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Celebration of Gale Carter’s life Saturday | Passages

Gale Carter ... pioneered convalescent care on San Juan Island. - Carter family photo
Gale Carter ... pioneered convalescent care on San Juan Island.
— image credit: Carter family photo

A community memorial and potluck is scheduled Aug. 1, 3-5 p.m., at Mullis Community Senior Center for Gale Burton Carter, a pioneer in convalescent care on San Juan Island.

Mr. Carter passed away July 23 at home, surrounded by his family. He was 83.

Mr. Carter was born Aug. 16, 1925 in Seattle to Orrie and Adah Carter. He graduated from Lincoln High School, was stationed in Hawaii in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and then played football for the Huskies at University of Washington.

He and Doreen Rogers married while he was attending U.W. They had known each other since they were 3 and had been high school sweethearts.

Mr. Carter was a truck driver delivering home heating oil, and Mrs. Carter was a registered nurse at a retirement center when they were recruited by a community organization that had formed to open a convalescent center on San Juan Island. Members of the group included Ella Dightman and Dr. Malcolm Heath.

The Carters moved to the island in 1966; Islands Convalescent Center opened in Friday Harbor in 1967.

The Carters sold ICC in the 1980s and built what is now Best Western Friday Harbor Suites as a retirement community. The economy wasn’t right at the time for such a venture, and they were compelled to sell it as a hotel. They retired until 1997, when they opened Carter’s Place at The Oaks; Carter’s Place accommodated as many as six residents.

Mrs. Carter passed away in 2004 and her daughter, Claudia, continued to operate Carter’s Place until earlier this year.

Mr. Carter is survived by his children, Greg Carter and his wife, Lisa, of San Juan Island; Kate Carter, of Orcas Island; Laurie Carter-Piff and her husband, Mark, of St. Louis, Mo.; Claudia Piff and her husband, Jonathan, of Friday Harbor; Roger Carter and his wife, Jane, of Bellingham; and Candace Roseberry and her husband, David, of Orcas Island.

He is survived by his grandchildren, Alexis Carter, of San Juan Island; Yaro Goodrich, of Orcas Island; Koshalla Flockoi, of Port Angeles; Locket Goodrich, of Bellingham; Tony Piff, of Portland, Ore.; Ben Piff, of Portland, Ore.; Alexandra Piff, of Friday Harbor; Stuart Piff, of South Lake Tahoe, Calif.; Elliot Piff, of Bishop, Calif.; Tom Carter, of Bellingham; Dan Carter, of Bellingham; Olivia Roseberry, of Orcas Island; Tom Roseberry, of Seattle; and Anna Roseberry Donaghue of California.

He is survived by his great-grandchildren, Vincent Carter, of Friday Harbor; Chase Haws, of Friday Harbor; Lewis Haws, of Friday Harbor; Jaden Goodrich, of Bellingham; Kiah Goodrich, of Bellingham; Markie Maze Piff, of Portland, Ore.; and Xavier Alexander Roseberry Donaghue, of California.

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