Joseph Philip "Phil" Carter, 65, of Midland, passed away peacefully and surrounded by his loved ones at his home on Saturday, May 20,2023 after a courageous battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Pamela Jean Carter, and two loving children, Shelley and Clint.
Phil was born July 18, 1957 in Wilmington, North Carolina to the late Joseph Edison Carter and the late Vivian Lorene Davis Fletcher. Spending his early years near the beach imprinted a lifelong love of the ocean. The family later relocated to Cary, NC where Phil spent his formative years exploring the local woods with his friends and engaging in all the mischief young boys tend to enjoy. At the age of 6, he had the bold yet misguided idea of jumping out of a tree house while pretending to be Batman and was rewarded with two broken arms. He would later go on to play football at Cary High School, the school from which he graduated in 1975.
Following high school, Phil proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps. He loved to tell stories of his exploits while stationed in exotic locations like Okinawa, Japan, Marseilles, France, and the Philippines. Most of these stories are unfit to print. He received an honorable discharge in 1979. He also completed a tour of duty during the Iraq War serving as a Military Policeman in the US Army National Guard. At 46 years old, he was leading soldiers in their late teens and early 20s. They lovingly referred to him as "Old Man." After serving honorably, he was discharged from the National Guard with the rank of Sergeant.
For most of his career, Phil worked in the solid waste industry. During his time as Solid Waste Director of Wake County, he led hurricane relief efforts in times of emergency and was an architect of some of Wake County's earliest recycling programs. He would even take his children's school classes on guided field trips to the Wake County landfill. His work in the solid waste industry culminated in receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award given to him by the Solid Waste Association of North America. His wife lovingly referred to him as a "garbologist."
Later in life, Phil and his wife Pam, took a leap of faith and started a landscape supply company in Midland, NC. The company is still operating after 17 years. Over that time, Phil and Pam have become respected members of the community while meeting many great friends and clients along the way.
While possessing a stern streak when needed, Phil was an extremely generous and compassionate man. He served as a deacon at First Baptist Church in Cary, he volunteered at homeless shelters in Raleigh, he drove through multiple states in order to help a friend clean up hurricane damage, and he participated in the Big Brother program where he mentored a young boy who stayed a lifelong friend. Phil was an avid animal lover and adored his loyal dogs, Louis and Honey Bunny and his cat, Jack. He was always the first to offer a helping hand and the world is a slightly darker place without him. He leaves behind a lust for adventure, a passion for Harley-Davidson, and an insatiable love for his family and country.
Semper fi, Devil Dog!
His daughter, Shelley Carter, resides in Charleston, SC. His son, Clint Carter, resides in Raleigh, NC. His brother, David Carter, resides with his wife, Berna, in Southport and their children, Joseph and Philip, reside in Virginia.
The family will receive friends from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at Kate's Garden at Hartsell Funeral Home of Midland. The funeral service will be on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 at 1:00 pm at First Baptist of Cary in Cary, NC, officiated by Elder Branan Hooven. The family will receive friends at the church from 12:00 - 12:45. Burial will take place Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at 1:00 pm at the Salisbury National Cemetery at 501 Statesville Blvd., Salisbury.
Hartsell Funeral Home of Midland is serving the Carter family.