THE SEASONS OF LIFE
Coach Johnny O. Carter
“To everything, there is a season, and a time for
every purpose under the Heaven.”
Season One: Spring –KICK-OFF
From his birth on November 14, 1953 to loving parents, Harry Lee and Ora Lee Carter, Johnny’s life was inclusive of unconditional nurturing by his “village”–parents, relatives, teachers, mentors and coaches who instilled in him the value of a good education and invaluable experiences in life. As the youngest brother of the two in his family circle, Johnny developed a deep interest in sports. He became a sports enthusiast whose passion was fulfilled in the area of football. He learned every facet of football and began his future endeavors of becoming an outstanding football player–most notably as a member of his alma mater the Jones High School Tigers. Johnny’s philosophy was “to not waste any time—don’t procrastinate”, but to focus on oneself, discover who you are as a person and begin accomplishing what you want to become in life. Johnny led by example and stamina. His daily routine began with a strict regimen of workouts, bodybuilding, and exemplifying team comradery. His demeanor and dedication to football did not go unnoticed by his coaches. As a result of his physical skills and academic achievement while at Jones High School, Johnnie was awarded a scholarship to attend Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. He was the offensive lineman for FAMU whereby the team won many games and recognitions.
Season Two: Summer-LINE OF SCRIMMAGE
In the early years of his matriculation at FAMU, Johnny realized that summer was a time in your life for rewards, celebration and purpose. His dreams were centered around becoming a team member with a professional career in the NFL, which meant setting and achieving high goals and objectives. It was in Summer Season that Johnny’s declaration was simple—yet profound–“play hard, produce with excellence, achieve and excel.” He did not get off course with his vision board to complete his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from FAMU. Off the playing field, there was no question about it—Johnny was a “Renaissance Man—A fitness guru.”–he kept his physique “buffed up!” During the Summer Season Johnnie believed every person should “find” themselves and get yourself together. He stressed the fact that “winners never quit and quitters never win.” He believed in being on the winning team.
Season Three: Autumn (Fall) – SCRAMBLE
Autumn/Fall was the season Johnny loved wholeheartedly. After graduating from FAMU, he was afforded several opportunities to try-out for the NFL, but his avocation was to be a football coach. He was gainfully employed as a Physical Education teacher and coach for 29 years in the Orange County Public School System. He taught and mentored students to never stop believing and achieving in your academic pursuits. He would share with his students in order to reap the benefits of your hard work and set yourself up to finish strong, it takes effort. Coach Carter was a role model to the community–especially to his students.
Season Four: Winter –CHIP BLOCK
Coach Carter’s greatest fulfillment was to find and marry the “love of his life”—Shirley Baker. Together they enjoyed 34 years of marriage and the joys of being the devoted parents of one daughter, Ashley. Ashley was “the apple of her Daddy’s eye.” Even in the midst of some health challenges, Coach Carter remained active in his family’s lives. He was, indeed, a great provider, priest of his home and a protector of his wife, daughter and mother who just transitioned in June 2023. Winter was a Season of reflection, thanksgiving and rest for Johnny. In the midst of his journey in life, Johnny’s faith remained steadfast and unmovable. He was a faithful member of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church. He loved God’s word and was a regular attendee of Sunday School until his health declined. He also, attended Bible Study with Pastor Barnes at a previous church.
Season Five: Heaven Bound–Over There- TOUCH DOWN
On October 18, 2023, God dispatched His Angels to escort Johnnie Carter from earth to glory where there is rest beyond the river. Until we meet again, we love you, Johnny. His life and memories shall forever be cherished by his loving and devoted wife: Shirley Baker Carter; beloved daughter: Ashley Carter; brother: Harold Jerry Carter; Sister: Beverly Carter (predeceased him in death); devoted family, friends, and former students.