In the movies, the house on the hill is always the place where horrible things happen.
Sometimes, it’s the home of the town boss or the mad scientist who is conducting unspeakable experiments.
Those are other houses, other hills. In Granby, that house on the hill was a place of warmth. That was where Max Carter brought family and friends together to share fun, friendship- and above all else- fried fish.
“Uncle Max had the best family fish fries,” Amber Swartz Gallemore remembered, “Games, laughs, and great food.”
When word spread earlier this week that Max Carter had died at age 82, the memories started flowing. It seems like Max has always been a part of life in Granby and Newton County. It is hard to walk the streets of Granby without coming across something positive that he did for the community, whether it be during his time as mayor or during his long service to the Lions Club or any of the other organizations that were lucky enough to have him as a member.
Before Max Carter made it a priority, there were no senior citizen apartments in Granby. He also provided the Lions Club with a home and a place to serve the community. Pat Styron recalls that during the 1980s, when Max was president of the Lions Club, “he was instrumental in getting Dr. Preston Chester to donate the old Post Office building at 213 N. Main St. to the club. The club still owns the building and has had it rented out ever since we have had it. The revenue from the rent helps the club do the many projects that we do. Even though they are both gone on, that incident will keep on giving to our town,”
Max Carter spent much of his life giving back to the community, whether it was through his three terms as mayor, his single terms on the Granby City Council and the Newton County Commission or the many years he spent on the Granby Senior Citizens Housing Board of Directors, including seven as its president.
Just one paragraph of Max’s obituary would be a lifetime for others. In addition to the accomplishments already mentioned, he served two years as chairman of the Economic Security Executive Committee, two terms as vice president of Local 65313 Communications Workers of America, past president of Heart of the Ozarks Telephone Pioneers of America, past-Master of Granby Lodge 514 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and past patron of the Order of the Eastern Star. And don’t forget his status as a charter member, not only of the Granby Lions Club, but also of the Granby Historical Society.
He was also involved in Newton County Republican politics, serving as a county committeeman for 22 years.
It was no wonder that Max rose to the top in everything he attempted. He was a people person long before that term was ever coined. He put the needs of others first and as many have noted, once he was introduced to someone, he never forgot that person’s name.
But that partial list (and yes, that was only a partial list) of accomplishments was never at the top of Max Carter’s priorities.
That place was always reserved for family, including his wife of nearly 64 years, Ruth, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. The best times were not the meetings with “important” people or even the time he has honored as Granby’s Citizen of the Year.
For Max Carter, the best things in life were family and friends and gatherings at the house on the hill. Those days were filled with stories, fun, laughter and love.
That’s a legacy that’s hard to beat.