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Martha Howard McCarter

Martha Howard McCarter, 93, of Fox Squirrel Ridge Cir., Pickens, S.C., widow of Col. Elmer Heath McCarter, passed away Saturday, July 6, 2013, at Baptist Easley Hospital in Easley, S.C. She was born on Dec. 24, 1919, in Barnesville, Ga., a daughter of the late John Morgan and Martha Leona Fullerton Howard. She grew up in Barnesville, Ga., and excelled in school, earning nine gold medals including medals from the Daughters of the American Revolution for the highest history grade and from the Women’s Christian Temperance Union for an essay on Temperance. She graduated from the high school department of Gordon Military College high school in 1936. The same year she won the Miss Barnesville beauty contest, and was named sponsor for Company C of Gordon College’s battalion. She attended Gordon Junior College, where she met her future husband, Lt. E.H. McCarter, who was commandant of cadets at Gordon Military College. The popular young couple were married in Barnesville in 1938 at the country home of her parents. As an Air Force officer’s wife, she travelled extensively with her two children, Jackson and Andrea McCarter, during her marriage, managing multiple moves, and opened her home to her young nieces, Judith Hahn Young and Linda Hahn Upton, for different periods as well. Military assignments took them to College Park, Ga., Clemson, S.C., Ocala, Fla., Walterboro, S.C., Greenville, S.C., Long Island, N.Y., Albuquerque, N.M., Hawaii (two tours), Pittsburgh, Penn., Washington, D.C., Montgomery, Ala., Tokyo, Japan, Hampton, Va., Fayetteville, N.C., and Waco, Texas. She was continually active in supporting her husband’s career, and served as president of the Officer’s Wives Club in 1959 in Hawaii. She was also a champion amateur golfer, setting a course record and then beating her own record at Langley Air Force Base, and hitting two holes in one as well (Langley Air Force Base, 1960, and Boscobel Country Club, 1985). She won both the Women’s Peninsula Amateur Tournament by nine strokes and the Women’s Peninsula Golf Association Tournament in 1960. She went on to become the Langley Air Force Base Club Champion in 1961. She was selected to be on the Carolinas Women’s Golf Team, competing with the Virginias Women’s team in 1964 and1965. She also served on the state board of the North Carolina Women’s Golf Association during this period. She was invited to participate in the North and South Invitational Amateur Golf Championship at Pinehurst Country Club in North Carolina in 1966 and 1967. In 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972 and 1973, she was the Boscobel Country Club Champion. After moving from Clemson to Pickens, S.C., she became a member of the Pickens Country Club, where she was first flight champion in 1985, and second place in the championship flight in 1987, and continued to compete in tournaments and play golf for many years. Gardening was an additional interest of hers and she maintained a beautiful garden at the Ridge in Pickens, S.C., for many years. Actively participating in the William Bartram Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society, she won numerous awards from 1981 to 1983 in the annual rhododendron and azalea shows held in Greenville, S.C. In 1999 she was awarded the Bronze Medal by the William Bartram Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society for her service as the secretary and monthly newsletter editor for 13 years (1981-1994).  She was also adept at sewing her own couture outfits, reupholstering furniture, playing bridge, and was a formidable Scrabble opponent as well. As her husband ‘Mac’ was a 1936 Clemson alumnus, and assistant vice president for business and finance at Clemson University for 10 years after his retirement from the Air Force, they were both avid Clemson football fans and attended home football games with second row center season ticket seats for many years. She was a member of the Grace United Methodist Church in Pickens, S.C. Surviving are a son, Dr. Jackson McCarter of Travelers Rest, S.C.; a daughter, Dr. Andrea McCarter of Duluth, Ga.; grandchildren, Alison McCarter of Taylors, S.C., Trevor Martin of Stanford, Calif., Tara Martin of Duluth, Ga., and Trent Martin of Duluth, Ga.; and a great-granddaughter, Molly McCarter of San Antonio, N.M. Memorial services will be held at a later date in Barnesville, Ga. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Grace United Methodist Church, 309 E. Cedar Rock St., Pickens, S.C., 29671. Condolences may be expressed online at or in person at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown which is assisting the family.

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