Gene Carter

HAMPDEN – U.S. District Judge Gene Carter of Avalon Village, in Hampden, and Crescent Beach, Fla., departed on a journey of infinite duration on Nov. 17, 2021.

Gene Carter was born to the late Kenneth W. and Sylvia Loreta (Beal) Carter on Nov. 1, 1935 in Milbridge. He lived in various small Maine towns and villages until the age of 16, when his family moved to Bangor.

Gene graduated from Bangor High School with honors in 1954, at which time he received scholarships to the University of Maine at Orono. He graduated with distinction in 1958 with a bachelor’s degree in history and government and a minor in philosophy.

While at university, Gene became, by invitation, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Societies. He was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha social fraternity and was elected to membership in the Senior Skull Honor Society. The University awarded Judge Carter the Doctor of Laws Degree (Hon.) in 1985. He was a devoted supporter of The University of Maine at Orono and the University of Maine Foundation and was a member of the Stillwater Society. In 2019 he was elected an honorary member of the University of Maine Foundation.

After graduating from the University of Maine, Gene received the prestigious Root-Tilden Scholarship to New York University School of Law. He graduated with distinction from that School in 1961 and later received the law school’s distinguished alumni award. After graduation from law school, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable J. Spencer Bell, judge of the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. He entered the U.S. Army Reserve as a recruit at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. He left the army with the rank of captain.

On returning to Bangor, Gene practiced law from his own office for a short time and then became a partner in the firm of Rudman, Rudman and Carter (now Rudman Winchell). He was a member and chairman of the SJC Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure. He also served a term as president of the Penobscot County Bar Association. Gene was chairman of the Bangor Housing Authority for several terms.

After his years in the practice of law, he was appointed by Governor Joseph Brennan as an Associate Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court (1980 – 1983), the youngest Justice, at that time, to serve on that Court.

Justice Carter was nominated by Senator William Cohen, and was appointed, with the advice and consent of the Senate of The United States, by President Ronald Reagan to be a Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maine (1983 – 2021). He served as Chief Judge of the Court during his tenure for seven years (1989 – 1996). During the early years of his tenure, Judge Carter often sat, by invitation, on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Judicial Circuit and frequently on the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. He became a Senior District Judge in 2002 and continued in that office until the time of his death.

Gene was a Master Mason of Saint Andrews Lodge #83 AF & AM at Bangor and was elected as a sovereign member of the Supreme Council, Grand Inspector General, 33rd Degree (Hon.), of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.

He was a member of numerous social service organizations including the Taratine Club of Bangor, the Penobscot Valley Country Club of Orono, the Bangor City Club, The Cumberland Club of Portland, the Falmouth Country Club of Falmouth, and the Metropolitan Club of New York City.

Gene had a special regard for several close friends — his law partners, the late Gerald E. Rudman, Esq., and Phillip D. Buckley, Esq.; the late S. Robert Campbell; Lt. Col. (Res.) Thomas W. Larkin of Cumberland; his former law clerk, Monica B. Black; his fellow sailor, the late John Evans Harrington Esq.; former Chief Justice Daniel Wathen; Judge George Z. Singal and his high school classmate and life­long friend, Gary W. Smith.

Gene was predeceased by his parents; and a sister, Andrea Lynn.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Judith Ann; son, Matthew George and his partner, Beth Robbins Mitchell; Matthew’s former spouse, Katherine Amis (Farthing) and their prodigious sons Maxwell Gene and Stanley Merrill of Bangor; and son, Mark Gerald and his wife Karen Ann (Vitale) of Hampton, Conn. Also surviving him are two sisters, Jane Carter Smithson, of Port Charlotte, Fla. and Barbara Arbour and her husband, Richard Arbour, also of Port Charlotte, Fla. In addition, Gene is survived by his nephew Kenneth Cronin, niece Pamela Beckey, niece Jennifer Lapham, and nephew Thomas Kittredge.

A celebration of Gene’s life will be held at a time and place to be announced at a later date.

Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the

Gene Carter and Judith Kittredge Scholarship fund,

c/o The University of Maine Foundation

2 Alumni Drive

Orono, ME 04469 or the

Children’s Dyslexia

Center – Bangor

294 Union St., Suite 3

Bangor, ME 04401

Gene Carter

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