EARLVILLE - H. Bruce Carter, 98, of Earlville passed away Aug. 5, 2020 at Heritage Healthcare Center in Mendota.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 10 at Earlville United Presbyterian Church with Pastor Del Keilman officiating. Burial will follow at Precinct Cemetery, Earlville. A drive through visitation will be held from 10 to 10:50 a.m. at the church. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those attending services are kindly asked to wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Mueller Funeral Home, Ottawa.
Bruce was born Jan. 19, 1922 on the Carter family farm south of Earlville, to Mark and Jane (Aitken) Carter. He married LaVerle Lee, daughter of Alfred and Belle (Hough) Lee of Earlville, on Aug. 30, 1945 at the Gary Methodist Church, Wheaton. They would have celebrated 75 years of marriage at the end of this month.
Survivors include his wife; two children, Harold Carter and Jean (Larry) Imel, both of Earlville; two granddaughters, Kristy (Mark) Actis of Earlville and Jill (Andrew) Sondgeroth of Germantown Hills; and seven great-grandchildren, Carter Imel, Avery Strohm, Payton Actis and Emma, Ben, Hannah and William Sondgeroth.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Marion Carter Cody and Gwendolyn Carter Shaddle; and two brothers, Forrest and Howard Carter.
Bruce graduated from eighth grade at the Bliss Country School and in 1940, he graduated from Earlville High School. He was the last remaining member of his class, which graduated 80 years ago. He and his brothers assumed farming responsibilities when their father was called to build at the defense plant at Wilmington and the Green River Ordnance Plant. Bruce then continued to farm all of his life until retiring in 1989. Along with farming, he was an inspector for the Illinois Crop Improvement Association. He was an elder and a lifelong member of the Earlville United Presbyterian Church. He served as church treasurer and secretary for many years, was a leader of the Presbyterian Youth Fellowship and an active member of the Earlville Chapter of the Presbyterian Mariners. He was a Charter member of the Earlville Community Historical Society and served as a docent into his 90s and was a volunteer ambulance driver for 14 years. He joined the Mendota Elks Lodge so he and LaVerle could go to dances. Bruce enjoyed square dancing and going to dances throughout the area.
He was a nature lover and was able to identify birds by their calls, trees by their bark and leaves, animals by their tracks and all the wildflowers. An avid collector of Indian artifacts, he traveled to archeological shows to display his vast collection of arrowheads, which were all personal finds. Later, he became interested in collecting pearl buttons, particularly those that originated from the Fox River clams. He enjoyed nature poetry and entertained his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren with recitations of favorite memorized poems. Together, Bruce and LaVerle traveled extensively at home and abroad. On their annual family trips, they alternated between going out west and going north to Canada fishing.
Memorials may be directed to the Earlville United Presbyterian Church or the Earlville Community Historical Society.
The online guestbook may be viewed and memories shared at www.MuellerFH.com.