Fort Bend County loses Texas Journalism Icon
By Patti Parish-Kaminski, LeaAnne Klentzman, Elsa Maxey
Maverick, trailblazer, publisher, writer, editor, teacher, mother, grandmother and friend all describe a Texas icon, a journalistic force for to be reckoned with for the past 35 years. Whether you knew her as Bev, Beverly, B.K., Mom, BB or simply the author of Bev’s Burner, Beverly Karen Carter helped put Fort Bend County on the map and in the process, left an indelible mark on the Fort Bend community.
Bev Carter, owner and publisher of The Fort Bend Star Newspaper, passed away on Saturday, July 6th after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. Bev won numerous state and national awards for her work, and served as the publisher for The Fort Bend Star, the newspaper she built with her children and a few trusted friends. At the helm of the Star, she served as the people’s voice for Fort Bend’s largest circulated newspaper for 35 years and kept local politicians in check with her weekly column affectionately known as Bev’s Burner. Many elected officials felt the heat from Bev’s column that consistently held politicians and government services accountable to the people.
Bev founded The Fort Bend Star in 1978, a Fort Bend institution, and since that time, county residents have consistently been able to obtain in-depth reporting from the straight shooting Carter, along with her unique take on politics, policy, community, religion and virtually any other subject that intrigued her. Known for her strong sense of public integrity, Bev and her “Star” reporters pounded the pavement in Fort Bend to bring their readers insightful and concise information about their community. News without spin was the norm from Carter, and her investigative reporting brought much notoriety to the small, community newspaper that grew into a staple of the Fort Bend community. Bev was asked to share her views with the nation when she was interviewed on the television shows 48 Hours and Nightline regarding happenings in Fort Bend. Her latest interview was conducted by Discovery ID’s Behind Mansion Walls and is scheduled to air this year.
Beverly Karen Carter was born on April 9, 1941. She was the daughter of J.C. Carter and Beatrice Compton Carter of Ballinger, Texas and older sister to Vance. She was raised in the West Texas town of Ballinger, which forever remained in her heart; she often referred to herself as a “West Texas Broad.” Bev left Ballinger to study at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. After college, she taught school briefly in Lubbock before moving to the Houston area where she had a ten-year teaching career at Alief ISD. While at Alief-Hastings and then, Elsik High School, Bev taught English, sponsored the school newspaper, drama club and bowling team while raising her two children Sherry Carter and Michael Fredrickson.
In 1978, Bev arrived in Fort Bend County with a dream, determination and the tenacity to do what she loved. She was feisty, determined and unflappable in her quest to give the community a voice in their government. She started the newspaper by pounding the streets, council chambers, government offices and beer joints of Fort Bend to bring her readers some insight into their community through her fledgling newspaper. As the community grew, The Fort Bend Star newspaper grew,
and in 1982, she started the Fort Bend Business Journal.
In the early 1990s, Bev started the Fort Bend Community TV cable cast showcasing local news including city council, county and public meetings. The cable channel, and subsequent Star Digital Studios, was managed by Bev’s daughter, Sherry Carter.
Bev Carter was a woman with a strong sense of public integrity. She believed those elected to serve the people were just that: servants of the people and the public trust. On more than one occasion, her personal safety was threatened, and frequently, when she printed something that angered some politician, her reputation was impugned. Bev never wavered from telling it like she saw it and exposing what she believed to be a violation of the public trust. Love her or loathe her, Beverly Karen Cater was a maverick who blazed a trail through the rough and tumble days of the Fort Bend County that eventually morphed into the gentile, planned communities of today.
Beverly was preceded in death by her parents J.C. and Beatrice Compton Carter, her brother Vance Carter and her daughter Sherry Carter. She leaves behind her son Michael Fredrickson, wife Lisa, and her beloved grandchildren, Kathryn, Carter and Jack. Bev also leaves behind her business empire, her dedicated staff, cousins, various in-laws, outlaws and a host of friends. Bev Carter was a Texas icon, a woman with courage and guts who had the gall to tell it all.
A memorial service for Carter will be held on Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 10:30 am at the Stafford Civic Center located at 1415 Constitution in Stafford, Texas, 77477. Friends, colleagues and family who prefer to honor Beverly’s memory in lieu of flowers may contribute to the Beverly Carter Scholarship. Contributions will fund the Beverly Carter Scholarship Fund in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University. Donations should be sent to Texas State University, Attn: Donor Services, JCK-480, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, Texas 78666 or call 512-245-3022.
Short URL: http://www.fortbendstar.com/?p=32380