Laurance Carter passed away on Tuesday, March 13 at Sharkey Issaquena Community Hospital in Rolling Fork. He was born in Rolling Fork on December 6, 1930, to Yolande and Wallace Carter, the youngest of their five children. He graduated from Rolling Fork High School in 1948 and from Mississippi State University in 1952, where he majored in animal husbandry and was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. He served his country as a pilot in the US Army from 1952 to 1956, including sixteen months in Korea. He married Joyce Gibson on April 26, 1953, and on his desk, in Korea, he kept a photo of her holding their infant son, who was born while he was overseas. She preceded him in death in 2013.
Like many in the Delta, “Mr. Laurance” began farming as a boy, running the original 160 acres jointly with his brothers Jimmie Dick and Wallace when their father died in 1943. Just as they were mentored by farmers in the community on how to run the farm, Laurance continued to mentor people all his life, to the Boy Scout he led, to those he taught in Sunday School, to being the patient father, uncle, and grandfather who taught young folks to drive, and to the many, many people in the South Delta for whom he was a model of what a Christian should be. He was a Lifetime Deacon of First Baptist Church of Rolling Fork.
He served the South Delta in many ways. He was a member of the Yazoo Mississippi Delta Water Management District since its inception. He was a former board member with Farmers Grain Terminal and with Farmers Inc. In 2005 he was named Mississippi’s Farmer of the Year. He was especially proud to serve the area as a commissioner on the Mississippi Levee Board, a position he held from 1998 to 2010.
He is survived by his son Gip Carter of Rolling Fork, his daughter Sue Carter Wood (Rob) of Findlay, Ohio, and granddaughter Laura Simmons of Columbus, Ohio. He is also survived by his brother Jimmie Dick Carter and sister-in-law Leta Carter of Rolling Fork; sister-in-law Jo Anderson of Anguilla; and sister- and brother-in-law Rose and Dee Ready of Richton, Mississippi. He was a loving uncle to multiple generations of Carters, Harkeys, Weidigs, Beerys, Smiths, Maynes, Tates, Abneys, Andersons, and Readys.
Services will be held Monday, March 18 at First Baptist Church of Rolling Fork. Visitation begins at 10, with the service at 12. Burial will be at Mound Cemetery. Pallbearers are Phillip Byrd, Gene Boykin, Todd Heigle, Eddie Holcomb, Bill Newsom, Marlon Nichols, Kelly Perry, and Thad Virden. Honorary pallbearers are the Men’s Sunday School class.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to First Baptist Church of Rolling Fork (205 S. 2nd St., Rolling Fork, Mississippi 39159) or the Sharkey Issaquena Medical Foundation (47 S. 4th St., Rolling Fork, Mississippi 39159).