Don Donner Carter the Artist, husband and amazing friend and father! Don settled in Central Florida back in the early 70’s. He relocated from New Jersey with his wife and young son Chad to start a new life and career. Soon after they settled in – along came their baby girl Danielle. In 1979 Don moved into Wekiva, in a ‘edge of woods’ lodge style home, where he would remain for the rest of his days. His new town work career began with Fry Hammond & Barr -where he remained for the next 27 years. In 1990 he met his wife, Theresa. They did not get married until 2005 at his now or never request! Their interest in love of water, enjoying each other and giving one another enough space to do what made them happy – secured their relationship to the end.
Don’s favorite pastime was anything to do with water and spending time together. He loved fishing and his boat or turning a pile of wood into a fabulous 3-tiered deck or a studio which would become his home away from home! He also had his fair share of fun and fast cars. Around 2002 Don retired from FHB and became a Film/Video/Print consultant. He loved that freedom and continued for the next 5 years. Somewhere along the way Don turned his love and passion for his love for boating and the water, into an a real-time work of art. Without any formal training, Don had it naturally in his heart and in his eyes to create the most incredible, ‘come to life’ boat Replicas that you only would experience and get to see in a historical museum. He loved history and was an avid reader. Once he figured out he could build these masterpieces, we would lose him for days and weeks while he toiled away on one boat after the other. What drove him more than the construction was the reason for their existence. He wanted to preserve the nautical history that he studied passionately and became so endeared to. Don made it known he built his fleet of boats with no intention of selling them – he was connected to every single one of them.
From 2005 to 2015 Don was proud to bring his fleet to life at Art shows from Winter Park to Bar Harbor, Maine. I remained his first mate as we made our way from show to show. As life was passing on, Don knew when he was losing his knack and quietly stopped making his way to the studio to bring to life another boat on his list. For the last 7 years we managed our way through navigating his best health. He was such a trooper and willing to do whatever it took to beat any odds that may have come our way.
Moving into our life journey, Donner was the consummate and willing participant in paving a path of best health for his best life. Don maintained his class, style, dignity, and a glowing gentle soul – no matter how puzzling life became. He will remain in so many hearts for many years to come. He is survived by his wife Theresa Carter, brother Richard Cater, his son Chad Carter, his wife Julie and daughter Isabelle, Danielle Vogel his daughter, Eric her husband and their 2 sons Austin and Jake.
A memorial service will be held at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, located at 526 N. Park Avenue, Winter Park FL 32789 on Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 2:00 pm.