Sunday, February 11, 2024

Letitia Morrison Carter RIP

This is my cousin, Letty, whose memorial service I attended via Zoom yesterday. It is humbling to think of what I  have done with my life compared to she with hers. She was a rich woman due to an invention of her husband's for epoxying jewelry. But she was a poor child and a poor young mother. She wasn't born into wealth at all. She was a excellent cook, gardener, pianist and mother of four. At the service, the director of the RI Philharmonic extolled about the things she had done for her state. I am proud to have known and been related to her although I saw her only twice in my life. And oh, yes, they were fervent Democrats!

Letty Carter, age 89, passed away peacefully at her home in Little Compton, RI, on September 29, 2023. Letitia gave tirelessly to her family, community, and philanthropic endeavors. She was a leader, teacher, creator who touched and impacted many people. In her own words:

"My advice to you is not hard advice, but rather soft advice: Learn everything you can about what is going on around you. Volunteer, you'll meet some interesting new people. Attend some events and programs in Rhode Island. Be generous, not necessarily with money, but with your time and spirit. Read as much as you can. Catch up with your friends and family. Listen carefully. Say yes and thank you at appropriate times. Be kind. Know that a positive outlook often precedes a positive conclusion. Have passion for what you do."

Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have a groundwork for each of their lives built from Letitia's wisdom, kindness and guidance. Letitia was a visionary. She could see what had to be done, how to do it and then did it, enlisting and assisting others to completion. She was relentless when she took on or assisted in a project that enhanced her community and the state of RI. Letitia was one of the volunteers who opened Coggeshall Farm Museum in Bristol and served as its president. She is a founder of the Fiber Co-op at Slater Mill Historic Site, Pawtucket. As president of the board of Veterans Memorial Auditorium, she secured financing for major remodeling in 1990 and for the return of the Rhode Island Philharmonic's performances. She was a commissioner of the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority with special responsibility as chair of the Vets Foundation. She has been a board member of the Community Preparatory School for 10 years, three years as chair, and also has served as a director for WRNI Public Radio, Planned Parenthood, the Philharmonic, Rhode Island Mayoral Academies, the RI Philharmonic Music School and more. The philanthropic endeavors of Letitia and her husband John Carter have touched many lives, organizations and institutions in Rhode Island. Letitia's family extends heartfelt gratitude, thanks and love to each and every companion who lovingly dedicated themselves to caring for Letty. Letitia was preceded in death by her husband John S. Carter, Jr. She is survived by her four children: Kathy Martinez and her husband Alex of Colorado; John S. Carter and Nicole Peckham of Little Compton; Pamela Carter of Ringoes, NJ; Elisabeth Carter of Waltham, MA. Four grandchildren: Julia Martinez and her husband David Moskowitz; Maggie Foote and her husband Eric; Johnny Carter; Liam Rowe; as well as four great-grandchildren: Cash and Falcon Foote; Jonah and Zoe Moskowitz.


J. Kingston Pierce said...

I love her advice. Aside from the Rhode Island-specific part, it's advice I already try to follow myself.


Todd Mason said...

Condolences, Patti, for the loss, for only getting to know her a bit, and for feeling as if one could've done more following her example (wealth never hurts thus, particularly if one feels the responsibility to do at least some of what one can when survival isn't an issue any longer). (Some volunteering I've tried has been less rewarding than it could've been, but when I've done so it's tended to be politically charged situations...being a voter registrar in Hawaii was perhaps the least so.)

As someone with 130 or so first cousins, I've even barely met half of them, at least once I was old enough to talk...and then either half cousins or second cousins (the grandchildren of my grandfather who left his first family in New Hampshire to elope with my grandmother) who add an even less determined number.

She does sound like she was a good person to know.

Jerry House said...

All sympathies to you and to her more immediate family.

Whether we are blessed with a lot or a little, what we do with our lives remain after us.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes. Thanks for the condolences. Very few people, rich or poor, use their life so well.