Jean Rhodes Carter, 91, of Phoenix, AZ, and formerly of Charlotte and Tryon, NC, passed away on June 28, 2023, at Scottsdale Osborn Hospital. Jean was born in Arden, NC to the late Will Albert and Minnie Ducker Rhodes. The tenth of eleven children, Jean loved books, poetry and music and enjoyed sharing and inventing “schoolish” ideas with her older brothers and sisters. From a very young age, she began singing at many occasions in the Avery’s Creek community. She graduated salutatorian from Valley Springs High School in 1950.
Dreams of becoming an educator led Jean to attend Western Carolina Teachers College. In addition to education, she majored in music and she minored in physical education. From the moment she arrived at Western Carolina, she became the soprano soloist for the various choirs and all musical productions. During her freshman year, Jean was the free throw champion of the women’s basketball team, making 42 out of 50 shots.
In 1952, Jean went to Whiteville, NC to do her student teaching. While there, she met her husband of 60 years, Julian Carter, of Chadbourn, NC. They were married April 27, 1953, in Marion, SC. Jean graduated with honors from Western Carolina College with a B.S. in Education in 1955, and a M.A. in Education in 1956, while teaching 8th grade in their laboratory school.
Jean and Julian moved to Charlotte in 1957, where she taught grades 6-8 in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. From 1961- 1966, Jean taught grades 4-6 at Winthrop Training School in Rock Hill, SC.
Returning to the regular classroom in 1971, Jean became an academically gifted teacher in 1975. In 1985, she was voted Teacher of the Year by the faculty of Sharon Elementary School. During her last years in the Charlotte schools, Jean was an Observer-Evaluator in the Career Development Program. This program was dedicated to enhancing a teacher’s ability to know more ways to get children to think and learn.
Jean retired from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in 1989, and moved to Tryon, NC. Being retired got old for her, so in 1993, she returned to teaching academically gifted students in Polk County at Saluda Elementary School, retiring for a second time in 1997.
From 1977-1989, Jean was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, Alpha Sigma Chapter, where she served as secretary and social chairwoman. She was treasurer of the Mecklenburg County NCAE, president of the Mecklenburg County CTA, a member of the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte, the Charlottetowne Players, served as president of the parents organization of the Youth Symphony of the Carolinas, and helped organize the Charlotte Mecklenburg chapter of PAGE.
Jean was a member of Quail Hollow Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, where she was a choir soloist, Women of the Church president, Circle chairwoman, and the director of the summer Bible school. She was also a member and choir soloist of Tryon Congregational Church in Tryon, NC.
In retirement, Jean was a member of the Foothills Music Club, Foxy Ladies, and became a master gardener through the Polk County Extension Center.
Committed to her family with a giving heart, Jean was always ready to lend a helping hand to everyone. Her kindness knew no bounds, as she was a treasure to us all.
In addition to her parents and her husband, Jean is predeceased by her three sisters; Frances Bullard, Louise Gregory, and Margaret Brown; seven brothers; James Rhodes, Bill Rhodes, Woody Rhodes, Raymond Rhodes, Vernon Rhodes, Max Rhodes, and Bruce Rhodes. She is survived by her son, George Carter, of Phoenix, AZ, and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be at 2:30 pm, Saturday, July 29, 2023, at Trinity United Methodist Church, Asheville, NC, with Pastor Nancy Dixon Walton presiding. Graveside services will be at 10 am, Monday, July 31, 2023, at the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery, Black Mountain, NC.
Memorials may be made to the International Essential Tremor Foundation, PO Box 14005, Lenexa, KS, 66285-4005, www.essentialtremor.org, email@example.com or The National Institute on Aging, Budget Officer, Financial Management Branch, Building 31, Room 5C35, 31 Center Drive, MSC 2292, Bethesda, MD, 20892-2540, or call 301-496-9147.