Andrew Carr

Obituary of Andrew Rembert Carr

Andrew Carr Obituary 2020 Andrew ("Andy") Rembert Carr's life ended peacefully at his home in Clarksdale, MS on Monday, December 28th, with family members, his caregivers and Father Raju Macherla at his side. Graveside services officiated by Fr. Raju were held in Clarksdale at Oakhurst Cemetery on Wednesday morning, December 30, at 10 a.m. One of the hopes Andy shared earlier in his life was to live until the year 2000, and he greatly surpassed that goal by almost 21 years, living to the age of 94. Andy Carr truly "fought the good fight" until God called him home, and the legacy he leaves behind is deep and wide. He lived a life of abiding and sincere faith in God, and he was quick to share it with many. His love and adoration for his wife, Susie, and his family was evident to all who knew him, and his family felt that love daily. He greatly loved his church and was passionately involved. He and Susie were faithful members of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church of Clarksdale, MS. As a devoted parishioner, he served as Eucharistic Minister, Building Committee Chairman, Bible Study teacher and Choir member, and he served on the Parish Council, the St. Elizabeth School Board and the Diocesan Social Justice Board. Perpetual Adoration is prayer time alone at the church for one hour a week by participating parishioners around the clock, seven days a week. He dedicated an hour on Tuesdays in the early morning for many years. Four months to the day before his death, Andy lost his beloved wife Susie, who died at their home on August 27, just before 70 years of marriage. They are remembered for their deep love and adoration for each other. His desire to be continually by her side did not end when God called her home. We remember him telling us, within the brief time of losing Susie, that he just missed seeing her by his side when he awoke. His caregivers even commented frequently that they rarely saw a love so strong between two people. Andy was the son of Blanche and Oscar C. Carr, and the brother of the late Oscar C. Carr, Jr. and sister, Mary Lee Carr. He was born in Clarksdale, MS on July 4, 1926. We celebrated him every year with so much fun, fanfare, fireworks and caramel cake - his most favorite of all desserts! The most memorable of his birthdays was his 50th on our nation's Bicentennial year in 1976. It was quite a celebration which Susie planned with family and friends of all ages from near and far to surprise him. The great photos of his handsome face at 50, everyone there, and the fun captured from that particular birthday are treasured. They will definitely keep this sweet memory of celebrating him alive. Andy attended Clarksdale public schools through the 10th grade and then transferred to Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana. After graduating Cum Laude, on D-Day, June 6, 1944, he joined the United States Navy on July 3, 1944, as a sailor for one year. He thereafter received an appointment to Annapolis, and entered the U.S. Naval Academy as the first four-year class in June 1945. He was commissioned Ensign and graduated in June, 1949, with a degree in mechanical engineering. He served in the Navy aboard a destroyer for three years and an amphibious flagship for two years in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean before he resigned his commission to return to his beloved home and family farm, Mascot Planting Company. He would bring his wife and son from Newport, RI to make his home, joining his father and brother in the farming business on New Africa Road near Clarksdale. Andy and Susie were married in October, 1950. Their five children are, Andrew Rembert Carr, Jr. of Memphis, TN, Michael Erb Carr of Clarksdale, MS, Susan Carr Oppenheimer of Memphis, TN, David Busby Carr of Clarksdale, MS, and Virginia ("Ginger") Carr Farris of Oxford, MS. Andy loved the land. Overseeing and managing the business and farming operations at Mascot, he continually sought to invest in and improve all manners of farming and ginning with the many challenges through the years. Andy was a leader and trailblazer. Upon returning to the family farm, he immediately saw the need for irrigation and drainage strategies in order to improve yields. Andy was among the first to implement irrigation and land forming practices in the Mississippi Delta. He established and served as president of the New Africa Drainage District for many years. Andy was a founding member of The First National Bank of Clarksdale. He was a member of the Clarksdale Chamber of Commerce, the Delta Council and Cotton Ginning Committee, and the Mississippi Rice and Soybean Promotion Boards. He served on numerous agricultural and industry boards during his lifetime. In 1965, Andy became deeply involved in the Civil Rights Movement along with his brother, Oscar, to promote equal opportunity and the respect and dignity for Mississippi's marginalized poor. During this time he sought the advice of Sargent Shriver, an Office of Economic Opportunity official out of Washington D.C. Shriver met with him in Clarksdale to discuss Andy's increasing concerns about the social and economic injustices facing African Americans in the Delta. Shriver advised that people are remembered for what they do, not what they say. Always embracing an opportunity to lead and serve, Andy accepted the nomination for President of the poverty program known as Coahoma Opportunities, Inc. for which he served six years (1965-1971). "As the chairman of COI, the program developed into a comprehensive local support system during Andy's tenure there. He helped start many social services such as Head Start, legal aid, adult education and retraining farm workers." He faithfully committed his time and energies to social and economic justice for those in need. His heart for others went well beyond those he knew personally. The noteworthy life he was blessed to live was defined by his serving and caring for others. His integrity and goodness will always be remembered. Playing tennis and golf late into life, he was passionate about staying fit and healthy, never failing to mention his family's need to do the same! Andy was incredibly honest and fiercely opinionated, yet kind-hearted and interested in everyone. He was a Cub Scout Master and a Good Samaritan. His presence was large when he entered a room, and he carried interesting conversations with his curious and inquisitive nature. Reading was also a cherished pass time. He relished playing bridge with the most challenging of friends/players, and received great joy growing all manners of beautiful roses and colorful zinnias all along the way. He greatly enjoyed visiting with others as he would frequently "pop in" to see friends at their homes or places of business for a cheerful visit, or to discuss something on his heart and mind which would often involve seeking "the truth!" He also loved to teach and taught his grandchildren much of what he knew including history and Latin, and he always read to the young ones. He tutored students in Algebra. He promoted night school for African American adults who could not attend school growing up. He rarely missed an opportunity to correct or teach each one of his children (or anyone else for that matter) the importance of correct and proper grammar. Another reassuring and kind trait remembered by many is he never failed to show up for anyone and everyone. Be it a wedding, a funeral, a tennis match, or any other special event - no matter how busy - he was always there to be a part of and a support for all, and if he were not on time for the event, it would be because he was early! We wish to give special thanks to the devoted caregivers for the loving care they bestowed upon our dear father and mother daily and especially in their final days. We could not begin to edify each of them enough for the many ways they loved them and brightened their lives. Their care for our parents and daily communication to us was well beyond the call of duty, and we will be forever grateful. Andrew R. Carr lived a very full and fruitful life, loving his family devotedly, serving others and tirelessly working to improve his community and State. Once, when asked how he would like to be remembered, he said, "As a Christian who believed in the brotherhood of man and who tried to live that truth with his family, friends, and community." In addition to his beloved children, Andy leaves 14 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. They all called him "Bop," and they all love him so much. He leaves his family and community a legacy of compassion and faithfulness which will be remembered and cherished by all who knew him. To say we shall miss him dearly is an understatement, but we are comforted by the fact that he is rejoicing with his Savior and together again with Susie, the love of his life.
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