Carter Guy Echols

October 11, 1960June 24, 2019

Carter Guy Echols age 58 of Douglasville, GA. passed on June 24, 2019. He was born to Alexes and Charles Echols on October 11, 1960 at UVA Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Carter attended St. Anne’s Belfield, where he developed a love for drama and was involved in many productions, as well as performing at the Albemarle Playhouse. He later attended Albemarle High School where he was inducted as a member of the National Honor Society and in the Spanish National Honor Society and was a member of the first graduating class of Western Albemarle High School in 1978. Carter’s love of travel and other cultures led him to McGill University in Montreal, Canada where he majored in Archeology and Anthropology. At the end of his years at McGill, President Reagan’s cuts to funding for the Arts and Humanities prompted him to shift gears professionally and begin his journey as a professional cook and on to many Head Chef positions at prestigious restaurants and resorts both in the United States and abroad.

Though Carter was a self-taught professional chef, his love for cooking and early education in the kitchen were developed at his Mother’s side. He said many times of his early years, “If you wanted to spend time with Mom, you had to be in the kitchen.” However, his creativity and imagination led to culinary creations that earned him spots with a touring caterer who took jobs across France and Italy. After departing Europe, Carter took a position as a personal chef to John Kluge, then to Ohio, and onward as Executive Chef at a Grand Cayman resort, to Brennan’s and Maison de Ville in New Orleans, and on to many of Northern Virginia’s finest restaurants.

Finally, wishing to be closer to family, Carter chose Washington, GA to pause and work on an as yet, unpublished cookbook. Meeting his life partner, Lance Durrance, brought Carter to Atlanta and then to Douglasville, Georgia where he enjoyed the last 20 years of his life with Lance. During this time he focused primarily on his own catering.

Among his many talents outside of cooking, Carter had a true affinity with nature and gardening. Going back to his days living on what was once the Willoughby estate in Charlottesville, Carter painstakingly restored the original formal gardens at Willoughby as he did at his home in Washington, GA. He then took great pleasure in creating his own gardens at his home with Lance in Douglasville.

Carter was the embodiment of the term renaissance man. He held such an eclectic base of knowledge from his lifelong interests in the histories of different civilizations, the arts in all forms, philosophies, and religions from around the world. And yet, he was well-connected to current culture, an avid music lover and concert goer. From the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to the Rolling Stones, to countless Grateful Dead shows, he loved classic and alternative rock, and so enjoyed the cinema.

Carter will be dearly missed by those who were lucky enough to have engaged his love for his unique ability to make those feel incredibly special by virtue of his unparalleled care.

He is preceded in death by his father, Charles Echols, and is survived by his partner, Lance Durrance, mother, Alexes Echols, brother, D’Arcy Echols, sister Heather Echols Carter, brother Charlie Echols, sisters-in-law, Rebecca Echols and Caroline Echols, and nieces and nephews, Holden Carter, Jacob Carter, Lexi Echols, Virginia Echols and William Echols as well as many cousins from both the Ogilvie and Echols families.

A memorial service will be held July 2nd at 1:00 PM at All Saints Episcopal Church in Atlanta, GA.

A trip to Virginia to spread his ashes at the top of Rag Mountain will be planned and announced at a future date, likely Fall, 2020 for those who may wish to join us on that final hike.


  • Memorial Service Tuesday, July 2, 2019


Carter Guy Echols

have a memory or condolence to add?

Catharine Moyer Williams

July 17, 2019

Carter and I were school friends in Charlottesville at Belfield and St Anne’s. We stayed in touch tor some years after College and I followed up on him when I saw his fabulous mother Alexis or his cousin Dorthy. He was a most amazing person. He was talented , funny, smart and sensitive. Our world will be less bright without him. My sincere condolences to all who loved him especially Alexis. Sincerely, Catharine Moyer Williams

Adrienne Peach

July 13, 2019

We had the pleasure of sharing many a meal with Carter, Lance, and family. Carter always had a wonderful heart and a great sense of humor. We will be thinking of his family.

Gordon Fry

July 1, 2019

Carter was a dear friend during grade/middle school at Belfield.
I hold many memories of sleepovers and camping with all the childish pranks and such. We always had the best times together!
I am so saddened by this loss! I only wish we had stayed better connected during all the passing years.
He will be greatly missed!
Gordon Fry