Bessie Carter

August 3, 1922 ~ April 6, 2020 (age 97)

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Bessie Alice Carter was born in Kansas City, MO by a midwife at 26th Lydia. Her father, John Wallace a laborer who fought in World War I.  Her grandmother who also resided with her family and raised her during her early childhood.  Her mother Alice Johnson Wallace passed away when she was 5 years of age and after a few years her father could no longer take care of her and her brother and were both taken to separate boys and girls homes out in the country by the Little Blue River.   


Mom stayed in the orphanage and was visited by her father only once. At the age of 15 she was selected from a line of girls to be a maid for a lady that was looking for a young girl to work in her home.  Mom moved from household to household over the years, learning how to cook and clean.  She worked for a well-to-do family for several years - Mr. Jesse Clyde Nichols, Jr. whose father J.C Nichols had built the Plaza. 

Mom met and married Billy Brooks in her early 20’s and had three children; Stella, Billy and Peggy. Meriel Brooks (brother in-law) was a dear friend. Mom lived in Independence for about 9 years, until there was a separation. She worked and had an opportunity to travel to Canada. During this time in her life she was involved in a terrible car accident in town where her back was broken and she had to be in a special body brace in the hospital for months, but she fully recovered. 

A few years later mom met Charles Carter and they married. They started a new family raising Charles Jr. and daughter Shawn. During these years there was the loss of her daughter Peggy and son Billy Brooks. Mom remained a housewife throughout the rest of her life, living on Cleveland Ave. in Kansas City, MO. She was visited through the years by her children, grandchildren and neighbors.   

Mom was united with her brother Clarence, after being separated for many years when they were children. By making a few calls, she discovered that he had been in the service.  He came to visit her from California and they stayed in contact through writing letters, until his passing several years later. 

After Charles Carter was deceased, mom continued to live at the same residence for many years, but a broken ankle would make it impossible for her to continue to live alone in her home.  After a few months of rehabilitation, she moved to John Knox Village and remained in independent living in good health until she was 94.   

After becoming extremely sick and being hospitalized, mom was soon put in hospice care. She recovered but continued in hospice care for the next three years with minor health concerns and problems due to age.  She spent the last three years being cared for by her youngest daughter Shawn in her home where mom peacefully fell to sleep and now is in heaven. 

Graveside services will be held Saturday, April 18, 2020 11:00 A.M. at the Woodlawn Cemetery, Independence, Missouri

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Graveside Service

Woodlawn Cemetery, Missouri

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