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Bill Carter, UTSI Support Council Member, Dies; Helped Found Space Institute and Industrial Park

William Robert (Bill) Carter of Fayetteville, a supporter of The University of Tennessee Space Institute for more than 40 years, died last night (Aug. 23). He had been in ill health in recent years.

Carter, born July 8, 1921, in the Coldwater community of Lincoln County, was a charter member of the UTSI Support Council, which was formed in 1966, and he later served for years as its chairman.

Higgins Funeral Home in Fayetteville is in charge of arrangements. Visitation will be start at 6 p.m. Saturday, and the funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at First United Methodist Church in Fayetteville, of which he was a long-time member.

Carter was instrumental in establishing the UTSI Recreational Park later named “Carter Park.” He also assumed leadership responsibilities in UTSI’s establishment of an Industrial Park near the Institute. Mr. Carter was responsible for establishing two speculation buildings or the park.

In 1994, friends of Carter honored him for his role in helping establish UTSI and for his continued support, established the William R. Carter Fellowship Endowment Fund.

A 1943 graduate of UT with a degree in Civil Engineering, he also taught engineering at UT Knoxville after serving as a U.S. Navy officer in World War II. He served as a junior officer on a U.S. Navy destroyer and saw heavy duty in the Pacific. He participated in the invasion of Normandy and Southern France and in the battle of Okinawa.

Born in Coldwater in Lincoln County, Carter – known to his friends as “Billy Bob” — was an avid story teller with a keen sense of humor, and in 2005 published a book recounting many of his experiences. He titled it “Unto the Hills: Lincoln County Memories.”

He was a co-founder of CFW Construction Company. He was an active member of the Rotary and Elk Clubs.

He was married to the late Jane Strong Carter. They had three children, Lax, Flow, and Bill Jr., and six grandchildren.