Anna Dean Carter, age 73, of Lafayette, passed away Monday, October 20th, at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, leaving behind a legacy of community service and an unsurpassed enthusiasm for the future of her beloved hometown.
Involved in many community organizations over the years, Anna Dean has served on the Board of Directors for many organizations in the Macon County area including; Macon County Senior Citizen Association, Macon County High School Alumni Association, Macon County Sports Hall of Fame, Macon Helps, member of the Macon County Fair Board, The Lions Club, The Housing Committee of the Macon County 3 Star Certification Program, Macon County Education Foundation, Tenn. Rural Health Organization in 1998, Upper Cumberland Health Organization, Macon County Job Service from 1997-2002, Board of Directors of Tenn. Families First serving as president in 1998, Cordell Hull Economic Opportunity Corporation from 1998- 2003, Macon Schools Health Advisory Board, Historic Preservation Society serving as president in 1996, Macon County Health Council, Cherry Delights Red Hat Society of Macon County, Macon County Commissioner for eighteen years, served on the Loss Control Committee, Salary Study Committee Chairwoman, Insurance Committee, Retirement Committee, Industrial Park Feasibility Committee, RAD Committee, Law Enforcement Advisory Committee, School Board/ Overcrowding Committee, Public Records Commission. She was on the Jett Williams Scholarship Committee, Treasurer of Macon County 911 Board, President of the Chamber of Commerce in 2000, and also on the Chamber Board for 3 years, President of the Galen School Museum and a member of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church.
Anna Dean had also worked at the Macon-Trousdale Farmers Co-op as Bookkeeper for thirty years, before retiring in 1998.
“I love Macon County,” Anna Dean explained to this reporter in an interview last August. “I grew up here and Macon County has been good to me and my family. Anything I could do to give back and make the county better is what it’s all been about for me.”
One of the most significant accomplishments Anna Dean felt she achieved during her years of service was the success of acquiring a new senior citizens building.
“It’s taken years of work, but it’s been worth it,” she once said.
Macon County Senior Center Director Jamie Dallas, remembers the drive and dedication that her long-time friend devoted to the project during its early stages.
“It was a big passion of hers for a long time,” Dallas said. “She was the first person that said to me, ‘I won’t see this happen in my lifetime’ . . . I think the fact that she did witness everything come to life meant a lot to her. Anna Dean was a servant of the community in every sense of the word. She was a selfless woman and she represents what we’re all supposed to be.”
A familiar face in the crowd of nearly every local event, Anna Dean was considered an asset to the community and a staple of Macon County to all those who knew her.
“I heard someone say once that Anna Dean ‘had her finger in every pie’,” Dallas said smiling. “If it was going on in Macon County, she was there . . . she was always there to help, and you could always count on her.”
While Anna Dean frequently supported ideas she felt would bring about positive changes in Macon County, there were some things, she said she would never change about the place she called home.
And even though she is no longer with us, the message she spent her life trying to share with the world will forever be a part of Macon County.
“The people here are wonderful,” she told me during our last interview. “You almost always see a smile on their faces. Sometimes we may not want to smile because of certain circumstances, but most of us smile anyway and make the best of things.”
Anna Dean Carter was born on, June 21st, 1935 in Macon County. She was the daughter of the late Virgil Heston and Elcie (Law) King. On November 3, 1954, she was married to the late Billy Wilson Carter, together they raised three children; sons, Gerald “Rusty” Carter, Billy W. Jr. “Skipper” Carter and daughter, Debra Murray, and shared forty-four years together, he preceded her in death on October 8, 1999. Besides her husband and parents, brother, Junior King also preceded her in death.
The funeral service for Anna Dean Carter was conducted Friday, Oct. 24, from the Chapel of Alexander Funeral Home. Interment followed in the Macon County Memorial Gardens.
“Macon County took a big loss when Anna Dean passed away,” said Dallas. “I’m sure they’ll be someone who will step up to the plate and volunteer in her place, but there will never be anyone like her.”