GALLIPOLIS — One local man is not only in the exclusive centenarian club but is a member of the greatest generation.
Norvin (Jack) Carter of Gallipolis, a veteran who served in World War II, recently turned 104 on Nov. 8.
Judy and Russell Fellure are Carter’s neighbors and they describe him as being like a “second dad” to them both.
“When choosing the guest list to invite for his (birthday) party, it was a hard decision to make, because the list could have gone on and on, so I tried to choose from different sources that have been a part of his life for years,”Judy said. “He no longer attends his church, but his church family have not forgotten him so some were invited from his church. He has been retired from Buckeye Rural Electric for over 50 years, but still maintains a great friendship with several of the ones he worked with all those years ago so a couple of his close friends from work were invited – as well as several of us who have been fortunate enough to be adopted into his family for the last several years.”
Judy said Carter has witnessed many things that most have only read or heard about in history class, like the signing of the peace treaty between Japan and the United States, is just one of the examples of his service to his country.
“He was fortunate enough to get to go on one of the Honor Flights to Washington when he was 100 years old, and took his first airplane ride at 100,” Judy said. “Wasn’t frighten, just excited to be a part of that trip. He is a great storyteller and knows his facts. Russell and I often search Jack’s brain when we are trying to remember a certain event or name, and most generally he has the answer for us.”
As Judy put it, Carter is a “very unique man” who can “take you back over the history of his life and the county in which he lives.”
She explained: “(He) remembers names and places that the rest of us have to struggle to come up with. Russell and I had him over for a meal last week, and he still drives himself to our house. Went over last week to help him put in a new phone that the vets had sent to him to assist in his hearing, and the cord had to be threaded through a wall that was not easy to reach. Since I couldn’t seem to be able to find it in the wall, he got down on the floor and laid down and patiently worked at it until he got a hold of it. I said, ‘I can’t believe I couldn’t get that wire through.’ He said, ‘Forty years of experience searching and threading wires through different places.’ Together we worked it out, and got him a new phone to use. But his ingenuity and thought process are still very much intact. Over the years, he has taught me how to look at something from a different point of view – if you can’t make it work one way, there is usually another way to do it. He has been a great teacher, mentor, second dad, and wonderful friend to Russell and me.”
Carter’s birthday party was celebrated with the Fellures, as well as Bernice Stowers, Mary Proffitt, Harry Lee Fellure, Don Perkins, Wilbur Johnson, Harold and Betty Walker, Pheobe Coffee, Martha Swisher, Lillia and Jane Haner, Jean Gillespie, Elmer and Cathy Parsons.
Birthday cards and well wishes for one of Gallia County’s greatest generation can be sent to Norvin (Jack) Carter, 1064 State Rt. 218, Gallipolis, Ohio 45631.
Article submitted By Judy L. Fellure.
(Editor’s note: A special salute to veterans appears inside this edition.)