Keith A. Carter

Friday, February 11, 2011

Keith Allen Carter was born on Oct. 8th, 1932, on a farm in Northeast Sac County to Clifford Amer Carter and Ora Whitesitt Carter. He passed away on Feb. 6, 2011 at Trinity Regional Hospital, Ft. Dodge, at the age of 78.

Funeral services will be held Monday, Feb. 14, 2011 at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Newell. Visitation will be held Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011 from 3-5 p.m. at the Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Newell. Burial will be in the Newell Cemetery. The Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Newell is in charge of the arrangements.

As a youth, he attended Douglas # 1, a one-room country school in Sac County. After graduating from 8th grade, he attended Newell High School in Newell. While in high school he participated in band, choral activities, drama productions, was an accompanist for many groups, and was a cheerleader.

He graduated from High School as Salutatorian in 1950. Immediately after graduation he went to Minneapolis, Minn., where he attended Gale Institute, a railroad school. He was trained to be a depot agent and telegrapher at the Institute. In March of 1951 he accepted a job with the Illinois Central Railroad, breaking into the job under the tutelage of Skeet Rowan at the Newell Iowa depot. He served many towns in the Iowa Division as a telegrapher. His longest stints included Peosta, Woods Tower in Dubuque, and Scales Mound and Galena, Ill. While in Dubuque, and working a midnight to eight A.M. shift in 1955, he enrolled in college at the University of Dubuque. While working full time and attending college full time, he majored in Social Studies and Education and minored in English. He graduated from the University of Dubuque in 1958. It was always a source of satisfaction to him that he had completely financed his higher education without help.

Keith took a job in Lake Zurich, Ill. as a 6th grade teacher. Here he spent four years and was a member of the Evangelical and Reformed Church in Lake Zurich.

In 1962, looking for adventure and fulfilling a dream to see the world, Keith took a job in Tripoli, Libya, teaching for the Oil Companies School. This was a very rewarding job. It was his privilege to teach many foreign students, as well as Americans. The country was beautiful and contained many archeological sites, which appealed to his love of history and travel. He was very active in the Union Church of Tripoli, teaching Sunday School, serving on the Church Council, playing piano for church, and accompanying the church choir. He also took part in community concerts, Broadway productions, and was an active supporter of Little League Baseball. Keith trained many official scorers for the Little League.

The United States government requested all Americans leave Libya in 1982. It was with great sorrow that he departed. The twenty years he taught in Libya were extremely rewarding and happy ones. But he considered himself lucky enough to obtain a teaching job in Saudi Arabia working for the world's largest oil company, Saudi Aramco. He was assigned to the Aramco camp of Ras Tanura, where he spent the next 10 years teaching 6th grade until his retirement in 1992. The most interesting time in Ras Tanura was during the Gulf War. Ras Tanura was one of the main targets of Iraq and many scud missiles were launched into the area. His duties included teaching drama at the school. He was a member of the Ras Tanura Protestant Fellowship, played for church, accompanied the choir, and served on the church council. He took part in several drama productions, his favorites being Barnum, Annie, and Harvey. He also played dinner music for many banquets and functions.

After retirement in 1992, Keith moved back to Newell. For two years he taught English as a Second Language in Storm Lake, to Laotian and Hispanic students at North Elementary School. He also began to work on his Arab Heritage House as a museum in his own home. Finally in 1995, the museum was open to the public. The number of visitors who came to view his Middle East collection gratified him. He continued to enjoy living in Newell and was interested in school activities. He enjoyed basketball and football games, speech, drama, and musical events, at the local high school.

He continued to travel, adding to the more than 100 countries he had previously visited.

He gave many talks about the Middle East in the area, and played the piano for the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church in Fonda.

Watching many of his students achieve success as adults provided Keith much satisfaction. He continued to visit and correspond with the many friends he made while overseas, which gave him great pleasure.

He is survived by his brother Marshall (Janice) Carter of Alamogordo, N.M.; 2 nieces; numerous cousins; and a very large group of friends who still love him.

Memorial contributions may be made to your choice of the Newell Public Library, the Keith Carter Scholarship Trust Fund (for students graduating from the Newell-Fonda High School), or Otsego Place Assisted Living. They may be mailed to: In Memory of Keith Carter, c/o P.O. Box 392, Newell, Iowa 50568-0392.