Boswell remembered as ‘an absolute blessing’

Published 5:40 pm Friday, April 28, 2017

It was a short life filled with bright smiles and a compassionate spirit, one that will be long remembered by all who loved and were befriended by him.

Friends, family, classmates and faculty are mourning the loss of 16-year-old Carter Boswell. 

He was killed in an automobile accident Saturday on the Honoraville Road (County Road 50).

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Carter, a sophomore at Fort Dale Academy, was an energetic student who enjoyed playing golf, soccer, football and basketball.

“Carter was an all-around good teenager,” said Fort Dale Academy headmaster David Brantley.

Carter was known for his easy-going, fun-loving, happy-go-lucky nature, a free spirit with a compassionate heart for others.  An avid Alabama football fan, he was also known for his love of all things Crimson Tide.

Longtime friend and classmate,Caroline Wood, recalls his passion for the Tide.  “One of his favorite football players was Julio Jones – he had a huge Julio Fathead in his room,” Wood said with an affectionate smile, describing her friend as “goofy, funny and kind hearted,” the one in the crowd who always had a smile and always made everyone else feel happy.

Now, memories of Carter fill a banner inside Fort Dale Academy’s gym.  “Rest easy, Carter.  We love you,” wrote Jacob Foster.

Xada Ingram, who’s been a friend and classmate of Carter’s since kindergarten, said that he had the best heart of anyone she knows.  “He was just very caring,” Ingram said.

One description of Carter that was mentioned by many was “handsome.”  “When we were younger, all the girls had a crush on Carter on some point,” Ingram said.

A makeshift memorial in Carter’s school parking spot has been blocked off in his memory.   “The items in the parking spot are physical things that meant something to Carter,” Wood said.  “It started with flowers and now has some of Carter’s personal items such as his basketball shoes.”

In the wake of a tragedy that has rocked the school of nearly 500 students, one thing is evident – unity.  “Our grade has really come together and bonded with one another even more,” said Ingram.  “Being with friends helps a lot.  We’re all friends and all going through the same thing with losing a classmate. We’ve really bonded together.”

Kelsey Woodard remembers Carter as a beloved class clown. “He would come into class smiling and always picked on us.  He never quit smiling and was always making everyone laugh,” Woodard said.

Carter’s teachers all agree that he was also a joy to have in the classroom.  “I have sweet photos of Carter still hanging on my wall in my classroom,” said Debbie Hollyfield, Boswell’s kindergarten teacher.  “He loved everyone and was a joy to teach . . . a precious boy.  I have one picture of Carter and his sister, Lilly – what a special big brother he was.”

Ann Blackmon, who taught Carter in the second grade, describes him as an “absolute blessing.”

“God gave me the privilege of teaching Carter.  He had such a wonderful personality and was so caring and good to other children.  Even as a high school student, he still took the time to speak to me and to make me feel important in his life.  I had the honor of knowing him as a teacher and as the mother of a child (Jackson) who is in the same grade,” Blackmon said.  “It was such a privilege to watch him grow into such a fine, handsome, cordial and precious young man.”

Teacher Tracey Hendrick described Carter as a very compassionate child who loved life and his friends. “Everybody loved Carter and not just at FDA. His friend base is so wide-spread.   He was an active teenager who was taken too quickly from us,” Hendrick said.

Soccer coach Andrea Wildermuth said Carter was a tremendous help both on and off the soccer field.  “Carter played soccer for us for three years and helped with soccer camp too.  He always had a great attitude, very caring and always smiling.  Josh [Wildermuth] and I will greatly miss him,” she said.

Students gathered together Wednesday night and held a prayer vigil in memory of their classmate at Southside Baptist Church.  Funeral services were held Thursday at First United Methodist Church.

“Losing Carter is a terrible tragedy for our school,” said Brantley.  “Our kids have suffered greatly.  I have been amazed at the maturity and the way they’ve handled such a tragic situation. We have been comforted by the love and support shown from parents, the community and from other schools.”

Carter’s headmaster will always remember the sophomore as  “a bright spot in our school with an infectious smile that would light up a room.”