Cover photo for Darrel Leroy Carter's Obituary
Darrel Leroy Carter Profile Photo

Darrel Leroy Carter

January 7, 1958 — November 25, 2023

Overland Park

Darrel LeRoy Carter, 65, was born on January 7, 1958, to Louis and Iola Carter of Morrowville, KS. He exemplified strength and resilience throughout his battle with Pancreatic Cancer. Despite the challenges he faced, his attitude remained incredibly positive and hopeful throughout his cancer journey.

Darrel called his family together for a special Thanksgiving gathering at his childhood farm home. It was here, surrounded by the warmth and love of those he cherished, that he embarked on his ultimate journey to join the Lord on November 25, 2023.

Darrel graduated from North Central High School in Morrowville in 1976. He then attended Cloud County Community College and graduated from Kansas State University with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, December 1980. He worked in Texas for 3 years for IA Naman & Associates, designing HVAC systems for large scale projects such as the Houston Galleria and the Transco Tower. He then moved back to Kansas to begin his career with telecom subsidiaries that would eventually become Sprint/T-Mobile. He had a long and successful career in various positions over the years, and received several prestigious awards along the way. He celebrated his retirement in November 2023, culminating his 39 year career as Senior Manager of Sustainability for T-Mobile.

Darrel and Debbie’s life together started with a beautiful story. From the moment Debbie spotted him at Rock Springs 4-H Ranch, he was known to her as the “short cute one”. She didn’t get to talk to him the first time she noticed him, but two years later recognized him on campus at K-State, where fate brought them together once again. Darrel loved to tell the story about how determined he was to get his first date with Debbie. Even though he was denied the first two times (all for good reasons of course), he never gave up. Finally after the third try, they went on their first date. From there, they began their life together, leading them to be married in October, 1995. He was a devoted husband to Deborah Jean (Franklin) Carter and became a loving father to Christyna Jean (Infant-deceased), Franklin LeRoy (25), and Christine Marie (23). Building memories and participating in activities with his family was very important to him. Darrel and Debbie shared a great love for dancing and music, and they frequently attended concerts and local theatre productions together. He often used his knowledge and skills to teach Franklin and Christine and help develop their hobbies into life long skills. As a K-State alum, he enjoyed attending football games in Manhattan until both kids graduated, and traveling for Bowl Games became a family tradition.

Darrel's life was woven with simple pleasures that brought immense joy. From fishing escapades, thrilling high adventure trips, shotgun & rifle shooting, and camping & scouting activities, he found solace and happiness spending time in nature. He often participated in these activities during his tenure in various scouting leadership positions over 15 years. His love for competing in barbecue contests and making homemade ice cream fostered cherished memories among family and friends. His active participation in church activities, including his Sunday School class, Christmas & Easter productions, and singing in the choir, reflected his deep-rooted faith. He always considered the Sunday School class to be a great source of inspiration and support.

The family's retreat to their Lake of The Ozarks Condo held a special place in Darrel's heart. There, surrounded by dear friends and the beauty of nature, they created lasting memories, enjoying the water and all its offerings. Some of his favorites included fishing, boating, tubing with his kids and friends, jet skiing, and sipping his morning coffee in front of the beautiful view.

Darrel was preceded in death by his mother, Iola May Carter, sister-in-law Lori Carter, infant daughter Christyna Carter, his father-in-law Darrel Franklin and mother-in-law Jeanette Franklin.

He is survived by his devoted wife Debbie, beloved children Franklin and Christine, father Louis Carter, brother Larry Carter (Cindy), sister Deb (Carter) Herrman (Bryan), brother Bruce Carter, sister-in-law Deanne (Franklin) Sharer (James), brother-in-law Dr. Michael Franklin (Sandy), nieces & nephews, cousins, and many friends.

The Carter family would like to express their gratitude for all the love, encouragement, and prayers they have received, and will cherish the bonds of family and friendship forever. The stories we share, and the memories we have experienced will continue to reflect the love in our hearts. Darrel’s positive spirit will remain a guiding light to encourage all of us every day.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, December 7th, from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm, and Celebration of Life service will take place on Friday, December 8th, at 1:00 pm, both at the Legacy Christian Church, 10150 Antioch, Overland Park KS. Graveside service will follow at Osawatomie Cemetery where his infant daughter, Christyna, and his spouse’s parents find their eternal rest.

Memorial donations may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at ,

Shelter KC (previously known as the Kansas City Rescue Mission where Darrel volunteered frequently) at!/donation/checkout?c_src=1223HD ,

or The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks at

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, December 7, 2023

4:30 - 6:30 pm (Central time)

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Legacy Christian Church of Overland Park

10150 Antioch Road
Overland Park, KS 66212

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, December 8, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

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Legacy Christian Church of Overland Park

10150 Antioch Road
Overland Park, KS 66212

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

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