Clarence ‘Jack’ Carter

Published 1:17 pm Friday, July 14, 2023

Clarence “Jack” Carter, 85 of Vicksburg, Mississippi, passed away on Thursday, July 13 at home while surrounded by his adoring wife and children.

Jack was born in Meridian, Mississippi on May 4, 1938, to parents Clarence and Helen (Short) Carter.

As a child, Jack enjoyed playing sports and causing chaos alongside his brother, Gerald “Jerry” Carter; and relished being “the baby” until his baby sister “Little Helen” made her appearance nearly two decades later.

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Jack’s passion for sports, competitive edge and playful personality would drive his storied sports career.

Jack was a four-sport letterman and selected All-Big 8 at Carr Central High School in Vicksburg, with a collection of 13 letters; which is believed to be the most in the school’s history.

In 1957, Jack played in the North/South All-Star Game in Jackson and was the quarterback on the South Roster. It was at that game that legendary sports writer Carl Walters called Jack “one of the best high school players” he had ever seen.

In college, Jack excelled in football, setting numerous records during his Memphis State football career from 1959-1961. He was captain of the Tigers in 1961 where he was a quarterback, halfback and a placement kicker. He still ranks in the record books for most PATs made in a game, season and career.

During this time, Jack also served in the Army Reserves and was honorably discharged in November of 1962.

Jack went on to a highly successful coaching career. He coached at Greenville High School from 1962-1964 as the assistant football coach and the head baseball coach. During that time, Jack also used his vast knowledge of the Magnolia State as a Mississippi History teacher.

Jack served as the defensive backfield coach at Memphis State from 1965-1971 when his defense led the nation in interceptions. Jack retired from coaching at Memphis State in 1971.

Jack relocated his family to Long Beach, Mississippi to work for BFI in the solid waste industry for 21 years, managing the Mississippi Gulf Coast Operation.

He then retired in 1992, before returning to the solid waste industry in 1996 to lead all Waste Management operations for Mississippi and North Louisiana.

Jack retired for good in 2001 to move to the family farm where he spent his youth outside of Hattiesburg.

There, he loved fishing, growing his tomatoes and entertaining the Carter bunch with his sharp wit and intelligent-though-sarcastic sense of humor.

Jack was a loving father to Candy Carter, Clarence Jack Carter, Jr. (Melanie), Wallace Carter (Paige), Julie Carter Adkins and stepdaughters Shari Black (Greg) and Sarah Easley (Mark); and took great joy in being “Pawpaw Jack” to his 12 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild on the way.

Those who were blessed enough to play with him or be coached by him may have known him as Big Jack, Big 8, or Coach.

Jack had a way of commanding the room with a friendly energy that welcomed anyone. He was loved and respected not only by his family but by his friends and coworkers as well. You could always count on him to bring the laughs on any occasion with his jokes and euphemisms.

Those who have met him remember Jack’s infectious smile, the way he’d lovingly pick on you and his hugs-which are still felt long after you’ve left.

Jack was charming, intensely devoted and loved instantly by anyone who had the pleasure of crossing his path.

Jack breathed life into every conversation with his animated storytelling and laughed so fully and genuinely that you’d laugh right along with him.

Wallflowers didn’t stand a chance with Jack — if he didn’t recognize you, he’d ask “Where you from?” before giving you a chance to even slip in a handshake.

He was giving, he was kind, he was genuine and he loved life. He loved football, hunting, fishing and long drives in the country and always had a vegetable garden planted in the backyard wherever he lived.

Jack is survived by his beloved wife Beverly Carter and sister Helen Lofton (David).

He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence Carter and Helen (Short) Carter, as well as his brother, Gerald “Jerry” Carter.

Visitation will be Monday, July 17 at Moore Funeral Service in Petal, Mississippi from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The service will begin at 11:30 a.m., with burial following in Indian Springs Baptist Church in Petal, Mississippi.

If you desire to honor Jack’s giving spirit and heart for others, please consider donating to Shriners Hospitals for Children.