Mary Carter may have passed away on April 28, but her legacy is living on through her love for Dexter.
Carter, who grew up in Fenton, Michigan, came to Dexter in 1993 and immediately fell in love with the small-town charm of the community. Her sister, Sue Honke, said the atmosphere of friendliness and neighborly attitudes made Dexter feel like home.
“It’s a great community,” she said. “We grew up in a small town. We liked that environment. It’s just so different.”
It was her love for Dexter that led Carter, an accountant by trade, to help with Dexter Area Chamber of Commerce, serve on the planning commission and organize the Christmas Luminaries. She also served as the treasurer for Dexter Daze.
“She loved the community,” Honke explained. “She wanted to make sure they didn’t lose any money and that money went toward helping the community.”
Carter’s hard work and passion for the community can be seen not only in the success of events like Dexter Daze, but in the city’s thriving small business community.
Carter helped numerous local entrepreneurs manage their finances while working for Dexter Tax & Accounting Services, Inc., which is owned by her niece Victoria Staebler. She was an integral member of the DTAS team and brought a great deal of knowledge and peace of mind to the firm’s clients, based on the accumulated experiences of owning and operating Carter Business Services and general involvement the local business environment.
“I think she was very into helping small people get started,” she said. “A one person operation that maybe no one else wanted to handle, she would. No customer was too small for her. She always wanted to stay in that small environment and help those people. She really enjoyed that, watching their business grow.”
Carter moved to Dexter from Florida, where she also had her own tax and accounting business. Her dedication to small business owners was apparent in her customers’ loyalty. Some of her Florida customers stayed with her through the move, insisting she still help maintain their finances.
“They don’t want anyone else,” Honke said. “They didn’t trust anybody but Mary.”
Carter passed away in April from complications due to kidney failure. She was preceded in death by her husband Allen Ray Carter, Sister Sally Jo and her parents. She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Sue and Al Honke of Dexter, MI, her niece, Victoria Staebler, her nephew and niece-in-law, Don & Jean-Marie Staebler, of Pinckney, her great nephew, Austin Staebler, of Pinckney, her close friend Fran Vantine and many other friends, nieces and nephews.