Joseph David Carten, aka JD, born in 1943, died 02/05/2021 in Sugarland, Texas after a long battle with congestive heart failure, just short of his 78th birthday. His pastor described him to be “a cross between the Dos Equis ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’, Forrest Gump, and George Bailey – only because his simple life overshadowed his amazing life experiences” and that was a pretty accurate description.
Orphaned at 10, separated from his three sisters, never to be reunited, he grew up in foster homes in the area of Alexandria, VA. He had a variety of male role models where he learned responsibility, hard work and compassion for others. He served in the United States Marine Corps, serving in Vietnam where he was seriously injured. Once recovered he was able to attend the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA. After graduating, he held many interesting positions around the world, but found himself in Houston, TX in 1979 where he met and married his bride of 40 years in March of 1980.
A man of many talents and skills, he had told his wife when they first married he’d always wanted to be a “gentleman farmer” and eventually became one of the earliest organic herb farmers in the Houston area, selling to grocers, restaurants and produce markets over a career lasting almost 30 years. He never met a stranger, could speak on almost any topic and you always knew where he stood on things. He had a wonderfully dry sense of humor that could catch folks off-guard sometimes and he loved doing that. As his health was declining, he would go to car shows and when he got tired, he’d find some stranger with an empty chair, walk up, sit down and say “I got your text, I got here as fast as I could”. He may have taken them by surprise, but he always got a smile. He had a love of old cars, and certainly more projects than he could finish, but he made some very close friendships over the years with those who shared his passion. But lately, his very favorite pastime was sitting on his big back porch enjoying a beer with his sweetheart.
Being a foster child, it was important to him to payback the kindnesses given to him, and he and his wife fostered 13 kids over 8 years in the Fort Bend CPS Foster program, adopting three boys as their own. Over the years, they have heard back from most of those foster children thanking them for their love and support. JD was also very involved in other local ministries for many years and was currently a member at Sienna Ranch Baptist Church. He loved the Lord and was very ready to see him face to face, he was tired and ready to go home.
He is survived by his wife, Katherine, his three sons: Jimmy (Mary), Michael (Jessica), Bo (Allison), and almost sons: nephew Jimmy McReynolds (Vivi), and George Johnson (Heather), along with his 7 beloved grandchildren and 4 great-nieces/nephews, and 3 great-great nephews. His wishes were to be cremated, have no funeral services, and have a Celebration of Life ceremony in the early summer when his youngest son returns from Afghanistan. In lieu of flowers, if you desire, please make a donation to the American Heart Association on his behalf.
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