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Harry M. Carter, 92, of Ottumwa died May 9, 2014 at Hospice House in Ottumwa.
He was born January 17, 1922 in West Union to Willie and Lilly Kohler Carter. He married Jeannette Jansen of Farmington, IA who was teaching in Ottumwa at the time.
A graduate of West Union High School and Iowa State Teachers College, he entered into the service of his country in December of 1942. He had completed his four year degree in three and one third years by attending full time and carrying additional hours.
He served as an Aviation Student Cadet at the University of Tennessee and while there organized and directed both a military band which performed daily closing ceremonies for the post and a jazz band to provide entertainment for the post.
When the program at the University was disbanded he was reassigned to the 78th Infantry Band. At the time the Division was in final preparation for shipment overseas. The band members were classed as basic rifleman in performance of their guard duties. The band was reorganized at the conclusion of conflict and became part of the Berlin occupation troops performing ceremonial events and concerts. Tech Sgt. Harry Carter was appointed director of this band. Decorations and Citations included 2 Overseas Service Bars – European – African – Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with 3 Bronze Battle Stars – American Campaign Medal – Good Conduct Medal – World War II Victory Medal. After serving in World War II, he became a band director in Ida Grove, IA. He left his position there to open a music store in Ottumwa in 1948 as a partner of Milo Sorden who operated a store in Washington, IA.
The lives of Jeannette and Harry were nearly perfect. Why? Because of strong, parental upbringing and musical interest. This made for wonderful teamwork that contributed to daily work assignments and activities. Shortly after they were married they assumed the co-presidency of the Ottumwa Civic Music Association. This became a ten year term and they continued to serve as honorary historians. A new endeavor was to serve as presidents of and founding members of the original Ottumwa Area Arts Council. Thirty years this time was their legacy.
Harry also belonged to the Iowa Bandmasters Association (IBA), the Iowa Music Educator Association (IMEA) and National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM).
Presidency of the Ottumwa Heights College Foundation was of a local interest and he had served as president of the Ottumwa Credit Bureau. He received a 5 year Service Award from SCORE, a service award from the Ottumwa Instrumental Music Department and selection of the Mardi Gras Award one year.
Harry was a member of the Rotary Club of Ottumwa and proud to be a PAUL HARRIS FOUNDATION MEMBER. He became a member of Rotary in December of 1948, a membership he proudly held for over 60 years.
Surviving is his wife, Jeannette.
He was preceded in death by a brother, George Edwin.
Funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Mary of the Visitation with Father Bernie Weir presiding.
Burial will be in Ottumwa Cemetery with military services conducted by O.B. Nelson Post #3 American Legion and Walter B. Schafer Post #775 Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Visitation will be open after 10 a.m. today (Wednesday) at Reece Funeral Home in Ottumwa.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to be made to the Ottumwa Civic Music Association. 20u20