James Stephen "Steve" Carter, MD, 82, of Latrobe, passed away Friday, March 10, 2023, in the care of skilled doctors and nurses in Bethlen Home in Ligonier. Steve's family would like to thank all these caregivers for the amazing care they gave Steve during the last few the weeks of his life. Steve was born in Bluefield, W.Va., to Emily Anne (Ashworth) Carter Yost and Oatha James Carter Sept. 19, 1940. He grew up in Bluefield as an only child until he was nine, when his only sibling, Ann, was born. Steve spent his whole youth in Bluefield, where he attended Beaver High School, did well in his studies, hiked East River Mountain and took in a vast amount of Classical and church music, as his mother was a professional pianist and organist, and Steve was a tenor in several church and school choirs and a barber shop quartet. It was in high school that he met his wife (married, 1961) and mother of his two children, Linda W. Carter, to whom he was married for 37 years. He attended college starting in 1958, majoring in pharmacy at West Virginia University. After that he went directly into WVU's medical school, where he earned his medical doctorate in 1967. In between this and the rest of his medical training, Steve was drafted into the Air Force, serving as a doctor, stationed with Lin and the kids at Stewart Air Force Base, in Newburgh, N.Y., for two years. After interning for a year at Akron City Hospital in Ohio, Steve made the decision to go into psychiatry. Between 1970 and 1973, Steve completed his residency in training at Western Psychiatric Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. Following this, he became an associate psychiatrist at Latrobe Area Hospital, where he practiced for 31 years at its Mental Health Center until his retirement in 2005. For most of those years, Steve maintained his own private practice in Latrobe, and he was the chief of Latrobe's Department of Psychiatry for his last six years there. Steve was a gifted doctor, a friend and a healer to all whom he treated. Many who were in his care can attest to his dedication to their health and well-being and are ever grateful for this. Psychiatry is a field riddled with complexities and misconceptions, but Steve endeavored to be the "country doctor," who implemented the rigorous science involved in psycho-pharmaceutical treatment, but who made it seem simple, human and caring for his patients (and he got great results!) Even though psychiatry was Steve's specialty, he was well-versed in all areas of medicine, and looked at it as one big picture that contained all the disciplines. Steve's anatomy textbook was kept close by the dinner table, and family meals often turned into med school lectures, where an amazing medical life story was told, or humorous "doctor" joke was offered. An avid reader of National Geographic, nonfiction or any one of hundreds of spy thrillers, Steve was a renaissance man, a thinker and a tinker. An avid player of bridge and poker, he taught these games to his family, often getting out the bag of peanuts for "gambling." He was a sportsman too, a great fan of football, tennis and golf. He played indoor tennis for many years with his "doubles group" and would pair annually with his son for the men's doubles tournament at their favorite vacation spot, Deer Valley Camp, near the high point in Pennsylvania. Later, he took up golf, and became a member of Norvelt Golf Club. There he enjoyed many seasons playing in his golf league, and during one round, even scored a "hole-in-one." Steve was creative and crafty too, often building little gizmos to fix around-the-house problems. But his real passion for artistry with his hands was woodworking. Each house Steve owned in his adult life had a bigger and bigger shop in which Steve housed large and specialized tools for cutting, planing, joining and finishing items made of wood. He designed, built and finished many beautiful pieces of furniture in his life, always using a purist's joinery and applying an exquisite finish. He was following in the tradition of his grandfather, who was a cabinetmaker, and Steve reveled in his choice of woods for these pieces; woods that had beautiful grain, especially cherry. Steve loved music all of his life and communicated that love for it to his wife and children. The son of a concert pianist, he was exposed to all of the Romantic period piano masters' works: pieces by Beethoven, Liszt, Schubert and Brahms, but especially Chopin. And although he did not play much piano, he appreciated great playing through and through, and collected recordings of all of their works to listen to while playing bridge, reading, or working in the woodshop. Singing harmony was his other love musically, and he was a gifted tenor. He sang as a youth at several churches in town, and eventually he sang for many years in the choir at St. Benedict's Church. A good folk guitarist, he would love to play the songs of the ‘60s artists and sing with anyone in his family the harmony lines to the great songs by Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary and Tom Paxton. Steve knew an enjoyment of finer things in this life, such as food. He loved Italian veal dishes, French onion soup and a Belgian waffle at IHOP (with four slices of bacon). He enjoyed fresh ground coffee and dark chocolate. He enjoyed popcorn popped fresh on the stove, and a good steak freshly grilled. And of course, he loved Naser's home-made chicken salad. Steve knew people, knew how to read people, but mostly knew how to care for people. With his family and friends, he endeavored to be fair, and continually generous with his time, effort, and gifts for all of them. He was quick to compliment his children when they did something good, and to be fair about being critical, when they needed this. He made friends everywhere he went, and he supported all in his circle when they needed it. He was everyone's therapist, and he celebrated the good things in life wherever and whenever he could. Steve was predeceased by his daughter, Kristin Hope Carter (d. 2015), but is survived by his sister, Ann; his ex-wife, Lin; his son, Paul and Paul's wife, Elizabeth Jacob-Carter. Steve has three grandchildren, two who are born to Paul and Liz-Caro (22) and Tobias (17), and Caiside Jane (18), the daughter of his daughter, Kristin and Jeff Hennessee. Steve's "second family" includes his later-life friend of many years, Phyllis Winchell, and her children and grandchildren, whom Steve spent many family celebrations with. This includes Phyllis's son, Jason Probst, his wife, Marci and their children, Gabrielle (20), Sierra (18) and Gunnar (15); also, Phyllis's daughter, Melissa Linsenbigler, and her husband, Christopher, and their children, Riley (21), Kamryn (20), Beau (18) and Cooper (18). Family and friends are welcome to attend a visitation from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the LEO M. BACHA FUNERAL HOME INC., 2072 Route 130, Pleasant Unity. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 A.M. Friday in St. Benedict Catholic Church, Marguerite. A celebration of life for J. Stephen Carter will be held in the coming months. Please contact Paul Carter for more info, and to be added to a contact list for this event. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Latrobe Area Hospital Aid Society Lights of Love, One Mellon Way, Latrobe, PA 15650 or to your favorite charity.
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