Marjorie H. (Mc- Coy) Carter passed away peacefully at her home, the old Carter Ranch house built in 1922, in the early morning of Tuesday, Oct. 9. Her wish was to be in the house that held her life memories surrounded by family, with her two cats by her side.
Marjorie was born to Alice and Jesse McCoy in Fresno, on Feb. 12, 1924. She was one of 11 children, nine surviving, 10 girls and one boy. Her siblings included three sets of twins. The family later moved to Southern California where Marjorie grew up and attended school. She was a talented artist and after graduating from high school, received a four-year scholarship to a prestigious art school. Future events, however, would change that path.
On a trip to Mariposa with her sister Marie Brookins, whose father-in-law, Pop Brookins, had a sawmill in the Plumb Bar Creek area, Marjorie met the handsome George Carter. It was love at first sight and their relationship led to a marriage of 54 years, and two sons, Chuck and Mike.
George and Marge settled down on the Carter Ranch where they helped with the ranch operations, cattle, mining and the Carter sawmill. Marge’s mill job was one of the more demanding jobs: taking the lumber off the edger and stacking it on the deck.
During these times, hunting was an important part of the food supply and Marge was credited with being the best shot in the family. The problem was, she always got her deer first and then ended up having to cook for the rest. She eventually told the other hunters that she was done with that and they would have to cook for themselves!
Ranching and mill work was physically demanding, so she decided to take on some work in town. She worked for the Radanovichs at their drug store, the old Kelly Corner Store, and eventually as a nurse’s aide at John C. Fremont Hospital. She loved being involved in the medical field and went back to school to get a nursing license.
She spent 37 years at John C. Fremont Hospital, where she was highly regarded, before retiring. In her retirement she often traveled, seeing many parts of the world and collecting an international assortment of Santas. Retirement also brought more time to dote on her boys, with her grandson, Wakova, taking the number one spot.
Seventeen years ago, the Carter Ranch Music Festival started in the meadow below Marge’s house. From her front porch she could oversee the show and enjoy the music. Even though some of the music wasn’t her favorite style, she never complained. She strongly supported the event, loved seeing friends and meeting new people.
Marge was always adamant about her appearance and her hair was priority. Fortunately, her nephew, Trent Williams, was her hair dresser and always kept her hair in top shape. Even in her last days, the one thing she kept saying was that she needed Trent to fix her hair, which he did. That gave her great comfort and peace.
Marjorie was strong-willed and determined to keep her independence. She was always saying, “Go home, I can do that.” She had always been the family caregiver and it was difficult for her to pass that role on to those she had cared for.
She is survived by her two sons, Chuck Carter and Mike Carter; grandson, Wakova Carter; daughter-in-law, Linda Carter; brother, Wesley McCoy; sisters, Patt Turrell, Ethel Howell and Charlotte Hall; and also many nieces and nephews.
She will be deeply missed.
A memorial service and reception will be held Nov. 17 at the St. Joseph Catholic Church. Mass will start at 10 a.m. with a graveside service to follow, and a reception will be held at the parish hall.
If desired, donations may be made in her honor to Monsignor Walsh Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 215, Mariposa, CA 95338.