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May C. Carter

May C. Carter, 90, a longtime resident of Wasilla, died May 2, 2006, at home with family and friends surrounding her.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 6, 2006, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with burial at Aurora Cemetery in Wasilla. A reception at the church will follow the cemetery services. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Wasilla Historical Society, the Palmer Bishop's Attic or Sacred Heart Church. Pallbearers will be May's nine grandsons. Honorary pallbearers are Patrick J. Carney, Frank Smith, Leo Holler, Ed Baker and David Drinkhouse.

She was born Aug. 24, 1915, in Montana. She moved to Wasilla in April 1940, and other than a short time living in Anchorage working during World War II, she remained a Wasilla resident. In 1944, she was appointed the U.S. Postmaster and the U.S. Commissioner (magistrate) in Wasilla. She held the commissioner position until 1959, and retired from the postmaster job in 1974. Both positions required a great deal of dedication and affection for the people she served. Coupled with a generous sharing of knowledge of life in a remote Alaskan community, she became a tremendous source of information to the many veterans and homesteaders of the 1950s and 1960s in the Valley. Many people later told her family how helpful she and her late husband, Pat's, information and generosity were for new settlers in the Matanuska Valley.

She was a community icon; her belief that giving back to one's community was the right thing to do was a driving force in her life. The land donated by the Carters to preserve park and lake access for future generations is now known as Lake Lucille's Carter Park.

She was active in many civic and religious organizations. She served on the first school board of the newly formed Mat-Su Borough in the 1960s. After retirement from the U.S. Post Office in 1973, she served on the Sacred Heart Parish Council, and was a long-term volunteer worker in the church office, played the piano and organ for church services, and was the editor of the local church newsletter. She was one of the original organizers of the Palmer Bishop's Attic thrift store, and served as its treasurer for 25 years. She also served in numerous positions for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, and was a founding member of the Wasilla Cemetery (Aurora) Association.

She was an excellent seamstress and quilter, a participant in community music events, and a dedicated gardener. Well into her 80s, she could be seen on her lawn tractor mowing her lawn on Lake Lucille, tending her greenhouse, vegetable garden, and her beautiful flowers. She always had homemade jams, jellies, fresh bread, and home-grown vegetables to share with family and friends.

The family wrote, ”Mom was a true pioneer woman, ready to take on whatever life presented her and willing to share herself and her wide knowledge with everyone she met. She always looked at the positives, and even in her final years, had a smile on her face, and saw her glass as always half full.”

She is survived by her four children, Barbara Carney and Colleen Scott of Wasilla, Don (Linda) Carter of Arizona, and Kay (Nick) Carney of Utah; 16 grandchildren, Patrick (Larissa Cummings) Carney, Ralph (Darcy) Carney of Anchorage, Jocelyn (Niles) Williams of Anchorage, Jeff (Deborah) Carney, Julia (John) Schirack, Margaret (Mike) Markanthony, Mark (Brandi) Carney, Ted (Erin Leslie, fiancée) Carney, Molly (Dennis) Smedley, Dan (Vickie Robinson, fiancee) Carney and Katie Carney, all of Wasilla, Pamela Massingham and Breckan (James Rock, fiancé) Scott of Oregon, Don L. Carter of Washington, D.J. (Tracey Chester) Carney of California, and Chuck (April) Carney of Colorado; great-grandchildren, Janelle and Rachelle Cummings, Marsha, Wade and A.J. Schirack, Marlee Hall, Kelly Carney, Haley and Ally Carney, Cheri and Teddy Robin Carney, Weyland, Amelia and Feona Carney, Marisol, Oscar, Vincent, and Nigel Smedley, Ashley, Rheannon, Niles Thomas, Iliyah May, Micheal Williams, Michael and Kylie Carter, Sarah and Benjamin Carney, Calla, Emily and Shawn Carney, Desiree Massingham, Destiny Henderson and David Nolan; and two great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, five brothers and sisters, husband, Pat Carter; and grandson, Aaron Carter. Arrangements by Valley Funeral Home and Crematory.

Source: Frontiersman, 15 February 2008



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