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Nancy Carter: Pilot Mountain Citizen of the Year

Nancy Carter: Pilot Mountain Citizen of the Year

The Pilot Mountain Civic Club got a lot accomplished during a lunch meeting at Cousin Gary’s with a normal slate of business and new chairman Michael Warren helming his first meeting.

All other matters needed to wait though so the club could first recognize one of their own as Pilot Mountain native Nancy Carter was chosen as the 2022 Citizen of the Year. Rick Scott presented her with a custom-made piece of art from LazerEdge as a token of the club’s esteem that depicted the state with Pilot Mountain show rising above.

The club’s past president Michelle Fallin heaped praise on Carter saying, “There is not one person here with a heart as big.” Heads nodded in agreement to that assessment and Elaine Smith later added Carter was a tough woman with a lot of inner strength.

Carter went to Pilot Elementary and was among the first freshman class at East Surry High before heading for the coast where she got her nursing degree before returning to the classrooms of UNC Charlotte where she obtained her master’s degree in nursing.

She rose to become the director of nursing for Caromont Regional Medical Center, in Gastonia, after 32 years of service. Carter was recognized as a North Carolina Great 100 nurse and achieved Nurse Executive Advanced Certification during 44 years of nursing excellence doling out tender loving care.

After retirement she moved back to her hometown of Pilot Mountain and built a home with a view of what she referred to as “her side” of the mountain. One cannot blame her for wanting to make such a claim. There are many other Pilot residents who justifiably feel the same way.

Retirement, to those not yet there, may create an image of feet up and a book in hand. Carter and those of her generation don’t seem to have gotten that memo as they seem to stay busy. She renewed her membership at the First Baptist Church, joined the Civic Club, and engaged her passion for giving back to the community.

She has served as secretary of the Civic Club for four years and participated on multiple committees and fundraising events. It was mentioned during the meeting that in clubs like these the chair or the leaders rotate out, and it is often club secretaries who are stewards through it all.

Carter has had her hands full with events such as movie night, a chili cook-off, Halloween trunk or treat, and Mayfest. She and other Civic Club members feel a special relationship with the school back-pack program and working with Hope Valley Rehab Center.

Other projects have included working with Surry County Schools social workers to purchase and pack 150 bags of food for children who might not have sufficient food other than school lunches.

As a mason jar was passed around the meeting, Carter was asked if it was a swear jar, she laughed and explained it is part of an initiative to raise quarters at each meeting for the social worker to give to families that cannot afford laundry services.

For the past two years Carter has organized and prepared Christmas bags for Hope Valley so that the residents would have a gift on Christmas. The bags include a variety of personal items, warm clothing items, and even a few sweet treats. She said a thank you note recently received stated that one resident shared this was her “best Christmas ever.” Consider that one additional vote for Carter as citizen of the year.

When not juggling community projects she enjoys crocheting and has been a member of the Prayer Shawl Ministry for four years. She has made multiple blankets and “prayer squares” to be given to shut ins and nursing home residents. After the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas she contacted a local church to offer aide and support facilitating sending “prayer squares” to the church to share.

An avid reader, she said she enjoys anything Irish or Scottish and loves to travel hoping to add another new destination to the dozen countries she has visited. A crafty lady, she was made a scrapbook after every trip to share highlights.

Her kids Jennifer and Jeff she described as, “The true joy of my life.” It would be folly though to not mention another child, a spoiled mini dachshund named Lady Grace. Maybe it was Lady Grace who ate the memo saying it is okay to slow down in retirement, alas Carter remains busy and said she is looking forward to a successful year with Pilot Mountain Civic Club activities.

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