Leland “Lee” Lavelle Carter

L. Carver.

Leland Lavelle Carter passed away quietly on Jan. 30, 2020. He lived a quiet unassuming life with his constant companion, Gerry, by his side.

Lee was born on November 27, 1937 in Oberlin, Kansas. He grew up in Colorado on a farm with his parents and four younger siblings. Following his childhood, the family moved closer to Northwest Nazarene College where he attended and completed a degree in physics. During this time, he met his “sweetheart” Gerry and they married on June 7, 1958. Over the next several years, they added three children to their marriage (and later adopted a fourth) – all while Lee was working on his doctorate in nuclear engineering at the University of Washington.

As they raised their children, Lee brought joy to every day such as singing while doing the dishes, whistling while doing tasks, and telling his famous “Danny Meadow Mouse” stories.

Lee’s first official position as a nuclear physicist was at the Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory. It was during his work there that he became a member of the American Nuclear Society. He developed a nuclear shielding program that combined a number of special purpose Monte Carlo computer codes and it is still used today. Those who knew him well called him “brilliant.” He was invited on numerous occasions to speak at American Nuclear Society meetings where he shared his vast knowledge and presented lengthy papers he had created.

In 1977, the family moved to the Tri-Cities where each child left the nest and move on to college. Everywhere he lived, he diligently and quietly served in his local Nazarene Church. He had a deep abiding faith in God and an ever-present optimistic attitude.

Lee loved and adored his wife Gerry and would stop at nothing to make her happy. He adored his children, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He shared his humor and demonstrated his faith in God by his calm steady life. His life verse was, “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” He believed that with all his heart and lived it out daily.

Lee is survived by his wife Gerry, his children Carol (Dale) Layne, Mike (Tamara) Carter, Linda (Allen) Swenson, Wayne (Editha) Carter, six grandchildren and their spouses, and 12 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service for Lee will occur Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Salem First Church of the Nazarene, 1550 Market St NE, Salem, OR 97301. 

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Carter family.