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Johnny Lanier Carter Sr.
Johnny Lanier Carter Sr.

Johnny Lanier Carter, Sr. (“Bunkie,” “Wilson,” “Papaw”) was welcomed into Heaven the morning of Sunday, October 9, 2022. He passed peacefully at his home after 85 wonderful years shared with family and friends. He was greatly loved and will be greatly missed here on earth. 

Johnny Lanier Carter, Sr. was born May 9, 1937 to John Thomas and Etha Kathleen (Wilson) “Kitty” Carter, at his grandmother’s house in Porterdale, Georgia. Johnny was raised in Porterdale, home to Bibb Manufacturing Company. Johnny had very fond memories of the mill, where his parents and family members worked for many years. He loved playing sports, swimming in the Yellow River, and playing with friends in Porterdale until the family moved to the “Happy House” on Echols Street in Covington, Georgia. He resided there with parents and brothers, Ron, Don and Pete, until marriage. He continued to enjoy his childhood activities, including throwing rocks to break the street lights with his brothers and friends (names redacted to protect the non-innocent).

Johnny maintained many friendships from Porterdale and Covington, attending luncheons, high school reunions (his and prior/post classes) and family reunions of anyone’s family that would invite (or not invite) him. He was sort of like the “wedding crasher,” but everyone was always happy to see him and welcomed him. He loved any kind of friend/family gathering and was usually the last one to leave. Super special to him was the “Porterdale Boys,” a group of guys who grew up in Porterdale and meet monthly to fellowship and reminisce about the “good ole days.” He was most likely the oldest member and was proud to be called a “lint head” and “river rat”; (you need to ask someone from Porterdale.) Johnny would often take day trips with brothers, Pete and Don. This usually involved watching trains, visiting historic sites, finding a good “hole in the wall” for lunch and reminiscing about their brother, Ron, who has now welcomed him into heaven.

Johnny graduated from Newton County High School in 1955 where he was the studly star quarterback and dated basketball star Harriet Chestnut. High school sweethearts, they married October 7, 1955 and moved to Decatur (“Pearidge ”), Georgia, where they continued to reside for 67 years of marriage.

Upon moving to Decatur, Johnny went to work for his uncle, James Robert Wilson, who taught him the trade of plumbing. Upon JR’s retirement, Johnny founded Carter Plumbing. He and his uncle-in-law, Grady “Skinny” Moore, served Fulton, Dekalb, Gwinnett and surrounding counties for many years. Johnny later taught his son, Scotty, the plumbing trade. They worked many years together, sometimes including grandsons, until Johnny’s retirement in 2018, when the “plunger” was passed to Scotty. Scott presently continues to run the family business and provide stellar plumbing work to the local area. 

Johnny was a long-time and devoted member of Rehoboth Baptist Church. He loved his church and served as deacon, Sunday school teacher, football and basketball coach, and mentor to many young men in the recreation program there for many years. His faith in Jesus Christ was most important to him and he shared it with family, friends and strangers. He walked the walk!

Family, second only to Jesus Christ, was everything to Johnny. He loved coaching and attending sporting/school events of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Johnny leaves behind a legacy of 4 children: Johnny, Jr. (Gina), Michael (Starr), Scotty (Sheila) and Linda (Harger), 13 grandchildren: Grant, Amanda, Brittany, Jordan, Caela, Shaun (preceded in death), Anthony, Cliff, Aubrey, Makenzie, Kelly, Chrissy, and Jack, 18 great-grandchildren: Graham, Brooks, Hayden, Hollis, John, Daniel, Braxton, Beckett, Boden, Fielding, Ford, Trevor, Ryleigh, Kyla, Rayna, Lincoln, Teagan and Easton, his brothers: Don, Pete (Gail), and many cousins. He was preceded in death by brother Ron (Libby).

Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, October 30, 2022 at 3pm at Rehoboth Baptist Church. Family will receive friends in the Sanctuary from 2-2:45pm. Immediately following, a dessert reception will be in the fellowship hall for family and friends. Dessert was Papaw’s favorite meal. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Johnny’s memory may be made to:

Rehoboth Baptist Church

Tunnel to Towers

Life Outreach International-Water for Life