Lucile Fortuna Carter, 90, passed away quietly on April 8, 2023. She was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years Don Carter (2019). Lucile and Don made Gainesville their home in 1957. Over the next six decades, they devoted much of their lives to the betterment of this community and the preservation of North Georgia's natural beauty. Simply put, Lucile and Don believed that they bettered their family when they bettered their community.
Lucile is survived by her children: Dee Ann Benton (David), Steve Carter, and Doug Carter (Sandy), all of Gainesville; her grandchildren Laura Lane Louie (Thomas) of Greenville, SC, Mark Benton (Lindsey) of Long Beach, CA, and Lauren Carter of Atlanta, GA; and four great grandchildren, Ann Carter Louie, Camille Louie, Emmie Benton, and Kate Benton. She is also survived by her brother Don Fortuna (Genevieve) of Asheville, NC and her sister Lee Glover (David) of Dothan, AL. Lucile was preceded in death by her parents, Lou and Louis Fortuna, daughter Carol Lane Carter, grandson Shaw Carter, and brother Ken Fortuna.
Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Lucile (Cile) spent her early years in Biloxi, MS and later moved with her family to Atlanta. A graduate of Druid Hills High School (1950,Salutatorian), Lucile went on to Mercer University in Macon where she joined her beloved Phi Mu Sorority and eventually, graduated with an AB in History (1953, Suma cum laude). It was during her sophomore year that she met Don, and they were married at Christmas during their senior year.
Following Don's service in the army (Camp Stewart), the couple brought their young family to Gainesville where a new chapter of service began. Lucile focused her volunteerism on education, the arts, and historical preservation. What began as a term on the Enota Elementary PTA, would culminate in serving 13 years on the Gainesville City Schools Board of Education (Chairman 1980-82). During the 1960's and 70's, Lucile was a powerful voice for inclusion and peace during the Civil Rights Movement and the desegregation of the city school system. In later years, one of her greatest joys was the Gainesville High Booster Club which she and a dedicated group of volunteers founded and promoted for the enrichment of every grade level and field of study in the system. In 2009, Lucile's service was honored with the first honorary degree from Gainesville High School. Lucile was also a Trustee of the Gainesville Junior College and a Trustee of Mercer University.
Other service included the Gainesville Community Foundation, the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board, and Lucile was past president of the Gainesville Junior Service League. She was a member of The First Baptist Church of Gainesville, teaching Sunday School for 12 years. The Gainesville Rotary Club honored Lucile as "Woman of the Year" in 1988.
Throughout their lives, Lucile and Don were avid supporters and collectors of local artists and craftsmen (many of them women). Lucile served on several boards related to her love of the arts, the Georgia Citizens for the Arts, and Gainesville's Quinlan Visual Arts Center. In 2022, the Quinlan honored Lucile for her lifetime of service with the title of "Honorary Trustee."
As an extension of her love of the arts (and antiques), Lucile served on the Georgia Trust for Historical Preservation and the Georgia Mountains Historical and Cultural Trust. One of Don and Lucile's first forays into historic preservation was the restoration of Candler Street Elementary School.
On a far larger scale, Don and Lucile developed the second home community of "Skylake" in Sautee, GA. Previously a summer camp, Don and Lucile preserved the existing structures and added a working General Store and a Drug Store Museum. While the stores are no longer there, the development is now comprised of over 700 permanent and second homes.
Don and Lucile saw the "dream of a lifetime" come true on July 15, 2013, with the opening of "Don Carter State Park." As the only state park on Lake Lanier, their vision was affordable access and recreation for all people regardless of economic or social standing.
None of these would have been possible without the friendship and support of Jimmy Carter. What began with Lucile and Don handing out "Carter for Governor" buttons on a Green Street parade route would end up not so many years later watching President Carter and First Lady Rosalyn walking up Pennsylvania Avenue. Lucile's service included appointment to the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women and Don served 29 years on the Board of Natural Resources. Lucile also served as a delegate to the 1972 and 1976 Democratic National Conventions where she was a passionate (but sweetly southern) voice for the rights of women and minority groups.
In closing, Lucile Carter taught her children, "Your sense of self-worth should never come at the expense of someone else's sense of self-worth. Be kind and compassionate." Her love of family, friends, and community were direct expressions of her kindness and compassion, and a life guided by Jesus' teachings.
At Lucile's instruction, there will not be a memorial service, only a private, graveside service. However, if you would like to celebrate her life... Read a book with a child...Laugh with Snoopy... Buy a work of art... Dine out...Listen to Tony Bennett...Cheer on the Braves and Go Big Red athletics and theatre!...Take a walk in the State Park and admire the beauty of North Georgia.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made to the "Shaw Carter Memorial Fund" at Young Harris College, P.O. Box 275, Young Harris, GA 30582. Lucile's grandson Shaw love his time at YHC every bit as much as Lucile loved her time at Mercer. Shaw's Fund helps current students overcome unexpected financial challenges that might otherwise force them to drop out. The Fund comes to the rescue and enables these students to realize their dreams, as Shaw did his.
With deepest appreciation for their care, the family thanks: Dr. Bill Coates, Eloise Sheats, Brenda Hulsey, Liz Adams, Cathy Davis, Jamieson Allen, Ann Piselli, Dr. Art Powell, Suzette Watson, Lara McHugh, Debra Cohen, Nianne Timpone, Haydee Hurtado and family, Scotty Barton and the Staff of Riverside Pharmacy, Tracy Vardeman, Lucile's physicians and their staffs, Idiat Falada, and the Hospice and Palliative Care Teams of NGMC especially Dayna, Kerry, Rosa, Kesha, Katrina, and James.
In addition to the individuals named in the obituary, the Carter family wishes to thank the hundreds of friends and family members who made up Lucile and Don's "Village." Thank you for your support, your friendship, and your laughter; Dr. Bill and Jeanne Coates, Dr. Don Harp, Helen Maginnis, Eloise Sheats, Teresa Wilder, Ronald Sheats, Bobbie Murphy, Jess and Mary Murphy and family, Dee and Nita Murphy and family, Wiley and Shirley McEver and family, Dan and Mary Ross Carter and family, J.D. and Craven Engels and family, Harold and Irene Benton, Malcolm and Ann McCormick, Lynda Dean and family, Ben and Sue Louie and family, Mark and Leslie Nunnelly, Sue Randolph and family, Gina Waters and family, Paul and Jane Wilgus and family, Camille Massey, Lucia Massey, Gillie Holme, President Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, Senator Zell and Shirley Miller, Governors and First Ladies, Busby, Harris, Purdue, Deal, Lonice and Carol Barrett, Rep. Ed and Jo Jenkins, Senator David and Luck Gambrell, Jack and Flo Crockford, Billy and Sybil Carter, Jack Moore, Dot Padget, Charlie Kirbo, Pete McTier, Cathy Cox, Rep. Joe T. and Helen Wood, Harris Blackwood, Rosemary Dodd, Gene and Happy Kirkpatrick and family, Lessie Smithgall, Abit and Kayanne Massey, George and Starlet Jones and family, Buddy and Evie Langston, Phillip and Mary Hart Wilheit, Dr. Arden and Jean Hothem, Paul and Patsy Seals and family, Ray and Madge Burch and family, Madge Mathews Harper and family, Tommy and Jimmie Aaron, Louis Foster, Marie Morton, Clara Martin, Dr. Hal and Caroline Silcox, Jerry and Lavinia Head, John and Martha Jacobs and family, Doug Ivester, The Norton Family, Wendell Starke, Dub and Joanne Bagwell, William Bagwell, Charlie and Mary Jim Musselwhite and family, Sam and Jane Oliver and family, Ed Nivens, Jim and Peggy Walters, Jim Smithson and family, John and Mary Lou Melvin and family, Dr. Dick and Mary Emma Stribling, Carlisle and Bernice Cox, Wayne and Ruby Abernathy, Jack and Janice Frost, David and Connie Waller, Art and Kay Kunzer and family, Harry and Lucy Bagwell and family, Jim and Francis Mathis, Johnny and Peggy Vardeman, Ray and Jean McRae and family, The Romberg Family, Carl Romberg and Bret Herbert, Judge Rick Story, Judge Andy and Gay Fuller, Judge Bill and Betty Gail Gunter and family, Sheriff Bob Mecum, Kit Dunlap and Whitney Dunlap, Sammy Smith, Richard Shockley and family, Richard and Sandra Hunt, David and Jessie Carmon, Gary and Dr. Denise Funk and family, John Canada, Joel Canada and families, Chris Hunt and family, Tommy Gooch and family, Jimmy and Lyn Martin, Robert Knowles, Winston Knowles, Forest and Pat Kellogg, Leonard and Jean Ledbetter, Joe Tanner, Bill Donohue, Carl Rogers, Tommy and Joan Sheffield, Nath Hayes, Duncan Doby, Grady Jarrard, Wayne Langford and family, Rufus and Angela Brown and family, Don and Ruth Wade, Howard Bridges, Becky Fausett and family, Ginny Stump, Claire Bell, Liz Coates, Mark and Joy Green, Tommy and Nairika Cornett and family, Tom Oliver, Shirley Gailey, Whitey and Mary Butler, Nancy Ponder, Don and Joey Brewer, Wade Lindorme, Dave and Edith Rankin, Jerry Nix, Jimmy and Ethel Caras, Dr. Jim Rogers and family, Jack and Norma Jean Duane, Michael Cooper, Susan Carpenter Beasley and family, Tane Shannon, Brenau Point Neighbors, Grayson and Nellie Hill, The Dill family, Louise Woodcock Murphy, Charlie and Ruby Edmondson, John and Dudley Davis, Dr. Leland and Betty Pool and family, Louis and Eloise Carmon, Dr. Jim and Lynn Froelich, Fred and Marilyn Meier, Dr. Jimmy and Dot Burns, Tom and Alice Ann Mundy, Bobby and Jean Gruhn, Mathew Gruhn, Jack and Sandra Bailey, Judge Bill House, Dr. Wanda Creel and family, Margie Braff and family, Carol Roark, Lisa Geyer, The GHS Booster Club, Toby Roper, Martha Lipscomb and family, Keith and Lyda Grogan, Jim Grogan, Jean Parker, Jay Mundy, Andy Mundy, Alvin Gibbs, Ron Cleary, Bradley Lawson, Don and Angela Canup, Duncan Dobie, J.K. Crumley, Charlie and Joanne Frierson and family, Harold and Diane Reheis, Tom and Maria Caulkins, Bobby and Sissy Lawson, Ed Garrett, Martha Godfrey, Carlos Dominguez, John and Ann Michelle Lilly, Christina Jones, Bobbie Denton, Warren and Jamie Stribling, Rusty Hopkins, Duane and Sheri Schlereth, John and Betty Carter and family, Linda Cobb, Ed and June Wayne, Harry and Betty Wing, Austin and Regina Edmondson, Woody and Linda Stewart, Brook Davidson, Ben and Daisy Carter and family, Dr. Marianne Dyer, Dr. Shirley Whitaker, Dr. Bill and Pam Ware and family, Myrtle Figeuras, Ray and Wyoma Newman, Major Nelson, Helen Fish Lacey, Curtis and Nell Segars, Ben and Laurie Mason, Ruth Bruner, Harold and Dianne Reheis, George Wangeman, Lydia Sartain, Gordon and Jean Sawyer, Robin and Paula Sawyer, Dr. Hamil and Alma Murray and family, Heyward Hosch, Bimbo Brewer, John and Jane Hemmer, David and Patsy Mercer, Lorry and Sherrie Schrage, Tharpe and Judy Ward, Jimmy Echols, Ron Quinn, Dr. Del Mixon, Mickey and Kat Long and family, Melvin and Deborah Cooper and family, Henry and Tracy Troutman, Charlie and Jo Farr, Jon Cronic, Baba Farley, Guy and Pinkie Cabe and family, Marqueritte Judson and family, Dorothy Baylor and family, Ed and Debbie Puckett and family, Tyler Puckett, Jane Taylor, Mitch Blaylock, Diane Blaylock, Chuck Yates, Judy Nunn Nomura, John and Claire Cannon, Bob and Daughtry King, Jack McFarland, David and Teresa Syfan, Carol Brinson Moore, Larry Griffith and Tina Carlson, Horace Jennings, Alan Waters, Jennifer Romberg, Doug and Tavia McCuen and family, Dick and Cherry Valentine and family, Martha Norton Hodge and family, Rob and Leslie Fowler, Jane Pirkle Pitts, Perry and Beth Strickland, John and Lisa Stump, Tom and Susan Lefevre, Ken Burnett, Jane Fleming, Wesley and Greta Martin, Dr. Steve and Sharon Farkas, Burton and Joyce Stephens, David Dye, Wade and Celine Stribling, Dr. Susan Thompson and Mrs. Billie Thompson, "Mr. Wade" and Betty and family, Frank and Lilly Mae Green, Ronnie Green, Jim and Carolyn Hartley, Jean Cornett, Brent and Laura Goodman and family, Ed and Beth Waller, Phil and Kim Davis, Jimmy and Betsy Adams, Danny Dunagan and staff of 3D Dry Cleaners, Paul Smith Cleaners, Meta Cronia and family, John Ferguson and family, Steve and Carol Burrell, John and Tracy Vardeman, Dr. Mahlon Delong, Dr. Antonio Rios, Dr. Steven Arminio, Dr. Jay Hortenstein, Dr. Pepper and Clarissa Brown, Dr. Jeff and Hart Payne, Dr. Michael and Janine Callahan, Dr. Henry and Elizabeth Jennings, Dr. James Jackson and family, Dr. Eddie and Hazel Jackson, Dr. Stratton and Lynn Kearns, Dr. Jim and Wynelle Butts, Dr. Hop Ferran, Dr. Lalitha Bandi, Dr. John Sundstrum, Dr. Cacia Soares-Welch, Dr. Dimpu Patel, Dr. April McDonald, Dr. Jeff Pierce, Dr. Abdullah Asreb, Dr. Tolulope Olunuga and VA staff, Dr. Shaena Blevins, Laura Banner, NP, Dr. Martin and Margaret Smith, Dr. Robert and Betty Jennings and family, Dr. Phillip and Kate Zoercher, Dr. Randy and Suzanne Phillips, Dr. Jody Whisenant, Marie Stover, Parish-Childs and staff, Dr. David Johnson, Dr. Vann Johnson, Dr. Ed Shannon, Kim Parks, Lee Watkins, Teresa Samples, Lisa Hulsey, Tywonna Whelchel, Juan Luna and staff, Richard and Bonnie Lecain, Teresa Thompson, Trudy Bailey, Angel Price, Angela Braswell, Tim Bunch and staff of Longstreet Cafe, Scott Dixon and family and staff, Jim O'Kelley, Jay O'Kelley, Charlie Underwood, Rhonda Cheshire, Louise Brewer, Karen Barrett, Elaine Doering, Joel Williams and Jaemor Farms, Wesley and Suzanne Gailey, Mintz Jewelers, Nell Townsend, Joe Townsend, Janice Roper, Gainesville Jewelry, Christopher, Travis Massey, Peter Hughes, Talmadge and Jimmie Hulsey, Joyce Merck and staff, The Dimo family and staff, Doyle Hulsey, Bud the Magnificent, David Nulty, Henry Kaufmann, Jerry Stover and family, Martin Burgess and family, The Staff of Don Carter State Park, The Friends of Don Carter State Park, Will Wagner, Will Hicks, Rabbit Town Cafe, Lee Phoung and staff, Lawrence Pharmacy Grill, Scott Douglas, Angler's Sunday School Class, Gran and Bonnie Scoffield, Richard and Betty Higginbotham, Margie Watkins, Clay Dale, Piano Teacher Mrs. Ball, Mrs. Linderman and "Bessie", Mr. Shield's Barber Shop, The sales staff of Ronald's, Shirley's, Modree's, and Frierson's, The Cake Box, The Elks Club, The Bowling Alley, Imperial, Georgiana, Nicholson's, Bamboo Gardens, The Beef Corral, The Teachers and Coaches, The Keepers of the Fast Food Windows, The Yard men, the Tree men, The Newspaper carriers, The Mail carriers, The Sanitation workers, the Leaf collectors, The Fireman, the Police, the EMT's, The cats, the dogs, the gerbils, the rabbits, the flying squirrels, the quail, the deer, the fish, the turtles, the frogs, the lightning bugs, Druid Hills High School, Class of 1950, Mercer University, Class of 1953, Phi Mu Society.
Those wishing to send online condolences to the family may do so at littledavenport.com
Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory, 355 Dawsonville Highway, SW, Gainesville, Georgia 30501 is in charge of arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lucile Fortuna Carter, please visit our floral store.