Tracy's Story

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Tracy S. Carter of Perkins died on October 4, 2017 following a long illness. Born July 31,1948 in Omaha to Max and Alfredda Carter, she grew up in Sidney, Iowa, graduating from high school in 1966. Tracy earned her BS in biology from Iowa State University in 1969, her MS in zoology in 1972 and her Ph.D. in animal behavior in 1975, both from Michigan State University.
Following a year-long post-doctorate at Michigan State, Tracy entered the Peace Corps-Smithsonian Program and served 2 years in Brazil. She married Jim Shaw in Bennett Chapel on the OSU campus December 28, 1977 and they returned to Brazil to survey the wild mammals of Serra da Canastra, at the time a new national park.
After returning to the US, Tracy served as an adjunct faculty member in OSU's Department of Zoology and later in Natural Resource Ecology and Management for 38 years, including 8 years as director of the OSU Museum of Cultural and Natural History. She also volunteered at Turning Point Therapeutic Riding program and served 14 years as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer on behalf of abused and neglected children.
She was active in the First Presbyterian Church in Stillwater, including service as a Sunday school teacher and as an ordained elder.
Tracy is survived by daughters Fauna Hurley (husband Sean) and Falleen Shaw and by granddaughter Vera Hurley, all of Burlington, Vermont, brothers Max Carter II of Wheatland, Wyoming and Nick Carter of Casper, Wyoming, and husband Jim Shaw.
Last year Tracy attended the 50th reunion of her high school class and was lead author on a major scientific review of the biology and status of the giant armadillo, a species on which she did pioneering work in Brazil and which was recently featured in a PBS special.
An avid reader, Tracy especially enjoyed biographies and in this way, kept a journal since she was a young child. She had a fondness for carousels, bandanas, and mammals. Despite her illness, she had big dreams fulfilled as she traveled to New Zealand, Australia and Alaska and finally to Madagascar & Uganda to encounter lemurs and gorillas in the wild. Tracy will be sorely missed for her radiant, cheerful personality, her quick wit and keen sense of humor. She was full of gratitude and had compassion and concern for her community both locally and globally.
A memorial service for Tracy is planned for Saturday, October 7th at 4 PM at First Presbyterian Church, Stillwater, OK.
In lieu of flowers, Tracy's family requests donations be made in her name to casaforkids.com either through the website or by check made to CASA for Kids at 315 W. 6th Ave #205, Stillwater, OK 74074.
Published on October 5, 2017
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