Art Creative 04

Joanne Elizabeth Carter

September 19, 1935 ~ June 29, 2020 (age 84)


Joanne Elizabeth Carter, 84, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Monday, June 29, 2020 at her home in South Bend.  Joanne was born September 19, 1935 in South Bend, to the late Fred and Ruth E. (Mangus) Cullar.  She was raised in North Liberty along with her brother John.

Joanne was a proud graduate of Northwestern University, where she was a member of Chi Omega sorority.   While at Northwestern she met her husband, Lt. Commander Richard A. Carter, United States Navy. They were married August 3, 1957 in the North Liberty United Methodist Church and lived together on several naval bases throughout the United States. They had three children, Richard S. Carter, Steven Steele Carter and Patricia Elizabeth Carter. Her husband preceded her in death on July 24, 1968. He was the love of her life and she never remarried.

After Richard’s death Joanne returned home to North Liberty. She was a strong, determined and fiercely independent woman who worked hard to provide for her children. She worked as a substitute teacher while she earned her master’s degree in education at Indiana University South Bend. She became an elementary school teacher in the South Bend Community School Corporation, retiring in 1999 after twenty-six years of service.

Joanne was a lifelong member of the North Liberty United Methodist Church where her parents were founding members. In her later years she attended Grace United Methodist Church in South Bend, where she was involved in the women’s group.  She also was a member of the Professional Education Organization (PEO), American Association of University Women (AAUW), Delta Kappa Gamma, and the Indiana Retired Teachers Association.  She had a love for history and travel, and enjoyed expressing her creativity through painting.

Family was the most important aspect of her life. She was a beloved Mimi to ten grandchildren: Lauren (Steve) Podraza, Grant (Nicole) Carter; Elijah and Evan Carter; Alexa, Molly, Hannah and Jacob Dowell; Sarah (Adam) Friar, Adam Rumage; and three great-grandchildren: Carter Podraza; Jack and Elle Sorenson.

She is survived by her two sons and their wives, Richard and Deborah Carter of West Lafayette, IN and Steven and Susan Carter of Oak Park, IL.

Also surviving is her brother, John (Jane) Cullar; nephew, Richard (Sandy) Cullar; niece, Ann Massy; and son-in-law Tony Dowell.  She was preceded in death by her parents, husband and her daughter, Patricia Elizabeth Dowell.

Funeral services will be at 3:00PM Monday, July 6, 2020 both streamed virtually online and in person at Palmer Funeral Home – Guisinger Chapel, 3718 South Michigan Street, South Bend, Indiana 46614, with Pastor Randall Yoder officiating. Friends may visit with the family from 2:00PM until time of service on Monday at the funeral home.

The family wants all of Joanne’s friends and relatives who have health risks or who are uncomfortable with being in social gatherings to strongly consider watching the services via the provided link below. We will feel your love and support from wherever you choose to honor her life.

Burial will be at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, next to her late husband.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the American Association of University Women’s Fellowships & Grants program.

Online condolences may be directed to the Carter family at

Here is the link to the live video:

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joanne Elizabeth Carter, please visit our floral store.


July 6, 2020

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Palmer Funeral Home - Guisinger Chapel
3718 S. Michigan St.
South Bend, IN 46614

Funeral Service
July 6, 2020

3:00 PM
Palmer Funeral Home - Guisinger Chapel
3718 S. Michigan St.
South Bend, IN 46614


American Association of University of Women's Fellowship & Grants Program
1310 L Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington DC 20005

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