Cover photo for James Carter's Obituary
James Carter Profile Photo
1947 James 2021

James Carter

September 22, 1947 — February 2, 2021

James M. Carter, 73, of Peoria, Arizona. Jim to friends and family, James M. Carter was born in Pocatello, Idaho in 1947, the third child of Fred and Lola Carter, and actually a bit of a surprise to his brother and sister who were just reaching their teens. He was an Eagle Scout, a veteran of the U.S. Army, an avid pheasant hunter and the only truthful fisherman who ever lived, also just an all-around fun guy. He would often say -- especially during baseball season -- his biggest regret in life was giving up a chance to play on a Little League baseball team that was competing for a spot in the Little League World Series because his mother wanted him to play French horn for his small-town marching band at Disneyland that summer. He studied something at Brigham Young University before getting the boot a semester and a half into his freshman year because there was a beer bottle found in his dorm room, according to stories he told his wife, Judy. His children remember the beer bottle actually being a girl. Thus his stint in the Army. After the military, he began working with his father and brother at the Union Pacific Railroad in Idaho. First laboring in the yard switching cars but soon was recognized by his superiors as better suited for leadership positions. He married in 1968 and soon welcomed his daughter Jennifer in 1969, and son Jeffrey followed in 1971. Following a divorce, a move west and a 1975 promotion to a new position at the Hinkle, Oregon depot would prove fateful. His first day on the job he met Judy, also recently divorced, who was catching an extra shift running crews from the depot to the engines or cabooses. Judy was sitting in a chair at an empty desk, with her feet kicked up, smoking a cigar. It was love at first sight, they both loved to joke. (Judy wants it noted she was only trying the cigar.) Not too long thereafter, they moved in together and he helped raise her 2-year-old son Jake, who has only known Jim as "dad" since the first time they met. After another promotion, Jennifer and Jeff came to live with Jim, Judy and Jake later that year. The Five J's then moved into a newly built home in Hermiston, Oregon, and Jim and Judy married in March of 1976. His work ethic was unparalleled. Known to volunteer for new assignments, in the early 1980s he helped lead Union Pacific's transition from analog data collection to computerized information storage. Ultimately moving up the ranks to become a director of customer service because of his affable and personable style, despite being a notorious introvert. His children still marvel at the notion grown men cried during his retirement party more than a decade ago. The guide star to his family, he was loved by all who knew him. While a terrific husband and wonderful father, Jim really caught his stride as a grandparent. Taking special note of each grandchild's favorite things, Grampa Jim spoiled and doted on his six grandchildren, Wyatt, Vivian, Amelie, Lilia, Thomas and Piper, like they were royalty. Whether it was fishing equipment that would randomly arrive in the mail, packages of candy sent from wherever he and Judy were vacationing, or cards stuffed with stickers, his grandkids delighted in knowing he was always thinking of them. While his death will not be officially listed as one of the millions worldwide who have succumbed to COVID-19, it is most certainly one of the countless “excess deaths” that have occurred in the past year due to the overload on our health system's medical resources and the inability or fear by many older Americans to get treatment for minor maladies that ultimately become major illnesses. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to St. Mary’s Food Bank of Phoenix at firstfoodbank.org or the U.S. National Park Service at nps.gov/getinvolved/donate.htm.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Carter, please visit our flower store.

Guestbook

Visits: 3

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree