Belle Lee Carter died on August 31, 2011, at her home in Johnson City.
She was born on September 13, 1927, one of nine children of Charles and Lena Lee. Her earliest years were spent in Karns, Tennessee. Then the family moved to Fountain City, finally settling in Knoxville in the 1940s.
She attended Fountain City High School, where she excelled as a student and enjoyed a number of activities, including bowling and cheerleading. After graduation in 1945 she enrolled in Hiwassee College, where she was an outstanding student and was selected as one of five college beauties.
While working in the dining hall at Hiwassee as a work scholarship student she met Bill Carter, from Slant, Virginia, who was in the same program. They dated throughout their years at Hiwassee and became engaged during their final months. During that time, she participated in his decision to enter the Methodist Ministry, and supported him in his preparation.
In 1947, she returned to Knoxville and took a job, while Bill moved to Emory and Henry College, to complete his pre-ministerial studies. They were married on June 6, 1948, and lived at Emory, VA, together until 1949, when they moved to Norton, Virginia, where he was associate pastor of Norton Methodist Church and pastor of the West Norton Church. Their son, Michael Lee was born June 4, 1949, at Norton.
In 1949, they moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where Bill attended Vanderbilt University School of Religion while serving a student appointment. Later they lived in Nunnely, TN, while serving the Nunnely Circuit and finishing school.
They moved to Rose Hill, Virginia, in 1952, and served together in a number of United Methodist Churches in The Holston Conference, in Virginia and Tennessee, in which Belle took an active role, including teacher of youth classes in churches and participation in many community organizations, until moving to Johnson City in 1981 to take a position with the Holston Conference Council on Ministries Staff. They bought a house there and upon retirement in 1990 continued to live in Johnson City until her death.
She is survived by her husband, Bill, and her son, Mike (who also lives in Johnson City, and was a great resource during her final illness) as well as a sister, Mary Irwin, in Knoxville; a brother, Roy, in Sweetwater, TN; along with a host of nephews, nieces and other relatives throughout the country.
Arrangements are being made for a memorial service at First United Methodist Church, Johnson City, where she was a member, on Sunday, September 4.
The family will greet friends at 2:00 P.M. and the service will begin at 3:00. Rev. Garland Thayer will officiate and Rev. Bob Edmonds will provide the eulogy.
There will also be a memorial service at Beaver Ridge UMC between Knoxville and Oak Ridge, where she grew up, on September 10. At that service Revs. James Whedbee and Gordon Ridenour, along with the pastor, Rev. Catherine Clark Nance, will provide leadership.
Please do not send flowers. If desired you may donate to First United Methodist Church Renovation Fund of to your favorite charity.
Online condolences may be shared through www.tetrickfuneralhome.com.
Tetrick Funeral and Cremation Services, 3001 Peoples Street, Johnson City, TN 37604, (423) 610-7171 is serving the family.