Carter's Memorial Service
By Libby Fitzgerald

    It was a glorious sunny day and, as we approached the location of the memorial service held at the home of dear family friends, we could see a line of cars and a local policeman directing parking along this quiet residential street.  Because of the good weather, the service was held on the grounds of this elegant estate with chairs set up in a shaded area under the branches of weeping willow trees.  Before the service, people were wandering around the grounds and patio, hugging and greeting each other, while the sound of a jazz saxophone could be heard softly playing in the background.

    A recording of Ave Maria began the service for the nearly 200 quests who had quietly gathered at the memorial site.  In addition to the pastor, there were twelve speakers who represented Carter and Denise's families, old and dear friends, and fairly new friends such as myself.

    How I wish I could relate all of the wonderful stories told that day, but the impression that stands out most is how much he was loved by everyone who came in contact with him.  Naturally, his family had many stories to share with a lot of gentle laughter at the mention of various episodes that stood out in their minds.  Some were barely able to maintain their composure, while others spoke freely and eloquently.  There were original poems and well known ones so appropriate for Carter.

    If it could all be distilled into one reality it would be that everyone Carter touched throughout his life, from the most casual acquaintance to lifelong intimates, felt the special magnetic aura that was his essence.  Because he believed that one must seize each moment, he lived life to the fullest, almost as though he knew on some subconscious level that there wasn't much time. 

    Although he helped raise millions for many charities across the country, money was not a personal priority.  Family and friends were what he truly treasured.  It was incredible to realize that someone could leave such a loving legacy in the too few years he had.  The service ended with the wonderfully uplifting Amazing Grace. Afterwards, everyone was invited back to the house for a lovely buffet with Carter's favorite music playing: reggae, jazz, old cowboy songs, etc.  It was a true celebration of his life.

    A memory scrapbook is being assembled for Denise and the girls and friends are being asked to submit their remembrances of him.  I submitted our newsletter's memorial pages.  If you would like to add to this compilation, you can send it directly to Denise.  Handwritten would be preferred, with your full name at the bottom of the page.  Use paper no larger than 8 1/2 by 11".  Your message can be a few sentences or a few paragraphs.  They can be sent to:

Denise Cooper
2 Logan Road
Mahopac, NY 10541.

    A fund has been established for Chantelle and Colette.  For those wishing to make a memorial donation, checks should be made payable to:

"CCC Fund #30012260"
CCC Fund
Le Parc Plaza
487 East Main Street, #244
Mount Kisco, NY 10549

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