Donald Burke Carter passed away on November 17, 2023 at his home in Holladay, Utah, following a painful ten year battle with cancer. He lived 83 years and 362 days, just three days shy of his goal to see his 84th birthday. He fought his disease to see his grandchildren grow as much as possible. Before this last chapter, Don lived a life filled with rich experiences and had many stories to share.
Don was born and raised in Bingham Canyon, Utah, a forgotten town near Copperton, now covered with tailings from the Bingham Canyon mine. As a child in a rustic mining town, Don’s early life was filled with fisticuffs and mischief. Imagine the Little Rascals equipped with blasting caps. It was said school officials had to designate a Lagoon Day exclusively for “the Bingham kids” to keep them from roughing up kids who attended from other schools. When Don wasn’t tipping over occupied outhouses with his pals, he worked diligently to hide from the Marine belt kept at the ready by his father. This tactic was not always successful.
Don met Linda Westerberg, his future wife of 60 years, at a church social when he was 20 years old. On their second date, Don took Linda skiing at Brighton, but she broke her leg on a not so technical slope. In spite of this, they married and the marriage lasted. Don and Linda raised a daughter and son, Diedre and Ryan, in Holladay, Utah. Don loved holidays with his children often going overboard with gifts at Christmas. At Halloween, Don escorted his children trick-or-treating while dressed as an eight-foot Frankenstein, thanks to a pair of his old drywall stilts he maneuvered with mad skill. Easter brought elaborate treasure hunts written in limerick that his kids and grandkids never forgot. Around the Fourth of July, Don would challenge the neighborhood to bottle-rocket fights, and win!
Then there was Ute football season. An avid fan of the University of Utah, Don’s love for U of U football really took off when both Ryan and Diedre were enrolled there. Don and Linda enjoyed tailgating with family and friends before home games. He also did not hesitate to express his opinion from the stands whenever Coach McBride called another run up the middle on 3rd and 10. U of U football games were a highlight of his life to the end.
His neighborhood, for the most part, appreciated Don’s presence, especially when needing help with chores like breaking into a locked car. Folks surmised that Don would just know how to break into things, and strangely enough, they were correct. But Don wasn’t a crook. Rather he possessed a brilliant and unorthodox mind. He solved the New York Times crossword puzzles at lightning speed. He rebuilt cars, houses, and appliances without need of formal training. And being a crackerjack salesman, he could sell holy water to the Pope.
Don cherished his grandchildren, Benjamin Rex and Loren Ann. When his health permitted, he did not miss a school assembly or soccer game. He wanted so much to see them grow into adulthood. Even though Don lived well beyond anyone’s expectations, he never quit pushing to live longer so he could be with his family.
Don was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Michael. Don was a hard man, who lived a hard life, but filled it with boundary-breaking humor. The world will not be the same without him. Our family is grateful for the expert treatment and compassionate care given Don by Huntsman Cancer Institute and Rocky Mountain Hospice. In lieu of funeral services, the family will be hosting a celebration of life gathering for Don on Monday, December 18, 2023, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at The Chateau at The Rose Shop, 1910 E. Dimple Dell Rd. (10600 S.), Sandy.