A Calming Influence

Submitted By: 
Jason Fairchild

Kind, gentle, funny, witty, very intelligent, a dedicated family man...and always there. Just a few words to describe the man that I knew and respected. From the first time I met him, both Harry and Virginia made me feel like a part of the family. It's easy to see the influence that he had on those closest to him. He made everyone feel secure, which I feel went a long way towards allowing his kids the freedom to grow and feel secure in theselves. Valinda, Zack and Emily all display the same intelligence and self-confidence that I know without a doubt came from a good family environment and a loving home. This is why, even though they are spread out and living in different areas of the country (or countries), his kids have always felt that it was important to come back home as often as possible.
As I think back over the last 8 years that I have been associated with the Carter's, Harry was always the one constant source of reassuring calmness. While everyone around him met with one crisis or another, Harry would always be there to offer words of advice, pearls of wisdom from his own life, or just good old fashioned friendship. Even in the face of his own great struggle.
As for myself, the Carter's have helped me through my own little ups and downs over the years. From my own family struggles, to dating Valinda and actually living with the Carter's for a while, to different jobs, to playing a large part in dragging Valinda all over Mexico and Texas, Harry was always very supportive and positive. There were times that I called just to speak to him on the phone. He never judged me and always, always made me feel welcome. There is something very special about a man that would open his home to someone he barely knows, but then I guess he just absolutely trusted Valinda to make those kinds of decisions. I think that is another testament to the kind of man that Harry was. He taught his children the things they needed to know, then trusted them to make the proper decisions when the time came.
I consider myself very lucky to have known Harry and I truly feel that he was like another father to me. Many people don't get the chance to have one good father. I have been fortunate enough to have three. My own father Larry, my step-father Ken and Harry Carter, who I have thought of as an unofficial father-in-law for many years now.
Thank you Harry for your friendship, guidance and kindness. You will be missed!!