IN MEMORIAM: Elisabeth Ross Reed Carter

by Jane Ahrens

Elisabeth “Liz” Ross Reed Carter, died on April 13, 2019, at home in Richmond’s Westminster Canterbury, where despite a disabling stroke, her grace and good humor continued to enchant her friends and caring staff.

Liz was born in Richmond, Virginia on June 7, 1932, the eldest of five children of Mary Ross Scott and William Thomas Reed, Jr.  She was a granddaughter of Alice Burwell and William T. Reed, Sr. and of Elisabeth Strother and Frederic W. Scott. She grew up on her parents’ Sabot Hill Farm in Goochland County, Virginia, attended The Collegiate School, St. Timothy’s School in Stevenson, Maryland (Class of 1950) and Finch College in New York, New York. In 1954, she married Beirne Blair Carter, President of Carter Machinery Company, a Caterpillar tractor dealership, and moved to Roanoke, Virginia. She returned to Sabot Hill Farm in 1978.

Liz is survived by her daughter, Mary Ross Carter Hutcheson (Rossie) and son-in-law John Randolph Hutcheson (Randy), and three grandchildren: John Randolph Hutcheson, Jr. (Jack), Beirne Carter Hutcheson and fiancé Clare Campbell Moser, and Mary Ross Hutcheson (Rossie).  She was predeceased by her two brothers, William T. Reed III (Bill) and Frederic Scott Reed (Freddie) and her brother-in-law Hunter Holmes McGuire, Jr. (Mac). She is survived by her sisters, Alice Reed McGuire of Richmond, VA and Mary Ross Reed Fisher and her husband Alexander Murray Fisher, Jr. (Sandy) of Sabot, VA, two sisters-in-law, Helen Scott Reed and Frances Adamson Reed (Francie), and by fourteen nieces and nephews whom she loved and adored.

While living in Roanoke, Liz was active at North Cross School (President of Parents Association), St. John’s Episcopal Church, Mill Mountain Garden Club (President) and Children’s Home Society (President). She had a great love for the outdoors and spent many weekends leading Girl Scouts and other young people hiking, canoeing and spelunking in the Roanoke Valley.

She loved the Blue Ridge Mountains, Fishers Island, and the Chesapeake Bay. She especially enjoyed boating, surf casting and lobstering. She was a member of the Fishers Island Club, the Fishers Island Yacht Club, and the Hay Harbor Club. She served for 15 years on the Altar Guild of St. John’s Episcopal Church on Fishers Island. In Richmond, she participated in Leadership Metro Richmond, served on the Vestry at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, was active with Lenten lunches, a Lay Eucharist Minister, a Stephen’s Minister, and enjoyed leading wildflower walks during Shrine Mont Retreats.

She was a member of the Roanoke and Richmond Junior Leagues, the James River Garden Club, Garden Club of America (Conservation Committee), The Woman’s Club, The Country Club of Virginia, the Society of Colonial Dames (Nathaniel Burrell of Gloucester, VA) and a Trustee of Collegiate School. For 30 years, Liz served in various capacities for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, including 10 years as a Trustee. She was a champion of the environmental education program in the Richmond area. Her greatest joy was teaching others, especially her grandchildren, about the beauty of nature.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial for Liz may be given to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 1108 E. Main St. 1600, Richmond, VA 23219 or St. John’s Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 505, Fishers Island, NY 06390 or Mill Mountain Wildflower Garden, c/o Susan Lancaster, 723 White Oak Rd., SW, Roanoke, Virginia, 24014. Graveside services will be private at Hollywood Cemetery. A memorial service will follow at St. James’s Episcopal Church Richmond, VA on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., followed by a reception.

Published in the Richmond Times on April 16, 2019

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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