Thomas Fred Carter III

Published 5:01 pm Monday, October 26, 2020

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Thomas Fred Carter III, formerly of Suffolk, passed away in his Corapeake, N.C. home on Oct. 20, 2020. Tom suffered from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, which claimed his life just a few days after his 71st birthday.

Tom was the beloved father of Brandie Carter, of Crewe, Va., and John Carter (Juliana Cammarata) of Portsmouth; he had one grandson, Desmond Zelaya, and had just been blessed with the news of a second grandchild on the way. Born in Suffolk on Oct. 7, 1949, he was the firstborn child of Thomas F. Carter Jr., and Sara Carr Carter, owners of the former Carter and Sons Furniture in Franklin. He is survived by his four siblings: Dana C. Rountree and husband William, Karen C. Dunn (Jim Peele), and Brett Carter and wife Michele, all of Suffolk; and Julie C. Griggs and husband John, of Franklin. Tom was predeceased by his beloved wife, Susan Holley Carter. 

Tom graduated from Forest Glen High School in Suffolk in 1970. He had a lifelong interest in woodworking. Following a career in newspaper circulation, he started Carter’s Custom Cabinets in the late 1980s. Tom was known and loved for his independent spirit, work ethic, and integrity. Affable and fair-minded, he never met a stranger, and he treated everyone with kindness. His family and friends will miss his humor and wisdom.

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Tom was cremated, and his ashes will be scattered per his request. A memorial service will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1 at the Bethlehem Ruritan Club. Social distancing will be observed, and seating may be limited. Memorial donations may be made to Hope’s Legacy Equine Rescue ( or the IPF Foundation ( Condolences may be registered at