At one time or another, Christopher Carter either coached basketball at George Washington High School or headed the school.
Carter, former George Washington principal, died Saturday. He was 59.
He died of complications from kidney failure, said his wife, Frances “Fran” Carter.
“Words can’t express what he meant to me,” she said Monday evening. “He was all the husband I ever prayed for, he was all the father I ever prayed for.”
The Carters were married for 35 years and had two sons, Darius and Devan, both of whom went on to become coaches at universities.
Carter, who lived in Cascade, was the principal at George Washington from 2007-13 and coached the basketball team in 1998. They were state champions that year.
“He was just a good human being, a good Christian man,” said Charlotte Melton, secretary to the principal at George Washington. “He was always there to talk to you, to help you. He was just an overall kind man and good principal.”
Carter was a mentor to Jermaine Parker, the high school’s head basketball coach, when he was starting out as a coach in 2013 or 2014.
“He really took me under his wing to mentor me and help me in the basketball system,” Parker said.
Carter was head coach of George Washington’s basketball team when Parker graduated from the school in 1998.
He was also assistant coach under Harry Johnson in 1996, when the school won the state basketball championship that year too, Frances Carter said.
“He was passionate about youth and giving himself to kids,” Frances Carter said.
Besides coaching and being a principal, Carter was also founder and pastor of United in Christ Ministries in Eden, North Carolina.
“He was the definition of humanity and compassion,” she said.
George Washington drama teacher Dana Tickle knew Carter for 10 years.
“He absolutely had respect for the faculty,” Tickle said. “He had a great relationship with the children.”
Tickle, who currently drives three hours round-trip from Bedford to teach at George Washington, said she saw the school through Carter’s eyes.
He called her to offer her an interview for a teaching job in 2010.
“Keep an open mind,” she remembered him telling her at the time. “I would like to have you interview here for an English position.”
She asked where Danville was.
“He told me to go down 29 South about as far as I could go in Virginia and to look for the school on the hill after I crossed the river,” she wrote in a Facebook post Sunday.
Carter told her not to worry when she took the job because his staff loved him, she recalled.
“He was right,” she posted.
Crane reports for the Register & Bee. He can be reached at (434) 791-7987.