Bill Carter

William Lacy (Bill) Carter Jr., 91, of Chattanooga, died peacefully at his home in Chattanooga on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. He was a member of First Lutheran Church. Born to W. L. Carter Sr. and Eunice Aline Dettwiller Carter Latura in 1925, Bill grew up in Memphis, Tenn. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1943, becoming a Lt. Commander of an LST serving in the South Pacific. He served again being called back for the Korean War. Bill started his long career in the beer business in Nashville, Tenn., working for his uncle. Bill’s first distributorship was in Clarksville, Tenn., and then moved to Chattanooga and purchased Lookout Beer Company and changed the name to Carter Distributing Company on Williams Street in 1959. Through his leadership and dedicated work, the company is now the largest beer distributor located in Chattanooga. Carter Distributing Company has been recognized for its outstanding performance by several suppliers. Bill’s distributorship received the High Life Achievement Award in 2002. He was honored with the prestigious MillerCoors “Legends” award in 2011, and his company was nationally awarded the Gold Star Network award from Corona in 2016. In 1970, Bill began his political career and served two terms as a Republican in the Tennessee Legislature. In 1974, he returned to working full-time for his family owned distributorship. Bill served an 8-year term on the Erlanger Hospital Authority Board starting in 1987. He was a past Tennessee State Director of the National Beer Wholesalers Association and a past President of the Tennessee Malt Beverage Association. Bill was very passionate about the game of golf and served two terms as Chairman of the PGA sanctioned Chattanooga Hamilton County Classic. Bill was preceded in death by his parents; two wives, Juanita “Tommie” Carter and Jeanne Carter; his sister, Shirley Williams; and his two daughters, Gayle Carter Simpkins and Lynda Carter Garrett. He is survived by his longtime partner Marie Curle; sons, Bill Carter (Patti) and Blair Carter (Jan); grandchildren, Alyssa Vestal (Mark), Carter Garrett (Julie), Angie Oliver (Mark), Jessica Lee (Michael), Sarah Farington (Josh), Lacy Schmitt (Josh), Chase Carter (Devon), and Morgan Carter; and 13 great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, at 1 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, with Rev. Gilbert H. Pingel officiating. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Private interment with military honors will be at Chattanooga National Cemetery. Active pallbearers are Bob Monroe, Randy Saunders, Chris Boggs, Cedric Garner, John Layne, and Jimmy Watkins. Arrangements are by the East Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory & Florist, 404 S. Moore Road, Chattanooga, Tenn., 37412. Please share your thoughts and memories at

Published January 30, 2017