The Crusader Newspaper Group

Charles M Carter, cousin of Chinta Strausberg, dies at 81

By Chinta Strausberg, Chicago Crusader

Charles M. Carter, Sr., 81, who passed last Tuesday at the Metrosouth Hospital in Blue Island after a lengthy illness, will have two funerals this weekend the first hosted by his Masonic order.


A Masonic funeral service for Carter, hosted by the Western Consistory #28 Gibraltar Lodge #135, will be held 7 p.m., Friday, January 6, 2017, at the W.W. Jackson Funeral Home, 2701 West 63rd St., Chicago, IL.

Regular visitation services for Mr. Carter will be held 9 a.m. Saturday, January 7, 2017, followed by a 10 a.m. funeral service at the Martin Temple AME Zion Church, 6930 South Cottage Grove Ave.

Internment will be held at the Mount Hope Cemetery, 11500 South Fairfield Ave., Chicago, IL

Born on September 18, 1936 to Elizabeth and Harold Carter, young Carter always wanted his own family and on April 21, 1956, he married Bernice Johnson and became the father of three sons. The couple celebrated more than 60 years of marriage.

Being a husband, father, entrepreneur and a veteran of the Korean War was very important to him.

Having lived with his grandparents, Zelphia Wareagle and Augustus Spencer in the Englewood community, Carter, who is my cousin, grew up in the same house as young Olive whose mother died giving birth to him. Olive was a breech baby whose father, Milton B. Olive, II, allowed my grandparents to raise his son.

A graduate of the University of Chicago Lab High School, Carter joined the Army and proudly served in the Korean War where he earned the rank of sergeant.

Years later, young Olive also joined the Army and at the age of 18 spotted a live grenade during a search and destroy mission in Vietnam, placed the device on his stomach and allowed it to explode. His act of bravery saved the lives of four men of whom only one, Captain Jimmy B. Stanford, is alive today but all have great-grandchildren.

Carter and I attended many events honoring Skipper as the family called young Olive including taking Olive’s stepmother, the late Antoinette Mainor Olive, to events honoring her stepson.

Carter and I also fought to keep Skipper’s name clear of those wanting to profit from his hero status and once had to work with a West Side minister whose lodge was illegally named after Skipper. We had the minister to dissolve the lodge, which allowed us to sign a legitimate document legally naming the lodge after Olive.

Skipper’s father has asked me to never allow anyone to use his son’s name for profit and like Skipper, Carter was proud to have served his country, and doing things the right way.

Carter always wanted to be like his uncle, George Spencer, a successful businessman who owned several gas stations, his grandfather, a bookkeeper at an auto parts store and uncle Milton for whom he was named who was a professional photographer and city supervisor.

Carter owned and operated a Standard Oil station on the South Side of Chicago. He worked for Merit Parts for nearly 30-years and after retiring he opened his own business, the Chicago Truck Parts, with his business partner, Wilford Holloway. Carter sold the business in 1999 to dedicate more time to his family, faith, friends and community.

He was still very active being an assistant Scout Master for the Boys Scout Troop 534. All three of Carter’s sons, Charles, Jr., Edwyn and Bryant, earned the rank of Eagle Scout along with his grandson, Nathan, who earned the same rank in 2014. Carter was a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Youth Ministry and was active in the Chicago Assembly.

Carter was very proud of being a Mason. He ascended to Pastmaster of Gibralter Lodge #135, Past Worthy Patron of Northern Light #28, Past Commander In Chief of Western Consistory #28 A.A.S.R.FM PHA NJ Inc. (S.G.I.G.) United Supreme Council (A.A.S.R.FM.PHA.NJ Inc.) P.S.K. Godfrey Guild #15 Member Knights Templer and Member Arabic Temple #44 (A.E.A.O.NM.S.) Chicago, IL.

Carter is survived by his wife, Bernice Carter, sister, Roslyn Wade (Springfield, IL), three sons, Charles Carter, Jr. 32nd (Chicago, IL), Edwyn Carter, 32nd and Bryant Carter (wife Cynthia) (Peoria, IL) and three grandchildren, Charles Carter, III (Berkley, CA) and Jordan and Nathan Carter (Peoria, IL) and his Aunt Louise Ford (Pittsburgh, PA)

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