Johnny Carter, nicknamed Cookie by his mother, was born on March 15, 1949 in Aiken County South Carolina to Betty Joe Carter and Daniel Carter Jr.
He attended elementary school in the New York City public school system for a brief period in the late 1950s. When his parents’ marriage failed, he and his
brother, Daniel, were sent to live with their grandparents, Willie and Maggie Harley in Batesburg, South Carolina. His grandparents were loving, supportive and God-fearing and believed that to “spare the rod would spoil the child.” Johnny accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior at a young age joining Chinquapin Baptist Church where he served as a Trustee..
He graduated from Ridge Hill High School in Ridge Spring, South Carolina in 1967. He got a job at Burlington Industries until he was drafted into the Army on February 19, 1969. He served during the Vietnam War where he was an M60 Helicopter Gunner and rose to the rank of Sergeant before he was honorably discharged October 3, 1970 and received several medals for his service. Thereafter, he served with the National Guard until February 18, 1975.
He resumed his job at Burling Industries. On December 12, 1970, he married his sweetheart, Mary Alice Davenport. Two children were born to this union, Tesha Michelle and Gregory. His experiences during the Vietnam interfered with his post-war adjustment. Years later his condition was diagnosed with Agent Orange and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He joined Good Will Baptist Church and rededicated his life to the Lord. He tried marriage again (Thomasina) but it did not work out after a few years.
He joined the choir and enjoyed singing his personal anthem, Jesus is A Way Maker. He served on the Gospel Chorus, Male Chorus and the transportation ministry as a bus driver. He helped at the church wherever he could with food preparation, food service, driving the church bus and vans. He was selected a few years ago to be a church Trustee.
His big smile, sense of humor and friendly ways endeared him to many people. He had two passions: cooking and driving the bus; both helped him walk away from the wasted years and be of service to others. He was also affectionately known as “Junkman” cause he really loved to collect stuff of every description.
Johnny loved to cook for family, especially on holidays, for friends and neighbors and for others in the community who needed a meal. Every year, he’d travel to South Carolina to stock up on “country goods” for the upcoming holidays.
He was proud to drive the bus for Campus Coach and Goodwill. As a bus driver, he wanted the passengers to feel safe and comfortable with his driving and he was proud that his passengers were complementary and requested him to be the driver. From his various trips, he formed friendships with some of his customers.
He enjoyed attending class reunions with former schoolmates and attending reunions with his buddies from the Vietnam war.
When the pandemic hit, he often complained about the strain on his ability to breathe and he unexpectedly passed away at home on August 1, 2020.
He is survived by his children, Tesha Michelle and Gregory; daughter-in-law, Monica, grandchildren Wesley and Daniel, step granddaughter, Skyler; sister, Janis Carter-Armstrong and brother, Daniel III; brother-in-law, Eugene Armstrong; a dear friend, Effie T. Martin and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors.