|Birth: ||Jan. 22, 1931|
|Death: ||Sep. 25, 2011|
Pembroke - Gloria Downs Carter, age 80, died peacefully at her daughter's home in Marietta on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011. She was predeceased in death by many family members: her husband and best friend of forty-five years, Schirm Carter, her parents, Bubsie and Maude Downs, her brother, Speir Downs, and three sisters, Miriam Richard, Jackie Rowell, and Joyce White. She is survived by her loving daughter, Heather Carter Overstreet and son-in-law, Mike Overstreet, and three adored grandchildren, Laura, Michael, and Edward Overstreet, all of Marietta, GA, as well as several nieces and nephews.
Gloria was born on January 22, 1931, in Bryan County, Georgia, during "The Great Depression". She was the youngest child in a family of five children born to the late Bubsie and Maude Downs. Her parents farmed during the early years of her life. In 1940, Gloria's father relocated the family to Lanier, GA, where he founded the long-time family business of Bryan Oil Company. Gloria attended Pembroke Elementary School and Black Creek Elementary School as a child. It was during those elementary years that Gloria received her educational foundation and began dreaming of going to college and becoming a teacher. Gloria was very athletic and enjoyed many sports. While attending high school, she played forward in Varsity Basketbail and was voted "Most Athletic" for two of her four high school years. She attended and became a graduate of Brewton Parker High School in Mt. Vernon, GA, in 1947. She continued on to Mercer University to pursue her dream of education. While there she joined the Chi-Omega Sorority. Gloria's dream became reality upon her graduation from Mercer University in Macon, GA, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education. What an honor it was for Gloria to become the first in her family to graduate college! She was able to combine her passions of education and athletics as she became a teacher of physical education. She taught physical ed ucation for many years in several states as she accompanied her husband, Schirm, to various locations during his military service to our country. Gloria impacted the lives of many students during her teaching career both in and out of the classroom. She also coached girls' basketball and softball while serving as a physical education teacher. Upon returning to Georgia, Gloria added a Master of Education degree from Georgia Southern College (now University) as well as Leadership Certification. She became the much loved principal of Black Creek Elementary School in 1979 and served in that position for two years. When the new elementary school, Lanier Elementary School, opened in 1981, Gloria stepped into the role of Assistant Principal. She served the students, faculty, and community in that role for seven years until her retirement from education in 1989 with thirty-five years of service. Her charismatic, easy-going personality endeared her to all who knew her. It was often said of Gloria "she was there to lend her hand to hold and her heart to understand." She exhibited a quiet grace, a focused mind, and a steely strength to undergird in all of life's circumstances. Gloria and Schirm relished traveling during their retirement years with a keen sense of adventure. They toured many of the fifty United States and Canada. The Carters' had fond memories of overseas travel to the countries of Austria, Italy, and England. No sooner did they return from one trip than they would be planning the next. "Just tell me where and when" was a favorite phrase of Gloria's in reference to travel. Gloria was of the Baptist faith and attended the First Baptist Church of Pembroke as well as the Gleaners Sunday School Class. She was a member of the Pilot Club of Savannah, a service club in which she held various offices. Gloria loved to dance and was a member of the Savannah Shag Club for many years. Professional memberships included The Georgia Retired Educator's Association, The Georgia Association of Health and Physical Education, and the Bryan County Retired Educator's Association. Gloria's life was a life to be celebrated. Hers was a life lived with joy and enthusiasm. She embraced life and lived life to the fullest every day. She met challenges with a focused determination to succeed. Her intelligence, positive outlook, as well as her sharp wit and wisdom were a testament to her life. She had a playful side and a youthful spirit which flourished and was greatly influenced by her three grandchildren, whom she greatly loved spending time with as often as possible. She was an avid sports enthusiast and loved inspiring others to excel athletically. Gloria Downs Carter was passionate about education and believed it held the keys to future success for everyone. Gloria's legacy will be her dedication to her passions: family, education and athletics, respectively. She will long be remembered for her genuine friendship, her generosity, her compassion, her loyalty and her graciousness. To know Gloria Carter was to love her; in so doing, one could consider oneself blessed among all people.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday evening, September 28, 2011 starting at 6 o'clock at Flanders Morrison Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 2 o'clock at the First Baptist Church of Pembroke. Interment to follow at Lower Black Creek Cemetery.
Flanders Morrison Funeral Home
Savannah Morning News from Sept. 27 to Sept. 29, 2011
Hardy Leroy Downs (1893 - 1989)
Maude Speir Downs (1898 - 1968)
Schirm Cohen Carter (1924 - 1998)
Miriam Downs Richard (1919 - 2000)*
William Speir Downs (1921 - 1986)*
Jacqueline Downs Rowell (1924 - 1984)*
Joyce Downs White (1926 - 2008)*
Gloria Downs Carter (1931 - 2011)
Lower Black Creek Cemetery
Created by: nu2ga
Record added: Nov 10, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 80219511
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