TOWN CREEK — Dorothy was born on October 16, 1931 as the second daughter of the late Catherine Davenport Austin and Rilous Austin. She grew up in Lawrence County, Alabama with her two sisters, Bessie Bea Austin Harris and the late Pearl Marie Austin Ricks-Allen. Doro- thy was raised in the loving Christian home of her grandparents, Pearl Jones Davenport and Thomas Davenport along with several aunts, uncles and cousins. During her youth, Dorothy’s family could be found in worship on Sundays at either the Macedonia Baptist Church or Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Town Creek, Alabama.
Dorothy was educated in the Lawrence County School System of Alabama and was an outstanding basketball player during high school.
She married James Wesley Carter in January 1948 and this union produced eight children: Peggy Joyce, Annie Cathern, Rilous James, Teresa Yvonne, Patrick Maloid, Tommie Marie, John Wayne and Anthony Charles. However, she had many other “children” in every community, where her family has resided, including the Salem Missionary Baptist Church Family, who refer to her as “Mama” Carter. Dorothy was truly A “Family Matriarch!” She made each of her eight children, 13 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren feel “SPECIAL.” The “common’ dis cussion when the family gathered was that each one thought he / she were the FAVORITE! She always went the “EXTRA” mile to expose her children and grandchildren to various opportunities / experiences that were not available to her during her childhood / young adult life.
Dorothy was very outgoing and a friend to anyone she met. She NEVER met a stranger! During the early 1970s, she worked as a cashier at a well-known department store on 14th Street in Union Square, NYC. This is where she met Sister Virginia Greene and they became best friends for more than 40 years. Both loved to travel, especially going on cruises to different places. They formed their own “mini travel agency.” Several times a year, they would plan special trips to The Caribbean Islands or organize a summer cruise for family and friends.
Dorothy was great with numbers and honed her computer skills, so that she was also able to be employed as a cashier for The Janice Shop on Fulton Street and The Charles Shop on Broadway in Brooklyn, NY. Her children fondly remember meeting “mom” after work on Saturday evenings, during the summer and having dinner at the famous Junior’s Restaurant, Downtown Brooklyn. Later Dorothy changed careers to become a Health Aide in Harlem, NY. Her client’s family is still friends with the Carter family today. Dorothy also used her organizational and computer skills to work in several Brooklyn Elementary Schools (PS189 and PS397) as Health Coordinator and Attendance Administrator.
From early adult life through 1969, Sister Carter and her family were very active / contributing members at First Baptist Church Town Creek, AL. After relocating to Brooklyn, NY in 1969, Dorothy became a member of First Calvary Baptist Church in the Bed-Stuy area where her cousin Zennie Bell Ricks-Oliver was a member. She later moved to the Flatbush area and joined Salem Missionary Baptist Church along with six of her children. The family quickly became active in church activities. They have been faithful members of Salem for more than 40 years. Because Sister Carter had a great love for gospel music, she sang in the Gospel Chorus (former president) and Women’s Chorus, as well as the T.J. Boyd Ensemble. Several of the selections that she sang the lead solo parts are: “I’m Pressing On,” “You Must Be Born Again” and “The Rough Side of the Mountain.” The Salem Deacons can testify that often during their monthly visits to serve Holy Communion in her Bedford Avenue home, “Mama” Carter would “break out” singing one of her “old gospel” favorites. She was also a member of Salem’s Mary McCloud Bethune Missionary Circle.
Sister Carter leaves to cherish her memory, her eight children: Peggy Carter, Annie Key (Phillips), Rilous Carter (Olivia), Teresa Carter McDonald, Patrick Carter (Noeline), Tommie Carter, John Carter and Anthony Carter (Denise); one sister, Bessie Harris; one aunt, Annie Lou Austin; one sister-in-law, Dorothy L. Carter; 13 grandchildren: Tamikia, Tacuma, Celeste, Nyeshia, Pia, Tiffani, Ron, Antoinette, Curlesia, Claudia, Egypt, Anthony Jr. and Cherese; 18 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren; a devoted caregiver for 20 years, Florence Farrell; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, whom she often spoke of fondly.
“Just Like a Grandmother’s Love”
Visitation with the family will be Wednesday, 6-8:00 p.m. Thompson and Son Funeral Home, Tuscumbia. Funeral service for Mrs. Carter will be 1:00 p.m. Thursday, March 5, 2020 First Missionary Baptist Church, Town Creek, AL. Burial in Jones Cemetery, Town Creek, AL. The body will be placed in the church at 12:00 p.m. The public viewing will be Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Thompson and Son Funeral Home, Tuscumbia, directing.