Byron Eugene (BC) Carter, 79, of Flora passed away in the presence of his wife and two sons in the early morning of January 27, 2024, at IU Health Arnett Hospital in Lafayette, IN. A native of Cass County, Indiana, BC was born to Clayton W. and Marie E. (Gangloff) Carter on September 24, 1944. He grew up as a typical farm boy on the Carter farm in Washington Township. Other than immediate family and childhood friends, few people called him Byron. Almost everyone knew him as BC.
Byron’s life was dominated by his love of the land and of agriculture, inspired by his grandfather Chester Carter. In 1956, with mass vaccination campaigns just starting in rural areas, he contracted polio, making him one of the last of a generation to suffer the disease. He spent months at the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute in Warm Springs, Georgia as part of a long recovery and extensive rehabilitation program. Polio would affect him for the rest of his life and keep him from ever again climbing a tractor.
Nevertheless, he never let his disability define him. In 1962, he graduated from Washington Township High School and followed it up with a short stint at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where his academic career was undone by a failed Spanish test. He returned home to the family farm and completed a business certificate from the nearby Logansport Business College. In 1965, BC began a 38-year career with Yeager & Sullivan of Camden, starting at Star Roller Mill in Burlington. He continued to live at home with his parents until 1972, when he built the wheelchair accessible home in Flora where he would live the rest of his life. He retired from Yeager & Sullivan’s successor business Hog Slat, Inc. in 2003.
Byron’s best stories came out of Yeager & Sullivan. Business allowed him to travel around the country, and he hosted a legendary Christmas party. It was shortly before Christmas 1978 when he met the girl next door, Wyndham Traxler. It was a romance that intrigued both their workplaces and the entire neighborhood, but it was worthy of their senses of humor too. The two married in March 1980 and answered the many folks who inquired if they “planned to have children” with the arrivals of Sterling in December 1984 and Dillon in August 1987. From then on, he was absolutely dedicated to his family. He came to every parent-teacher conference, every Cross Country meet no matter the weather, and every theater production.
After more than one suggestion from his doctors, BC retired from the job he loved in 2003. He spent his retirement reading, watching Indiana basketball and his ever-suffering Chicago Bears, piddling around in the yard picking up sticks for his chiminea, traveling to the extent he was able, and attending the Broadway touring shows. He remained a dedicated husband and father and welcomed grandchildren Chester and Marlowe in March 2020 and January 2023. They were his miracle grandchildren that he never thought he would meet, and he was fascinated with them, never being the first to end a video call no matter the length.
Byron is survived by his wife Wyndham Traxler Carter (Mrs. TC) in Flora, sons Sterling (Jade Carter-Legrand) of Stockholm, Sweden, and Dillon of Valparaiso, IN. He is also survived by grandchildren, Chester Noan and Marlowe Niamh Carter-Legrand. Other immediate family include his sister Nancy Hicks of Flora, IN, and brother Kenneth Carter of Yeoman, IN. There are far too many cherished nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws to name, but they are noted. He was pre-deceased by his parents, and his older brother Calvin.
BC was above all a storyteller. He had stories about everyone he knew, everyone he had ever done business with and every adventure he had been involved in. They were mostly legal. He and Wyndham packed their sense of humor from day one of their relationship and used it nearly every day of their lives together. But he was also essentially a simple man who just wanted to live an independent, uncluttered life and be sure that his family was settled. BC is best honored with good stories, and we look forward to hearing them. In lieu of flowers or other graveside tributes, donations can be made to the Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School Cross Country program in Flora or to Rotary International’s End Polio Now program (https://www.endpolio.org/donate), which continues to work tirelessly to eradicate polio around the world. A third alternative is to donate to the Carroll County Community Foundation where a dedicated fund will be set up in his name to assist students in the community who share his interests.
Services will be held Friday, February 2, 2024, at the Flora First Christian Church. Calling will begin at 11:00 am and continue until the funeral service at 2:00 pm. Burial will be immediately following at Maple Lawn Cemetery, Flora, Indiana. The family is profoundly grateful to the entire Carroll County community for its love and support. Day & Genda Funeral Home ~ Reinke Chapel is assisting with the arrangements. Messages of condolence may be left at www.dayandgenda.com.