James Edward McCarter Sr., 84, formerly of Forest, passed away Thursday, March 14, 2019, at Mulberry Health in Mulberry. Jim was born on August 10, 1934, a son of the late William Henry McCarter I and Mary Agnes (Phillips) McCarter of Kokomo. He married the love of his life, Deloris Ann Johnston, on July 1, 1955 in Kokomo. He attended Kokomo High School.
Jim worked for 35 years at Delco Electronics in Kokomo. After his retirement from Delco in 1987, Jim retired from Marsh Supermarket in Frankfort, for 15 years first as a grocery bagger and then in the receiving department/back dock. He was known by many as “Big Red” due his red hair and his larger than life personality. He was a compassionate gentleman who never met a stranger and had the ability to make anyone smile or laugh. If the late, great comedic talent Red Skelton had a silly younger brother, most would suspect it was Jim. He loved to serve his community and he was an early (maybe founding) member of the Forest Township Volunteer Fire Department. He was very proud of his service to Forest where he and Deloris raised their five children. He was a founding member of the Forest Fun Festival and was a longtime member of the organizing committee. He was known for using his sales skills to raise large sums of money for the festival by selling raffle tickets. Jim was an avid gardener with Deloris and was very proud of their large garden. He couldn’t stand it if there was a single weed in the garden. He loved sharing vegetables from the garden with family and friends. He also had a special bond with his gardening mentor his father-in-law, the late Otis Lee Johnston. Otis was like a father to Jim because Jim’s father passed away when he was only three year old. Jim was a huge fan of the Chicago Bears and the Indiana Hoosiers. He was an even larger fan of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in anything they did, including sports, cheerleading, music and other school activities.
He is survived by his loving wife, Deloris; three daughters, Pam (Joe) Light of Forest, Nancy (Joe) Olson of Scircleville, and Susan McCarter of Bloomington; two sons, James E. (Teresa) McCarter Jr. of Burlington, and Fred McCarter of Cincinnati, OH; 11 grandchildren, Stephanie (Jared) Barker, Jaime (Brian) McCarter, Zack (Amanda) Light, Nick (Kristina) Light, Jessica (Conn) Zickmund, Jake (Marley) Light, Joey (Erin) Olson, Monica Olson, Lindsey (Brian) Bailey, Katie McCarter and Colin McCarter; 14 great-grandchildren; his sister, Wilma Hurt of Kokomo; sisters-in-law, Mildred Johnston and Marion McCarter; and brother-in-law, James (Donna) Johnston.
He was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, James Robert Olson; brothers, Richard, William and Henry McCarter II; sisters, Joann and Margaret; mother-in-law, Elva Mae Johnston; father-in-law, Otis Lee Johnston; and brothers-in-law, Carl Johnston, Robert Plummer and Joe Hurt.
Funeral services will be held at Noon on Monday, March 18, 2019, at Stout & Son Funeral Home, 200 E. Main St., Russiaville, with Pastor Joel Olson officiating. Burial will follow in St. Paul Cemetery near Forest. Friends are invited to visit with the family from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Jim’s name may be made to the Forest Township Volunteer Fire Department or to Brookside Free Methodist Church (190 E 400 S, Kokomo, IN 46902) in care of the Billy McCarter Building Fund. Messages of condolence may be left online at www.stoutandson.com.