Letter to the Editor | In memory of Jim Carter
By Tom Patz
Special to The Franklin
James “Jim” Carter passed away on July 22. He worked in maintenance at Franklin College for more than 35 years. Tom Patz, assistant vice president of physical facilities, writes in his memory.
Franklin College lost a legend last week.
He wasn’t the type of legend that could be found in any record books. He never taught a class or even attended a class as a student but he was a Franklin College legend in my book.
Jim Carter worked in the trades department at FC for 36 years before retiring in 2016. I had the honor to work with Jim for 25 of my 29 years at the college. To say Jim lived a life of service may be the understatement of the century.
As a young man Jim served his country in the Vietnam War. I believe Jim did this because that is what was asked of him. In my conversations with Jim he would question why we would send young men and women off to war – my guess is because he knew the heavy price they would pay because of those decisions.
Jim started his career at the college in 1980. Jim was a plumber and HVAC technician working on boilers and chillers, as well as food service equipment and most anything that was broke and needed Jim’s attention.
I can recall many extremely cold days where Jim was the one called in the middle of the night by security so he could come to campus to ensure classrooms were warm when students would wake and walk to the dreaded 8 a.m. class. There were also many days that I remember Jim outside in 90+ degree heat working on a chiller so that everyone inside the building would be comfortable.
During his time off work he spent a lot of time working and volunteering at the Johnson County Shrine Club. He was a fixture at their fish fry booth at the fair every year raising money to support the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
If someone had said to Jim, “Thanks for your service,” I’m not sure what aspect of his life they would have been referring to… he was all service… the military, at Franklin College, and at the Shrine Club.
Yes, Franklin College truly lost a legend on Wednesday. Rest in peace my friend and fellow Grizzly. You have made an impact on many lives. Thank you for your service.. all of it.