John Bolen Carter
John Bolen Carter of Santa Cruz, CA passed away peacefully in the loving arms of wife Shelley, his favorite songs — The Wild Colonial Boy, Joe Hill, Me and Bobby McGee — sung by daughter Katie, still playing in his ears. He was preceded in death by his parents, Bolen and Anne Carter, and sister, Annie Carter, and is survived by Shelley, Katie (Lewis), son Dylan (Diana), and granddaughter Alice. Like Chuck Berry, John was a proud product of East St. Louis, MO and later found his home in California, first in the Haight Ashbury, and then at El Rio in Santa Cruz. He began his working life as a VISTA volunteer in St. Louis, later becoming a proud member of Local 510 in San Francisco, where he found his strength as an organizer and creator of community. A man of (many) words, John was both a soulful writer and an almost comically gifted talker—indeed he could talk about anything—LBJ, the phases of the moon, Bob Gibson’s fast ball… the poetry of Yeats and Jeffers. John spent his life experiencing intense joy and pleasure, from the Ozarks to the High Sierra to the Pacific Ocean, taking—and spreading—delight wherever he went. He was the kind of guy who always had a book to lay on you, picnic treats, a bottle of wine, binoculars to share. And stories. John always had a story, and it was always a good one. Because of his eager, sharing nature, John was most lucky to know an uncommon depth of friendship. His extraordinary life force and spirit lives on in all of us who knew him. A celebration of life is forthcoming. Contributions can be made to The Catholic Worker.