ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - A public viewing for St. Louis Alderman Greg Carter, who died in a tragic crash August 1, is planned for Friday. Carter was remembered on the streets of the 27th Ward Thursday night as who didn’t tell you what you wanted to hear, but would lead you where you needed to go.
Dozens gathered outside the ward headquarters that bears the name of Carter’s mother. Candles were lit and prayers said, but it was the shared memories of Carter that carried the night.
Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed says his career in politics began when he saw a television interview with Carter, then called looking for advice.
“I was lucky enough to get in touch with him, got involved in public service, and had a desk sitting right next to him,” Reed said. “He was an early mentor for me.”
Carter comes from a political family of note in north St. Louis. He was in the process of passing the torch to his nephew, Chris Carter, who is a state representative. Chris Carter spoke on behalf of the family, thanking supporters who stood on the street corner as the sun set Thursday night.
“He was like a father to me,” he said. “He taught me everything that I know about being a public servant. We all lost another dad. I lost an uncle and possibly a best friend. And we’re just gonna pray for him and keep going.”
But “keeping going” requires coming to grips with how the 54 year old died.
Carter had worked for UPS as a truck driver since the 1980’s. He could have retired, but kept working to put his daughter through college.
Early on August 1st, while driving in St. Charles, his Mack truck came up on the scene of another crash that had been caused by drunk driver. The last link in the chain reaction was his. A horrific impact killed Carter. The idea that it could have been prevented is both tragic and infuriating to those who called him a friend.
“You get a little angry thinking about that,” Alderman Antonio French said. “But I don’t think Greg would want us to be angry. If anybody shows what you could do with a little bit of time on this earth, it was him.”
A public viewing is scheduled from 4-7 p.m. Friday at Austin A. Layne Mortuary, 7302 W. Florissant Ave.
Carter's wake and funeral will be held Saturday, at 8 a.m. at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church, 5515 Martin Luther King Dr. The funeral starts at 10 a.m. with burial to follow.