Cover photo for Barbara Lee Carter's Obituary
Barbara Lee Carter Profile Photo
1928 Barbara 2020

Barbara Lee Carter

January 16, 1928 — September 6, 2020

Barbara Lee Murchie Carter, 92, passed away at her home on Sunday, September 6, 2020.

Barbara Murchie was born on January 16, 1928, in St. Joseph, Missouri, the daughter of Leland Stanford Murchie and Marcelous Coale Murchie. She grew up in Rock Island and Moline, graduating as valedictorian from Moline High School in 1945. She earned her B.A. as a special honors scholar at Northwestern University, tutored by pre-eminent Professor of English, Bergen Evans. She received her M.A. in English literature from Northwestern University and the University of London.

In 1951 she married Thomas William Carter at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Moline. Dr. Carter, a prominent surgeon, did his internship and residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. Their first daughter, Patricia Lee, was born in Chicago. Their second daughter, Catherine Anne, was born in Orlando while Dr. Carter was stationed at McCoy Air Force base. In Florida, Mrs. Carter wrote the love song “Orlando” for her husband, recorded with Ken Henderson in 1964.

A brilliant poet and musician, Mrs. Carter wrote “a limerick a day” and performed many musical and literary programs, most notably “Kazoo,” a musical review and fundraiser for Moline Public Hospital. She served as both playwright and producer, dedicating the work to her husband, President of their medical staff. She tirelessly practiced the fine art of letter writing, musing she’d like to be remembered for “A million silly poems meant to give the world a smile or two, but I’m not finished yet, I hope, for I have a million more songs yet to be sung.” She was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and King’s Daughters.

Barbara Lee Carter’s generosity of spirit and philanthropy touched innumerable people over the years. In turn, her family wishes to thank Dr. Shawn Keevan, her many caregivers, most notably Judy Condrack, and the Unity Point Hospice nurses and music therapist who kindly assisted in allowing her to stay in her family home.

Mrs. Carter was predeceased by her parents; her husband of nearly fifty years, Dr. Thomas W. Carter; and her sister Lora Murchie Schott. She is survived by daughters and sons-in-law, Patricia Carter Deveau and Todd Deveau, and Dr. Catherine Carter Goebel and Dr. Gary Goebel; grandchildren and spouses, Dr. Todd Carter and Hannah Deveau, Dr. Thomas James and Morgan Goebel Morgan, Patrick Fletcher and Courtney Deveau and Katherine Elizabeth Goebel; great-grandson Carter King Deveau, and niece Susan Schott Holl.

A private family memorial service will be held Thursday, September 10, 2020, at Trimble Funeral Home, Moline, followed by burial at Riverside Cemetery, Moline.

Barbara’s family invites friends to share stories and condolences at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Lee Carter, please visit our flower store.

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