Cover photo for Johnnie Carter, Sr.'s Obituary
Johnnie Carter, Sr. Profile Photo
1943 Johnnie 2020

Johnnie Carter, Sr.

October 14, 1943 — July 8, 2020

Johnnie Lee Carter, Sr. the much-loved husband, father, grandfather and friend passed away the late evening of July 8th at Kaiser Hospital in Vacaville, California after surviving kidney failure and transplant for 17 years and a more recent battle with dementia.

Johnnie was born October 14, 1943 to Fred and Betty May (Goings) Carter in Dyersburg, Tennessee both of whom preceded him in death along with his older sister Flossie Carter and his nephew Fredrick Lynn Lucas.

Johnnie grew up in rural West Tennessee enjoying a life of hunting, fishing, farming and various outdoor activities. He graduated from Bruce High School in Dyersburg, Tennessee and attended Tennessee State University in Nashville where he earned a BS Degree in Agronomy, June 1965 and was drafted into the U.S. Army the same month. After his Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army he return to work with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS; formerly Soil Conservation Service) in Nashville, Tennessee.

On October 14, 1967, Johnnie was united in marriage to Dorothy M. (Fuqua) Carter to whom a son, Johnnie L. Carter, Jr. was born. While working for NRCS the family lived in Tennessee, Illinois, New Jersey, Kentucky and California. After settling in Davis, California in 1975, the family took weekend and holiday trips exploring their new state from top to bottom. He often shared, with family and friends, his passion for fishing, jewelry making and was an avid golf enthusiast.

Johnnie was known to be charming, kind, compassionate and generous. He made lasting impressions and connections with colleagues and friends. He often accomplished this through food, entertainment, fellowship and mentorship always with a desire to make a difference in their lives and their families.

While working for NRCS as a Civil Rights Administrator he created many opportunities and encouraged careers for minorities, women and individuals with disabilities that crossed several local, state and federal agencies.

Johnnie is survived by his wife Dorothy Carter, son John Carter, grandson Johnnie Lee Carter III and the special people that were a part of his immediate family and life: Maurita Dunphy, Ray (Dawn) Goings, Willard (Cece) Dixon, Frank (Eunice) Chenault, Dennis (Diana) Nolan, Nancy - his “Angel” kidney donor - (Mike) Marienau, David Branscomb, Stacie Bolden, David James Branscomb and so many Goings/Carter/Fuqua cousins and relatives.

A celebration of his life will be held at a safer time when conditions allow. To share memories and pictures of Johnnie, please sign the online guest book at More information regarding ‘virtual’ services will be made available in the future.

In leu of flowers or other gifts please consider a contribution in Johnnie Carter’s memory to the Northern California Alzheimer’s Association, Sacramento Office. You can contribute online at or by mail at 1455 Response Road, Suite 190, Sacramento, CA 95815. They can be reached by phone at 916.930.9080.


Out of the nigh that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how straight the gate.

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the Captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henly

A note of “Gratitude” from the Carter Family…

“God often sends his blessings through the thoughtful and caring people brought into our lives.”

We wish to acknowledge with deep gratitude the many comforting messages, prayers, thoughts and other expressions of love and caring for our family during this time.

Your condolences are genuinely treasured and deeply appreciated. Thank You.

The Carter Family

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Johnnie Carter, Sr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Private Family Service

Smith Funeral Home


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