Dana Carter, 80, a lifelong Essex resident, died on April 13, 2020 after a
long illness. He was the husband of Barbara (Tindley) Carter.
Born on March 7, 1940, he was the son of the late
Carlton and Alberta (Rogers) Carter, and was named after the legendary
Essex shipbuilder Dana Story. He was educated in local public schools and
was a 1958 graduate of Gloucester High School. Following school he served
in the Army before his 1968 marriage.
Dana loved his town, and was always involved in
starting an event or organization to promote Essex. As the president of
the North Shore Shellfish Association, he presented then Governor Francis
Sargent a clam fork to commemorate Massachusetts Clam Week. He was one of
the founding members of the Essex Chamber of Commerce, which has grown
over the years to help promote business in his beloved town.
Fifty years ago he and Barbara started an Easter
Egg Hunt, held at Memorial Park. Upwards of a thousand hard boiled eggs
would be hidden very early Sunday morning by the fire company, and prizes
donated by local businesses and residents were handed out by Dana and Barb
(often accompanied by their pet goat Willy). Along with the Essex Lions
Club, he started a Halloween Party at Essex Elementary School, and trick
or treaters would bob for apples and enjoy a haunted walk on the stage.
Dana drove a school bus for many years, bringing
students to Essex Elementary and Gloucester High, and treating everyone to
an ice cream at the Junction on the last day of classes for the year. He
and Barbara ran the Village Market in Essex for two years, and he loved
the many years he spent working at the Topsfield Fair. He bought, improved
and sold many homes in Essex, was a loyal member of the Essex Fire Company
for over twenty-five years, and served as the Essex Harbormaster. He was
perhaps most recognizable as the handsome host at the Village Restaurant,
his family’s business, where he greeted patrons with his big smile and
charming personality. One resident, having seen him in one day
landscaping, picking up trash and driving the school bus, remarked after
she was welcomed to the Village Restaurant by maître de Dana, that she
knew why the unemployment rate in Essex was so high – he had all the jobs.
He enjoyed skiing as well as spending time in the
winter in Barbados and Florida. He and his wife loved to tour about on
their motorcycle, and a lucky few witnessed him standing on the seat of
his bike, arms outstretched, balancing as he drove down the causeway.
In addition to his wife he is survived by a
brother, Richard Carter of Essex, and many nieces and nephews. He was the
brother of the late Muriel Boutchie, and the late Kathleen Ricci, both
formerly of Essex.
A memorial Mass at St John the Baptist Church in
Essex will be held at a later date, with arrangements by the
Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich. Private graveside services were
held in the Spring Street Cemetery. In lieu of flowers or contributions,
his family asks that an act of kindness be done in Dana’s memory.
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