Tuesday, January 29, 2013 — Thelma Bernice Lane Carter, 92, died January 25, 2013, at Stanly Manor in Albemarle. She was a life-long resident of Big Stone Gap, Va. and member of Trinity United Methodist Church.
Born September 13, 1920, in Big Stone Gap, Thelma had a life-long love of educating herself and others. After graduating from BSG High School in 1937, she received a Teaching Degree from Mary Washington College in 1939 and began her teaching career in a one room school house where she balanced the educational needs of 20 students with keeping enough firewood stocked to keep everyone warm.
She continued teaching 1st and 2nd grade full time with the Wise County school system, while completing her BS from Milligan College in 1967 followed by a Master of Arts in Education from VPISU in 1974 before retiring in 1982. Many students found her teaching style to be attentive and individualistic, and she truly enjoyed following her students’ successes.
A woman of great style, Thelma was passionate, not only about beautiful clothes (tailoring her own in her early years), shoes and jewelry, but also deeply loved floral design and gardening. The founding President of the Intermont Garden Club and a Life Member of the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs, she enjoyed working in her personal gardens (where poppies were a stylistic favorite) and competing in flower shows (winning many blue ribbons) before completing the rigorous program to be named an Accredited National Council of State Garden Club Flower Show Judge.
Thelma and her husband, Con, were gracious entertainers, regularly hosting bridge games and beginning preparations many weeks in advance for their annual formal Christmas cocktail party. Following retirement, they also pursued far-flung travels, departing with sophisticated wardrobe ensembles and returning with burnished tans, photographs of new friends and (not infrequently) sparkly souvenirs!
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of almost 67 years, Conrad Adair Carter Sr., her parents John Taylor Lane and Anise Nicktie Shuler Lane, and sisters, Evelyn Whitt and Dorothy Body.