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APS President Nick Carter Dies

Dr. Nicholas G. Carter, president of the American Philatelic Society, passed away early Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008 after a long illness. He was 72.

Carter joined the American Philatelic Society in 1965, and was a member of its Expertizing Committee, specializing in British Africa. He was also a Patron of the American Philatelic Research Library.

Prior to winning election as president of the APS in 2007, Carter served two terms as its treasurer. He was also technology director and a member of the executive committee for the Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition, and former treasurer and current director of NAPEX, the Washington-area World Series of Philately show.

As an exhibitor, he received gold medals at the national level for his exhibits on Nigeria and the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast exhibit (1928 issue) was entered in Washington 2006.

"I grew up in a family where you weren't normal if you didn't collect stamps. My Boston grandmother designed a stamp — the 1906 Olive Blossom commemorative of Barbados," he said in his 2007 campaign statement.

His grandfather was a British colonial governor-general in Barbados and The Gambia, and de facto postmaster.

"My insatiable curiosity of the world, fueled by stamps, inspired me to take an MIT fellowship in western Africa for two years before completing my studies," he said in 2007. "After graduating, I worked in international finance my whole career, lending and investing in all manner of businesses.

de Vries Philatelic Media
Nick Carter at the dedication of the American Philatelic Center in 2004.

"And stamp collecting was integral to it all. I collect U.S. stamps, New Hampshire postal history, British Africa and cacheted FDCs."

"His love of the stamp collecting hobby was really one of the true joys of his life," his wife Elizabeth (Betsey) told The Virtual Stamp Club via e-mail.

He retired several years before his death after a career of more than 30 years as an international economist specializing in economic modeling at the World Bank. He held a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard and a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"He was also very involved with the Boy Scouts of America, giving freely of his time and energy at all levels of scouting," said Mrs. Carter. "He was the scoutmaster of our son's troop, encouraging Christopher ... to become an Eagle Scout. When Christopher went to college, Nicholas continued to serve the Boy Scouts in many capacities, earning his Silver Beaver Award and serving as the Chairman of the District Council and member of the Executive Board of the Council. As his involvement in the APS grew, he devoted more and more of his time to his philatelic hobby.

"Nicholas was also an avid model train hobbyist, giving his grandsons Jack and Euan a great love of trains. With a large model railroad setup in his attic, his grandchildren have had many hours of enjoyment with their grandfather.

"Nicholas was a very active member of his church, All Saints Episcopal Church, where he was the leader of the Eucharistic Ministers and Lay Readers. This was a spiritual calling about which he felt very strongly."

Carter, a member of The Virtual Stamp Club, is survived by his wife, two children, and five grandchildren.

"He is the father of Sarah McPhie (the mother of two children, Euan John, age 4, and Greer Elizabeth, age 1Y) and Christopher John Carter (the father of Caitlin Elizabeth, age 9, and twins Nicholas Patrick and John Joseph, age 7).

The elder Nicholas Carter had mentioned his 7-year-old namesake in his American Philatelist columns as a budding stamp collector.

"His illness was far from the defining thing about him. He lived life with such joy and thanked God each day," Elizabeth Carter told The VSC. "The greatest gift Nicholas has given to all of us is his great interest in people, his love of all his interests and most importantly his love and caring of his family."

Donations in the memory of Nicholas G. Carter may be made to the American Philatelic Society, the Boy Scouts of America or to a charity of the donor's choice.

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The official APS obituary for Nick Carter

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