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Official Obituary of

Michael John Carter

August 18, 1946 ~ February 13, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old

Michael Carter Obituary

Michael John Carter left his beloved home state of Nevada for the last time on February 13, 2024.  He died peacefully of natural causes in his home that looked out onto the Ruby Mountains.

Mike, as he was known to friends, was born in Ely in August 1946 to Dorothy and James Carter Gray.  His father worked in the mining industry, so the family lived an itinerant life traveling around the rural West. During his childhood he lived in at least a dozen small towns across four Western states with his divorced, working-class father and two closest-in-age brothers. The boys spent most of their time running wild outdoors, catching rattlesnakes and attempting pranks involving blasting caps stolen from their father’s work truck. It was not an easy childhood. As adults, Mike and his brothers struggled with the scars left by a childhood marked with poverty and neglect. But Mike’s colorful stories of growing up were seldom sad, largely because Mike was always able to find the humor in a situation. It was a talent he kept sharp his whole life.

After his father’s death in 1961, Mike moved to Oregon and then rural Idaho. He worked as a ranch hand and dabbled in rodeo in his spare time.  He was drafted to Vietnam in the mid-60’s and served with the US Army.  On his return to the US, he married and started a family. In 1974, the young couple welcomed a daughter they named Jenna. Three years later Jenna got a sister, Tina, and not long after the family moved to Anchorage, Alaska. Mike worked in construction during the rapid growth of Anchorage after the Trans-Alaska Pipeline was completed. He hunted and fished as often as possible, and the girls have many happy memories of adventures with Dad all over Alaska.

After his divorce, Mike returned to the same near-constant traveling he did in his childhood. He learned to scuba dive in Key West, drove cross-country multiple times, and spent as much time as he could with extended family. He then took up a career as a millwright and was a longtime member of Northern California Millwrights Local 102. After retirement, he moved to Elko, Nevada and spent the rest of his life living the solitary life he had wanted since childhood – traveling, hunting, fishing, and spending time with his daughters and grandchildren when he could. He was an avid fan of professional rodeo. As his health began to decline, he turned into a voracious reader. He never lost his independence, a fact of which he was unduly proud.

Mike was predeceased by both parents, his older brothers Herb Roberts and Patrick Gray, and his older sister Patricia “Patsy” Byrnes.  He is survived by his sister Jacine Clanton of El Dorado Hills, California, youngest brother James Gray of Tucson, Arizona and his daughters, Jenna Clark of Sparks, Nevada and Dr. Tina (Chris) Skinner of Pueblo, Colorado. He especially loved being a grandfather and will be missed by all four grandchildren: Kalia Clark & Matthew Franceschini Jr. in Nevada and Natalie & Ethan Skinner in Colorado.

At the end of Mike’s life, he was surrounded by all the things he felt were truly necessary for happiness – expansive mountain views, deer that visited the yard each morning, old Western movies & music, a huge personal library, and ready access to excellent Basque restaurants. The family is sad to see him leave this world but grateful that the end of his life unfolded the way he’d hoped it would. His daughters will hold a private memorial later in the year.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michael John Carter, please visit our floral store.

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