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Dana Carter

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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