Cover photo for Mary Josephine Carter's Obituary
1953 Mary 2024

Mary Josephine Carter

August 21, 1953 — April 16, 2024

Las Vegas, Nevada

Mary Josephine Carter, 70, of Chicago, Illinois, peacefully departed on April 16, 2024, in Henderson, Nevada. Affectionately known as 'Mary Jo,' she was born on August 21, 1953, in Chicago, Illinois, to Charles Brantley and Marjorie Luckett Brantley. Mary Jo embraced her faith at an early age at Liberty Baptist Church, where she not only found solace but also flourished in leadership roles. She dutifully assumed responsibilities such as making daily announcements and lending her voice to the choir, embodying her deep commitment to Christ. Mary Jo was a product of Chicago Public Schools, attending Shedd and Bennett Elementary Schools and graduating from Harlan High School. From there, she went on to matriculate at Western Illinois University, in Macomb, Illinois, where she majored in Education. At Western, she was also initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Upon completion of her bachelor’s degree, she pursued and began her master’s degree at the University of Illinois.

Mary Jo then began her distinguished career in education within the Chicago Public School system before relocating to the Las Vegas Valley in 1981. After relocating to Las Vegas, Mary Jo met and married Truman Carter in December of 1983. In 1986, Mary Jo and Truman welcomed their daughter, Brittany Nicole. Over the next three decades, Mary Jo devoted herself to creating unparalleled and engaging educational experiences for the countless students she had the privilege of teaching. During the initial 17 years in Las Vegas, she excelled in elementary classrooms across the Valley. In the subsequent 13 years, Mary Jo transitioned to the role of Gifted and Talented Specialist, where her commitment to crafting memorable environments reached new heights. Her outstanding contributions were recognized with the prestigious Distinguished Educator Award from the Clark County School District in 1996. Among her array of notable honors and accolades, Mary Jo proudly received a Certificate of Appreciation from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, recognizing her exceptional mentorship during the spring of 1990.

In September 2006, Mary Jo embarked on a transformative journey as a delegation member of the 'People-to-People Ambassador Program,' traveling to Egypt, Turkey, and Russia. There, she engaged in discussions centered on teacher development and critical issues in educating gifted learners, fostering dialogue between Russian and American perspectives. The People-to-People Ambassador program was initiated through the efforts of former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

While Mary Jo devoted over three decades to her students, her entire life was dedicated to her cherished daughter, Brittany, whom she affectionately referred to as 'My everything.' Mary Jo’s decades long achievements in education pale in comparison to the profound and paramount role she held as a mother. Mary Jo was not only an exceptional educator but also an extraordinary mother, whose love and dedication knew no bounds. Though the union of Mary Jo and Truman eventually ended, their shared journey as parents was marked by moments of love, dedication, mutual respect, and the joy of raising their beloved daughter.

Mary Jo Brantley Carter was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Marjorie Brantley, brother, Charles M. Brantley, and a loving host of aunts, uncles, and cousins. She is survived by her devoted daughter Brittany, ex-husband and best friend Truman Carter (Linda) of Austin, TX, cousins Kathy Page Riley (Charles) of Lansing, IL, Leslie Page-Piper of Chicago, IL, and Darryl Luckett of Burbank, IL, along with numerous other extended family members, friends, and colleagues.

A Celebration of Life honoring Mary Jo’s legacy will be held in August 2024, with details regarding time, date, and location to be announced. The family of Mary Jo extends heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the Clark County School District, DaVita Dialysis in Anthem Village, Mayo Clinic of Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, Synergy Physical Therapy (Anthem), Helping Hands of Henderson, Remnant Ministries, and every skilled nurse, doctor, surgeon, volunteer, friend, and former student who made a lasting impact on Mary Jo’s life.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Kidney Foundation in Mary Jo’s memory.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Josephine Carter, please visit our flower store.

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