Edward C. Carr — husband, father, brother, son, World War II veteran, B-17 pilot, author, painter, sculptor, designer, traveler, businessman, and storyteller — died on Oct. 18, 2020 at the age of 98.
Ed was born in Tacoma, Washington on April 4, 1922 to Mildred C. and Myron L. Carr and graduated from Lincoln High School in Tacoma. Ed lied about his age so that he could join the National Guard and then served at Fort Worden in the Coast Artillery.
On Dec. 7 of 1941, while Ed was dancing at the Century Ballroom in Tacoma, Pearl Harbor was attacked and for the next several years Ed’s future was determined by the course of the war and his personal determination to survive. Ed applied and was accepted to flight school, graduating and receiving his certification as a B-17 pilot. Along with his crew, he flew 35 missions out of Ridgewell, England and returned to the States in March of 1945. Following the war, Ed remained in the Air Force Reserve and retired from the military in 1970 as a lieutenant colonel.
After the war, Ed attended the University of Washington and obtained a degree in Economics. While at the UW, he met Jan Barkey on a blind date and they were married in June 1947. Ed and Jan lived in Kirkland while raising their family and Ed worked as a claims manager for the Commercial Union Insurance Company in downtown Seattle. Business lunches, an emerging cultural awareness, the Space Needle and the 1962 World’s Fair, along with Jim Owens’ Husky football, created the background for Ed and Jan’s middle years as the city’s growth was reflected in its developing skyline. Ed knew every shortcut around the developing traffic jams, was an early “park-and-ride” commuter, shopped at the Frederick & Nelson bargain basement, and remained a lifelong Husky fan.
After retirement, Ed had time to explore some additional interests as an artist, designer and author. He designed Jan and his retirement view home on Whidbey Island and fully enjoyed participating in the Coupeville art scene, showing and selling his pieces in the local galleries. Additionally, he spent time deeply reflecting on his war experience and in 2002 completed his first book, “On Final Approach, Recollections of a World War II B-17 Air Crew.” Later, he authored another book about his experience at Fort Worden in the “harbor defense” days. Ed and Jan enjoyed extensive travelling, including a few trips back to England where he was always comfortable relaxing in the local pub.
Throughout his life, Ed not only remained a devoted husband to Jan and a loving father to his daughters, he also continued his connections with the members of his flight crew, and always honored the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, “Dreambaby,” that held them safely throughout those precarious missions. His memory, shockingly sharp even at the end, could state names, dates, and locations to every story he told — and he told many.
Much like he lived, Ed died gracefully in his sleep during his afternoon nap. He had lost the love of his life, Jan, in March of this year. They would have been married 73 years in June. He also outlived his daughter Lynn Marie, all of his siblings, and all of his flight crew. He is survived by his daughters Susan Marney (Dean) and Barbara Carr (Ben); grandchildren, Eric Edward Petterson, Joshua Skinner, Blythe Buchan, Dylan Marney, Luke Marney, Samantha Miller; and great-grandchildren, Zoe, Rhys and Draco.
Safe flight, Ed. We miss you.