Joel Patrick Cater

There are no words that can completely capture the essence of a man like Joel Carter.  His life was defined by an overarching desire to give of himself and to serve God, his family and his community.  But Joel’s sense of service wasn’t at all grave or weighty.  It was founded in joy and bolstered by a wonderful sense of fun!

Born on Oct. 21, 1953 in Ferndale, Michigan, Joel was the 5th of 13 children born to Larry and Barbara Carter.  From a very early age he began exploring the duality of church life and joyful exploits.  He served as an altar boy, raised rabbits (he gifted them to his Mom!), and got into a bit of trouble at Shrine High School (“Joel Carter, Rick F and Charlie G will report to the office…”).  Even so, recognizing the importance of his Catholic education, Joel paid his own tuition in his senior year.  He also balanced his sense of fun with hard work – paper routes,  a job at a gas station at 13, and a factory job at Chrysler after high school.  He was known as a great storyteller, and loved to recite the delightful, humorous poetry of Ogden Nash and sing the silliest of songs!

Joel’s family grew!  Four children later, Joel now shared his sense of playfulness with them and their friends.  He became a scout leader, led camping trips, hosted annual Halloween parties and Thanksgiving celebrations, all while teaching religious education classes and caring for his growing family.

In 1985 Joel moved the family to Hendersonville, NC, where he worked as a supervisor at Norton Diamond Tools until he co-founded Carbo Cut, which provided diamond tool products – “the right tool for the job” – a business he continued to build for the next 23 years.  Written right into their business plan was “to have fun!”  An active member of Immaculate Conception Church and an ongoing officer of the Knights of Columbus Council #7184, he helped collect and deliver furniture for the Good Samaritan Attic, was a small group Confirmation leader, cooked for endless events, and chaired Bounty of Bethlehem which served Christmas dinners to anyone in the community.  Whenever there was a need, Joel’s name was on the list, if he wasn’t chairing the committee!

In 2012 Joel married his dearest and long-time best friend Donna.  He retired shortly after, and they dedicated themselves together to helping with grandchildren.  He and Donna supported the work and mission of Immaculata School by painting classrooms, cooking for every event, spreading mulch…the list goes on and on.   Passionate baseball fans, they set a 7-year goal of visiting every major league baseball stadium, a milestone they completed in 2019.

Joel was predeceased by his parents and brother Kevin, and is survived by 11 siblings: Laura Mastracci (Mark), Gayle Williams (Kent), George Carter, Karen Blaszyk (John), Denise Ficorelli (Dan), Janet Camilleri (Ray), Greg Carter (Holly), Chris Wechsler (Sonny),Alan Carter, Gary Carter (Michelle), and Colleen Hogan (Jack); his children: Chad (Jessica Boynton), Amy, Eric and Teri Carter; stepchildren: Shawn Gilson, Erin Gilson, Shannon Hullopeter (Mark), and Meghan Gilson (Brian Colby); grandchildren: Shane Carter, Camden Gilson, Kira and Julian Hullopeter, Eli Diaz and Alice Colby; and his beloved wife, Donna Carter.  He also leaves a legacy of nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for Joel on February 21 at 10AM at Immaculate Conception Church in Hendersonville, NC.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Free Clinics of Hendersonville , 841 Case Street, or Four Seasons Hospice of Flat Rock, 571 S. Allen Road.

Donna once asked Joel why he did all the things he did.  He answered, “I like helping people.”  Perhaps that summarizes his life best.

Being with Joel was a joyful experience.  He inspired and encouraged.  He laughed with you.  He cried with you.  He felt deeply and brought passion to everything he did.  He was committed to good works, as he was a Man of the Lord.  Now he is with the Lord, and we who knew him are now called to carry on his good works here on earth.  It’s OUR turn.

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