Lee Bert Carter
May 14, 1927 – March 11, 2018
Lee Bert Carter, age 90, passed away at his home in Fayetteville, NC, on Sunday, March 11, 2018.
He was born May 14, 1927 on a farm in Davie County, North Carolina, the son of Sidney and Jessie (Shumate) Carter. Lee was raised in Mocksville, North Carolina along with his brothers Allie (Buck), Pearlie (June), and sisters: Magdalene (Maggie), Nellie Mae (Nell), Annie Marie (Rita) and Gail. Eager to serve his country, Lee joined the United States Navy on May 14, 1944. Rising quickly from seaman to gunners mate 3rd class on the heavily armed gunboat P.G.M. 32, Lee and the crew of 72 men saw combat in the Invasion of Okinawa, defending the main fleet from kamikaze pilots. His gunboat was then assigned as fleet escort for the impending Invasion of Japan, serving as part of the mine sweeping operation in Tokyo Bay. Soon after, Japan officially surrendered aboard the USS Missouri, an historic event which Lee himself witnessed from the deck of his gunboat.
Shortly after, Lee completed his Naval service and enlisted in the U.S. Army Airborne, attending jump and glider school. Upon graduation, Lee was assigned to the 82nd, 11th, and 187RCT Airborne divisions over the course of the next fifteen years, during which time he served in the Korean War.
Upon his return to the States, Lee joined the Special Forces, serving ten years with multiple tours in the Vietnam War under the 1st, 3rd, and 5th groups, and achieved the rank of Master Sergeant. During his years of service, Lee earned numerous military awards and commendations, including the silver star, bronze star, purple heart, combat infantry badge and master parachutist. Lee’s highest honor, the silver star, was awarded after defending a small tank company that was ambushed during a patrol. Wounded during the encounter, Lee was also awarded the purple heart.
After his distinguished service in the military, Lee was employed at Fort Bragg, NC as a civil service professional, spending twenty years with the Post Engineers as a heating and air mechanic, before his retirement. Never one to remain idle, Lee subsequently volunteered at the VA, assisting and transporting wheelchair bound veterans. Lee’s dedicated service to our country spanned nearly fifty years.
It was during his service in the Korean War that Lee met and fell in love with his future wife, Hisako Saeki. Temporarily transferred to Japan, Lee and his battalion were stationed in Beppu, Hisako’s hometown. During an evening dance, Lee met Hisako and sparked a romance that resulted in a loving marriage lasting forty years, until her passing in 1994. In 1958, they settled permanently in Fayetteville, North Carolina where they raised their daughter, Kimiko.
Lee is survived by his daughter, Kimiko Kitayama and her husband Masaharu; Grandsons: George Duncan and wife Joanne, James Duncan; Great Granddaughter Emilia Duncan; Sisters, Annie Marie (Rita) Chandler, Gail Frye and her husband Robert (Pete). He is also survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews. Gregarious, generous, and proud to serve his country, Lee lived his life to the fullest. He was a caring and supportive brother, husband, father, and grandfather. Lee will always be remembered with great pride by his loving family and vast circle of friends. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 17, 2018, in Reeves Funeral Home chapel, with the Reverend Robert Whitaker officiating. Interment will follow at Cumberland Memorial gardens, with full military honors. Visitation will be Friday, March 16, 2018 from 6-8 p.m. at Reeves Funeral Home, 3308 N. Main St. Hope Mills, NC 28348.
The family kindly request that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in memory of Lee B. Carter to the Green Beret Foundation, 6516 Dental Lane, Suite A, Fayetteville, NC 28314, or online at www.greenberetfoundation.org.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.reevesfunerals.com.
- Visitation Friday, March 16, 2018
- Funeral Service Saturday, March 17, 2018
- Interment With Full Military Honors
Lee Bert Carter
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March 17, 2018
So sorry to hear of the loss of your loved one. May the God of all comfort be with you during this difficult time. May the scripture found at Acts 24:15 be of some comfort to you. It shows us that we will be reunited with our loved ones again in the resurrection. May God continue to strengthen you during your time of grief.
Gordon Watanabe (CW3, USA, Ret)
March 15, 2018
The Watanabe family sends its condolences to Lee's family and friends. I have had the pleasure to have known Lee Carter (Mr. Lee) for a number of years. We were introduced to each other by Masako Gondro a number of years ago and had remained friends since then. I was terribly saddened by news of his passing. He was a wonderful, pleasant man and will be missed by all of us who he called friends. Take your well earned rest in Valhalla my friend and comrade. Gordon (Gordy) Watanabe.