Whitman County Gazette 

Tony "TC" Carter

Feb. 27, 1949 - Jan. 14, 2024

 

February 1, 2024

Tony "TC" Carter

Tony Carter, more affectionately known throughout the world as TC, was born February 27, 1949, to James and Margaret Carter of Marysville, California. TC grew up around the Sacramento area the second oldest of four brothers, preceded by Mike and followed by Steve and Randy. He experienced a childhood full of adventures and shenanigans that included bringing home snakes, jumping ditches on bikes, and rebuilding cars with his dad. He graduated from Folsom High School in 1967, though he regularly reaffirmed he spent seven years in Folsom...the town, not the prison. Many believed he would either work on cars or end up in jail from causing trouble, but several of his teachers and coaches believed he had more to offer in this world. He was granted the opportunity to play football and wrestle at American River Junior College, where he met his wife of 54 years, Karen, whom he married in 1969. After two successful years at American River, he was again faced with an uncertain future. Yet again, coaches and teachers who believed in TC helped foster an opportunity for him to continue playing football and wrestling at Eastern Washington University. It was there that his first son, Andrew, was born in 1970. It was also there that TC realized he had to reconsider his future and his responsibility to his new family. After three years, he hung up his cleats and wrestling shoes, focused on his education, and went from a soft-spoken kid who only focused on athletics to making the Dean's List.

He graduated with his teaching degree in 1972 and landed his first teaching job in Kahlotus, Washington. Living in a house that backed up to the 50-yard line of the football field, TC began his career as a teacher and coach. While in Kahlotus, his daughter, Lori, was born in 1973. He taught PE and coached multiple sports for the Coyotes until he saw an opportunity to join the faculty and staff at Colfax High School. In 1977, TC, Karen, Andrew, and Lori moved to Colfax where he would go on to celebrate a delightful and fulfilling 36-year teaching career. He also celebrated the birth of his son, Bryan, in 1979. For the next nearly four decades, TC became a fixture of Colfax High School, teaching everything from Social Studies and PE to Biology and Elementary. He coached football his entire career at Colfax under his dear friends Doug Curtis and Mike Morgan, and he was also the longtime wrestling coach with Jack McBride and even at one point the baseball coach. He enjoyed summers at the lake with Bruce MacDougall and his family, and he spent other times fishing on the water with his friend and longtime English teacher Jim Madole. He served as athletic director, athletic trainer, and, as most remember him, driver's ed teacher. In essence, TC was as much a central part of Colfax High School as it was a central part of him.

Nearly every student who passed through the halls of Colfax High School had some connection to TC. Whether it was in the classroom, on the field or mat, or in the driver's ed car cruising around town (and only occasionally being stopped by a nervous student on the railroad tracks), TC loved being a teacher and coach. He coined such terms as "edumacation" and "pedestrainians" as part of his humor he shared with his students. He was dedicated to supporting students and building positive relationships just as his teachers in California had done, something that dramatically altered the course of his life. He believed in everyone's ability to get better, to learn, and to find success in life. One of his greatest joys in life, not just in his career, was watching the successes of former students, whether they got accepted into college, received a scholarship to continue athletics, got married, or started new careers. He especially loved teaching the kids of former students, namely, to tell them stories of their parents when they were at Colfax. After retiring from Colfax High School in 2013, he continued to teach driver's education in Pullman until 2020 when COVID shut the doors to his employer and forced him into permanent full-time retirement. In his final years, he enjoyed celebrating his children and grandchildren, chatting with former students in the Rosauers parking lot, driving Karen to work in Pullman, occasionally appearing at the high school to check in on everyone, and religiously watching every episode of NCIS.

TC's impact on Colfax and around the state cannot be captured in an obituary. Those who knew TC as a teacher, coach, mentor, colleague, friend, husband, father, and grandfather know all too well his imprint on this world. His passing is a passing of an era at Colfax High School, and his absence in our lives will be all too apparent. He is survived by his wife, Karen, his son Andrew and wife Renae, his daughter Lori and husband David, and his son Bryan and wife Katherine. He is also survived by his younger brother, Randy and wife Barbara. He also departed from the greatest joys of his life, his grandchildren Tristan, Juliana, Madelyn, Allison, Naomi, and Olivia. TC loved being a part of the Colfax community and being a part of so many lives. He will be deeply missed.

A celebration of life will be held at the Colfax High School football field on April 6. For more information, to share stories, and to RSVP your attendance, please visit http://www.eventcreate.com/e/tc. Corbeill Funeral Homes in Colfax is caring for the family. On-line condolences may be made at http://www.corbeillfuneralhomes.com

 

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