Virgin Islands and a Christmas vacation in the Bahamas with his family. He never missed any of his grandkids sporting events attending numerous softball, soccer, baseball, basketball and football games. He definitely passed his passion for sports and fishing to his children and grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Paula Carter; his children, Cathy Carter of Jefferson City, Mo., Hope Copas and her husband, Brion, of Lohman, Mo., and Ross Carter and his wife Judy Dawson of Jefferson City, Mo.; three grandchildren, Meghan Copas-Peterson and her husband, Steve, Angela Copas-Basham and her husband, Bryan, and Jennifer Copas; one great-granddaughter, Brynlee Basham; one niece, Linda Brock and her husband, Bruce of Marshall, Mo.; one nephew, Rick Fette and his wife, Julie of Liberty, Mo.; and his grand-dog, Gracie.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings, Nina Wealand (Arnold) and Cecile Fette (Jack); and his grandson, Nathan Ross Carter.
Visitation will be held at Freeman Mortuary from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 19, 2019.
A funeral service will follow at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 19, 2019 in the Freeman Chapel with the Reverend Dr. Stephen Buchholz officiating. Graveside service and interment will follow at Riverview Cemetery.
Those desiring may make memorial contributions to the American Brain Tumor Association at 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 550, Chicago, Illinois 60631 or the Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Missouri Chapter for the Jefferson City Walk at 2609 E. Broadway, Suite 119, Columbia, Mo. 65201.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.