Helen E. Carter, retired secretary and church activist, dies

Helen E. Carter, a retired secretary who had worked for several state agencies and was an active churchwoman, died Aug. 13 from multiple myeloma at the University of Maryland’s Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie.

The Severna Park resident was 89.

The former Helen Elizabeth Jenkins was born in Midlothian, Allegany County. She was the only child of James Jenkins, a B&O Railroad mechanic assigned to its Cumberland Shops, and Nellie Jenkins, a homemaker.

Raised near Frostburg, she was a graduate of Beall High School. In 1952, she married James R. Carter, a Westinghouse Electric Corp. sheet metal worker, and they settled in Arbutus.

The couple later moved to Glen Burnie, where they lived many years before moving in the 1980s to Severna Park.

Mrs. Carter worked for the G.C. Murphy Co. at a lunch counter — family members said she was “challenged by an order for iced coffee.”

In 1976, she got a job as a secretary for the state Department of Education, and later worked for the state Department of Health and Human Resources. She was a longtime secretary for the State Highway Administration, and retired from there in 1991.

Mrs. Carter continued to work as an administrative assistant for Sunrise in Severna Park, an assisted-living facility, and also the YMCA and Prudential Real Estate.

In recent years, she was an administrative assistant at the Severna Park Community Center, and regularly swam there until she turned 88.

She was a devoted and active member of Severna Park United Methodist Church, and also had been active over the years in the ministries of Glen Burnie Baptist Church, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Severna Park Baptist Church, Glen Burnie United Methodist Church, the Salvation Army and Severna Park Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

She also volunteered with Partners In Care.

Mrs. Carter was a lifelong violinist and fiddler. She enjoyed square dancing and most recently line dancing at the Pasadena Senior Center.

An avid traveler, she still liked returning to the mountains of Western Maryland where she had spent her youth, family members said.

Her husband died in 2000. A daughter, Cynthia Feldstein, died in 2011.

Services were held Thursday at Severna Park United Methodist Church.

She is survived by a son, James R. Carter II of Elkridge; a daughter, Nancy Gorman of Odenton; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

— Frederick N. Rasmussen

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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