In Memory of John Michael Carter (1977)
Friends, family, and colleagues visited Monday 10/27/97 at the Hines-Rinaldi
Funeral Home in Silver Spring
The service was held Tuesday 10/28/97 at Church of Christ at Manor Woods on
Norbeck Road in Rockville - Interment Parklawn Cemetery. Close to 3,000
people attended, coming from around the country, including 300 from Boston,
three busloads from New York, and a dozen from Canada to pay respects.
There was a 2-mile, half-hour long procession down Norbeck Road (Route 28)
to Veirs Mill Road and to John's final resting place at Parklawn.
Family and friends met afterwards at the Public Service Training Academy in
A trust fund has been set-up for John's 8-year old son, Brian. Donations can
be sent to John M. Carter Memorial Fund, Chevy Chase Bank, 10159 New
Hampshire Avenue (Hillandale), Silver Spring, MD 20903
Sergeant Was Member Of Firefighting Family
Death of John Carter, 38, `Hits Really Hard'
By Amy Klein, Washington Post Staff Writer
From The Washington Post, Metro Section - Saturday, October 25 1997, Page H8
The first District firefighter to die while battling a blaze in 13 years came from a close-knit family
that has often responded to the call of the fire alarm. John Carter, 38, [Class of 1977] lived in
Wheaton, just a few houses away from two other career firefighters -- his father and brother. "I've always
said it takes a special breed to be a firefighter, and it runs in that family." said Ray Sneed, president of
International Association of Firefighters, Local 36.
Carter, who died at daybreak yesterday [10/24/97] inside a blazing corner grocery store, joined the
Kensington Volunteer Fire Department in Wheaton at age 19, moving on to become a member of the D.C.
Fire Department five years later. He received one of the most sought-after promotions -- to the rank of sergeant -- last month.
"As a sergeant, you are the person in charge of a company, so you are one of the first ones through
that burning door." Sneed said.
Yesterday, Carter led two other firefighters into the thick smoke of the burning store. When the billowing
smoke forced their retreat, only two of them emerged.
Firefighters at the Kensington company, where Carter worked from 1978 to 1983, yesterday remembered him as
one who was deliberate and careful. "He did what was expected of him, and he was never careless," said Thomas E. Jones,
fire chief at Kensington. "He had a very warm and welcoming family." John's father, Roy Carter, Sr., is a retired
Montgomery County fire chief. His younger brother, James Carter [Peary Class of 1980], is a District firefighter,
who also volunteers 12 hours a week with the Kensington fire department. Jeffrey Deitz, Carter's brother-in-law,
also is a District firefighter, D.C. fire officials said. "It hits really hard," Jones said. "Number one, it's a
member of this family, and two, it's a fireman. It kind of hits home."
John Carter, his wife, Debbie, and their 8-year old son, Brian, were active members of
the Wheaton community, friends said. Like many members of the Carter clan, John belonged to the local
Moose Lodge chapter. "He was just real involved with his family," said Dennis Fitzgerald, governor of
the Moose Lodge in Wheaton. "He was always with his father and his brothers, and it was rare that they
did anything without each other." Fitzgerald said the Carters were active in planning children's events,
like Christmas parties or the upcoming Halloween bash, and his family participated in virtually every
Return to the Memorial Page
Return to the People News Page
Return to the MSO Main Page