November 3, 1933 ~ March 21, 2020

Born in: Elizabeth, CO
Resided in: Centennial, CO

Theta Shirley Downs Carter, 86, died Saturday, March 21, 2020, at Orchard Park Health Care Center in Centennial, Colorado, of complications from Parkinson disease. Her loving spirit is carried on by her beloved husband of 66 years, David James Carter, and daughters, Adele Carter (Harold Scatterday, III)  and Gayle Carter (Dell Brooks); much-loved in-laws, nieces, nephews and their families; and an extended family of treasured friends.

Theta was born in Elizabeth, Colorado, on November 3, 1933, to the late Harry Earl and Mildred Irvin Smith Downs. She graduated from Denver East High School in 1951. On June 6, 1953, she married her high school sweetheart, David Carter.

Theta’s corporate career was spent as a Statistical Transcriptionist in the insurance industry. She retired from Fireman’s Fund Insurance.

Theta and Dave shared a love of visiting with and entertaining family and friends, traveling to London, Hawaii, Canada, and various cities for the reunions of Dave’s Navy shipmates, membership in WISE genealogy group, and pride in volunteering at their church.  Theta enjoyed her membership in the United Methodist Women organization at Lakewood UMC.  A proud Colorado native, she enjoyed being in Colorado’s mountains. She was an avid reader and a life-long learner who enjoyed college classes in literature and art. She enjoyed the arts, especially music and ballet.

Her family and friends were blessed to learn many beautiful lessons from Theta. She passed along her love for books and music to her daughters.  She modeled thoughtfulness and was mindful of staying connected with family and friends with loving notes, cards and calls, even as it became harder for her to write or talk. She always modeled grace and dignity and courage – even as her health began to fail.

Theta was loved and cherished for her kindness, her thoughtfulness – and her homemade cinnamon rolls.

The family extends thanks and heartfelt gratitude to the wonderful health care providers and staff at Orchard Park Health Care Center for the professional, kind-hearted, and gentle care provided to Theta.

Because of COVID-19 concerns and protocols, the family is unable to schedule a funeral at this time. Interment will be at Fort Logan National Cemetery and a memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Theta’s memory to:

The Music and Arts Ministry at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1820 Broadway, Denver, CO 80202

Parkinson Association of the Rocky Mountains, 1325 S. Colorado Blvd., Unit 204, Denver, CO 80222, or online at


Please share memories and condolences for Theta by signing the guest book below.


The family greatly appreciates donations made to these charities in Theta Carter's name.

Parkinson Foundation of the Rockies

1325 South Colorado Blvd., Suite 204B
Denver, CO 80222
Visit the website

The Music and Arts Ministry at Trinity United Methodist Church

1820 Broadway
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 839-1493
Visit the website

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  1. Dear Dave, Adele and Gayle, My deepest condolence to you all. I can’t imagine life without Theta. My last phone conversation she sounded so weak but was able to be her cheery self. Our friendship over 40 plus years was amazing to say the least. Our luncheons with our group from Fireman”s Fund days will be in my heart forever. We loved to talk about our travels, our family genealogy, even the trip to Riverside Cemetery to visit her family graves were all so interesting. Theta was always a good friend along my side through rough times. Theta, you are walking with our Lord in heaven, and united with your family. I will miss you dearly, Lynda and Jim

  2. Dear Dave, Adele & Gayle,
    My deepest sympathy to you all. Theta was one of my dearest friends for almost fifty years. We were always together in Susanna Circle as well as the activities of Lakewood United Methodist Church. I talked to her last week for quite a long time and I am so thankful that we had that last conversation. She was truly one of the most caring people that I have ever met and I will miss her greatly. Jeannine Seagren


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