Stephen Carter, right, with his daughter Christina [Photo courtesy of Spanish Valley Mortuary]

Stephen Allen Carter lost his long battle with cancer on January 9, 2016.

Stephen was born on January 12, 1948, in Downey, California, to Ralph (Rip) and Charlene Jones Carter. He graduated from Nogales High School in California. It was during his senior year that he fell in love with Frances Grace Mitchell. They married in April 1966 and had one child, Christina F. Woodard. They later divorced in 1973.

It was then in May 1973 that he joined the Navy and became an aviation machinist. He enjoyed his tours on various aircraft carriers, where he would take apart and fix, then put back together, the engines of the jet airplanes. During his service, he served in the Vietnam War and the Gulf War, completed 20 tours around the world and served 30 years in the Navy.

When he retired in 2003, he moved to Moab to be closer to his daughter and her family. He got a job as a janitor for the school district. He enjoyed his five years working there until he lost too much of his jaw to cancer. He didn’t want to offend the kids by his looks, so he retired completely. It was then that he started building cars and repairing engines for people. He also had a love for building model airplanes and playing with trains, like he did when he was a kid.

The last project he was working on was rebuilding a 1931 Ford Coupe for his daughter and son-in-law. The dreaded cancer was too much for him to finish; now his daughter and son-in-law have to finish it.

Stephen was preceded in death by his father, Ralph (Rip) Carter; mother Charlene Shelly; stepmother Billie Carter-Daniels; and sister Janis Carter.

He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Christina (Don) Woodard; niece Becky Recavarren of California; three grandsons: Justin (Thuy ) Woodard of Moab, Aaron (Lucinda) Woodard of Moab, and Coy (Kalan) Woodard of Cortez, Colorado; six great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.

As a very private man, he requested no services. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you give donations to the Wounded Warriors.

Condolences may be sent to the family at