Kathleen Nichols Carter
Kathleen Nichols Carter
  • January 22, 1919 - October 7, 2016
  • Florida

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Kathleen (Katy) Nichols Carter, 97, of Cocoa Beach, Florida passed away Friday, October 7th, 2016.
She was born in Caruthersville, Missouri on a family farm and was the only daughter of Lillian Burton and Parker Nichols. Parker, a widower, had three children when he married Lillian so Kathleen was fourth born in the family. Raised in the Missouri Bootheel along the Mississippi River where cotton was the primary crop, her father, Parker Nichols, was the founder and co-owner of the Union Farmers Cotton Gin which was the third cotton gin established in Missouri.
She was a devoutly spiritual woman whose inspirational life was a model to emulate. Katy was always willing to help in a quiet and often unnoticed manner, without recognition or fanfare. She often visited shut-ins, prepared meals for those in need, and supported all organizations assisting the blind. She helped individuals in need with financing, clothing and schooling all of her adult life.
Due to the determination of her Father, an orphan at age eight, who did not learn to read until he was an adult, education became the focus of the household. At the age of 16, Kathleen graduated from the Ursaline Academy High School operated by the Ursaline Sisters in Arcadia, Missouri.
Long before many women had an opportunity to attend college she enrolled in the University of Missouri and completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Education majoring in Music. Shattering the glass ceiling for women of her generation, she graduated in 1939 receiving her college degree at the tender age of 19.
Two months after her college graduation she married the love of her life, William Alamath Carter, who was at this time the Superientendent of Schools in Pemiscot County. She returned home to teach music in Steele High School, Steele, Missouri. The piano she used was purchased for her in 1939 and still remains in the high school auditorium to this day. Her Great Nephew Glen Carter is the Principal of the very high school she taught in 77 years ago.
Prior to the outbreak of World War II, William Carter enlisted in the Missouri National Guard and shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor he transferred into the US Army Air Corp which later became the US Air Force. Deployed next to the CBI Theatre (China, Burma and India) , Kathleen followed him whenever possible, serving as a court reporter for eight years for the military, most notably recording the Nuremberg Trials at the conclusion of World War II in Germany. Her first child, Hazel Kay was born in Munich, Germany in 1946 in a bombed out hospital with no roof. At the end of the European duty tour Katy had traveled to 20 countries and loved them all. After Col. Carter's retirement from his final post at Patrick Air Force Base, she became an Executive Secretary and Court Reporter for NASA's Chief Legal Counsel. She worked at Kennedy Space Center until her retirement.
Her primary passion was playing bridge with her girlfriends whenever and wherever she could. According to Katy, "Everyday is a good day for bridge." Her second passion was all things furry, especially cats. But her soul was all about family.
Kathleen Nichols Carter was preceded in passing by her husband of 67 years, William Alamath Carter, her sisters: Annie Nichols, Nellie Nichols (Ursaline Sister Mother Monica), Hazel Popham, her niece Clarellen Popham Peel and her oldest daughter Hazel Kay Carter (Schatzi) Joubran. Surviving family members include her daughter, Camille Carter Bell., sons-in-law, James Bacon Bell and Salim Afif Joubran, granddaughters: Samantha Noel Bell and Julia Nicole Joubran Anthony, nephews: Jesse William Carter, Millard Alamath Carter, nieces: Andria Lou Carter Franklin, Melinda Carter Allison, Mary Kathryn Carter, Vickie Carter Nealey and Frances Popham Peel.
Memorial Services for Mrs. Carter will be held at 10:30 AM, Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 at Our Saviour's Catholic Church in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Reception to follow at the home; all are welcome.