Helen Evelyn Carter
October 6, 1929, Bronx, NY – March 11, 2018, Baker City, OR
Born, Helen Evelyn Maxwell, in Bronx, New York, to Lawrence Victor Maxwell and Helen Julia (Socher) Maxwell, both who immigrated to America as infants, her father from Ireland and mother from Czechoslovakia.
One of 7 children, the family spoke Czech in the home, as long as the grandparents were living. Eventually at their passing, and being compelled to speak only English in school, the language was lost.
The family moved from New York, to what was to be the family farm in Deer Island, Oregon when Helen was a young girl, and she had many fond memories of growing up there, enjoying occasional trips back for a walk down memory lane, with her husband and children, and most recently as a surprise 85th birthday present with her son Mike, and older sister, Florence.
In Helen’s early teens the family moved to The Dalles, Oregon where she worked as a waitress and came to meet the love of her life, Jim Carter, a recently discharged
18-year-old WWII veteran, who had lied about his age at 15 to enlist in the Army, and serve 3 years in Germany. Soft-spoken, and slightly arrogant, Jim took a shine to the pretty young waitress, and she took an immediate dislike to the smart & flirtatious soldier! She told the story his buddy bet him that he couldn’t get a date with her, but he did, and 5 months later they were married. They celebrated 50 years of marriage in 1997.
Helen and Jim raised 2 sons, Michael and Gregory, and 1 daughter, Stephanie, while Helen continued to work as a waitress, then later a Caregiver, and always a Sunday school teacher. In 1987 the couple moved to Haines, Oregon where Jim’s father had grown up, making their mark on the community they had joined, first resurrecting a little green house in “downtown” Haines, then building a new place in the foothills of the Elkhorn Mountains, on the road they named Deerhaven, for the multitude of mule deer on the property.
Helen lost Jim to cancer in May of 2000, she stayed on the country place they built together until 2011 when she moved back into Haines city limits, and the place they had planned for “their old age” – She continued working as a caregiver for many years, her family often bragging about how “Mom is 86, and she takes care of old people!” She was a joyful sight around the community of Haines and Baker in her little red Ford Courier pickup. Friends and neighbors looked forward to her, and looked out for her!
Helen took joy in her family & friends, she loved animals, her church, and charities; she loved to give of herself and what resources she had, she was generous, loving, kind and dedicated. Operation Smile was her most beloved charity, what better way to share her own
smile than to help a child! She loved baking sugar cookies at Christmas time and opening her home to the local bachelor fellows for Holiday meals. Her passions were gardening, playing guitar & singing, and loving the Lord.
She is Home.
Helen is survived by her Son, Michael Carter of Salem, OR; Daughter, Stephanie Carter and her partner Don Dodson of Haines; Brother, Bob Maxwell and wife Jean of The Dalles; Sisters, Florence Roberson of Tigard, OR and Sharon Holt of Palm Beach, CA; Grandchildren, Christine, Blue, James, Aerie, Jennifer, Kymberly, Bradley, and Daniel; and several Great-Grandchildren, Nieces and Nephews.
She was preceded in death by her Father, Lawrence and Mother, Helen (Socher) Maxwell; Husband, Jim Carter; Son, Gregory Carter; Brothers, Walt and Ed Maxwell; Sister, Carolyn Douthit; and Daughter-in-law, Mary Buff Carter.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Helen on Saturday, April 7th, 2018 at 1 P.M. at the Haines Baptist Church, 714 Cole St. Haines, OR