Sandy Thomas Carter was born on Monday March 29, 1948 in Princeton, NJ to the Azah Carter and Emma L. (Gregory) Carter. He departed this life on Sunday September 6, 2020 in his home in Shorewood, IL. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, and friend who was passionate about his faith, family, and education in his community.
The Journey of Sandy T. Carter
From Kindergarten through Highschool Sandy attended Princeton Public Schools, graduating from Princeton Highschool in the class of 1966. During his early school years, he worked in his mother’s restaurant “Emma’s Luncheonette” as a waiter. Sandy played a very special part in everyone’s dining experience; he would write out the daily specials and for some customers he would even read the menu. His Junior and Senior Year in high school Sandy worked for an overnight camp with his lifelong friend Lawrence Rooks. The name of the camp was Antioch in New York State, he loved being able to play basketball and riding a horse for the first time ever. This was the start to his career of working with youth. Sandy completed his bachelor’s degree at Newark State College, now known as Kean University, majoring in Elementary Education. Where he met his lifelong friend Clifford Maddox. Sandy and Cliff started the college’s first Black Student Action Group. Sandy was on campus in his dorm room when he saw the Love of his life Theresa (Coleman) Carter walking across the campus and whistled at her. Sandy married Theresa on a glorious Saturday August 26, 1972 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Westwood, NJ. Sandy and Theresa have four beautiful children; Yvette, Jonathan, Chad, and Jessica.
Sandy Carter has attended A.M.E churches since his childhood. He was a member with his mother at Mt Pisgah A.M.E Church in Princeton, NJ, where his Pastor was none other than the late great Rev Albert Tyson Jr. In church is where Sandy met another one his lifelong friends Albert D Tyson III where they participated in all the church youth programs; YPD, Choir, usher board etc. Sandy loved Sunday’s because he and his friend Albert got to eat at each other’s house on Sunday sometimes twice. After moving to Joliet, Il it was his friendship with Albert D Tyson III that brought him to Brown Chapel. Sandy was a member of Brown Chapel A.M.E church for 33 years. Sandy worked in Brown Chapel and wore many hats. He worked as a custodian with his sons for years. He was as a Sunday School teacher and worked in the Christian Education Department. Sandy led one of the first RAP groups for the teenage youth in church. Sandy was very excited about fellowshipping and working in the Men’s Ministry. Over the years Sandy has served on both the stewards and trustee board. Sandy was a dedicated tither with his wife to the church and worked diligently assisting with the building fund under Rev. Lishers Mahone Jr. Leadership.
His life as an educator. For some Sandy Carter was the first African American Teacher and or Principal they had ever experienced. Sandy dedicated his life to educating others, starting his teaching career in Newark, NJ as an elementary school teacher, and later in East Orange, NJ. During one of Sandy’s summer breaks he started to work with World Book Encyclopedia, he made more money in those three months then he did in his whole school year as teacher. When Sandy was presented with an opportunity for growth, he took it to continue to strive for excellence. Sandy left New Jersey with his wife and children to sell World Book Encyclopedias as a Division Chairperson, in Joliet, IL in 1986. Sandy truly believed in providing for his family to succeed, the move to Illinois was a faith move. Sandy continued his drive when World book went digital. He went back to his first love, of teaching in the classroom. Sandy transitioned to working with Joliet Township High schools at Joliet Central as a substitute teacher. Sandy’s fellow church member Mr. Arnold Kiser shared with him an opportunity at an elementary school to permanently teach. Sandy applied and became an English & Language Arts Teacher at Laraway School in Joliet, IL working with his mentor Mrs. Deborah Summers. Sandy shook things up at Laraway school, as one of his students said, “Mr. Carter was WOKE even before it was popular” He brought in Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu and made a lasting difference in the students in his Jr. High class. Sandy Carter worked to secure his master’s degree in Administration from Lewis University in Romeoville, IL. Sandy then became the principal of Laraway School where he developed everlasting relationships with his “work family”. In addition, he made a remarkable difference and long-lasting memories in the students and community of Joliet, IL. Sandy has received numerous community acknowledgement awards over the years. Sandy retired as principal in 2011, and shortly after decided to go into Real Estate as a Realtor for Carter Realty Group with his daughter in love Carmen Carter. Sandy continued working with previous coworkers and students to ensure they were living in a place they could call home.
The Family Man, when Sandy met Theresa both of their lives changed for the better. His desire to be a husband and father were undeniable to him his greatest accomplishment. A scripture that he often shared in his house was Philippians 4:13,” I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthen me.” Sandy was a natural born encourager in how he would relay his messages to everyone in his family. His true desire was for everyone to succeed. He was immensely proud of his wife and children. He took it as a privilege to be called Sweetheart, Pops, Dad, Daddy, and Grandpa. Sandy was known for saying thing like “Who’s your favorite uncle? Say Uncle Sandy” or “Who loves ya Baby?” Sandy was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, and friend.
Sandy’s is predeceased by his father Azah Carter, his mother Emma L (Gregory) Carter, his daughter Yvette Teres Carter, His brother James Azah Carter, his nephew Keith James Carter, and his longtime friend Presiding Elder Albert D. Tyson III.
Sandy leaves at legacy and a large, loving family including his beloved wife Mary Theresa Carter. His oldest son Jonathan T. Carter (Feleniese) and their daughters Jocelyn and Jaria. His son Chad J Carter (Carmen) and their sons Chad Jr, Connor and Carson. His daughter Jessica Carter- Hobbs (Terrance) and their daughters Joyelle, Jayanna, and Jaleesa. His nieces Kelly Carter, Penelope S. Edwards- Carter, Katryna Carter of Princeton, NJ and his Longtime friends Clifford and Theresa Maddox of Pleasantville, NJ, Longtime friend Mrs. Francis Broadway-Craig of Princeton, NJ, longtime friend Lawrence Rooks from Phoenix, AZ. A host of brother and sister in loves as well as a multitude of nieces and nephews.
Sandy Thomas Carter found his Amazing Grace through the example of his life, he has now passed the baton on to us. We are his living legacy!!!
“It does not matter how long you live, but how well you live it”- Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Brown Chapel A.M.E Church Christian Education Dept.
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