Death is a natural part of life, but when a life is finished the light shining in them ceases to light the twinkling in the eyes of the ones who loved them
Karter Daniels was enrolled in the Las Positas College Administration of Justice program to become a police officer. Then one warm Friday morning, Karter did not come back home.
On Aug. 25, 2017, Karter had a motorcycle accident on his way home from class on Campus Hill Road. The impact to his head caused him to go into a coma, which he never recovered from. By the following Monday, Karter had left behind his family and friends, passing away just four days shy of his twentieth birthday.
Karter’s family and friends take comfort in how Karter lived his life. Friend and football teammate Alex Schicke wrote, “Be like Karter” as a part of a letter he gave to the Daniels.
For Shicke, losing Karter was more than losing a friend “To me Karter was a light I could count on every day, to get me through a dark part of my life,” said Schicke.
Shicke and Karter’s moms were both diagnosed with cancer when they were sophomores. When Shicke’s mom’s illness was at its worst, struggling at practice and holding back tears, he remembers looking up and seeing Karter smiling at him, cheering him up.
Everyone who personally knew him said that he was full of hope and encouragement, inspiring through example, saying he took full advantage of the life he had.
Karter’s brother Britton gave a speech for a memorial service, during he recalled how Karter was always optimistic and cheerful.
“Mom said that Karter would always thank her for giving him a second chance (at life)… she always responded, ‘You are more of a blessing to us than we could ever be to you. God made you the way you are, not us. You are pure in heart and special because that is the way God made you.’”
Britton explained that he always looked up to Karter, both morally and ethically, that Karter had integrity, and was pure and selfless. “His motto was service before self,” Britton said, and added that he lived by this motto every day, always putting a smile on everyone’s face. Saturday mornings, he would get up, fill his moms car with gas and wash it for her.
For his parents, Roger and Suzanne Daniels who adopted Karter and his sister when they were toddlers, Karter’s final act of kindness has helped them to cope with the loss. They are focusing on the lives that are being changed by the donated organs and tissues of their son. After receiving a letter on Sept. 28 from Donor Network West, they learned that his organs went to help those in need.
One of his kidneys went to a 17 year old, who is now free of dialysis. His liver was split into two functional pieces and were given to a 55 year old man and an 8-month old boy, helping to save both of their lives. Lastly, his heart was successfully transplanted to a 59 year-old man in need, and the other organs were donated to research.
Karen O’Leary Adler with the Donor Family Advocate thanked the Daniel’s in a letter saying “(the organ recipients) would not have survived without these life saving transplants.”
As a person who cared deeply about the wellbeing of others, his family and friends were deeply impacted by him.
Sarah wrote a story about her older brother for his memorial, sharing how much he impacted her life. She recalled encouraging him to be a police officer or fire fighter. He became a member of the Livermore Citizen’s Police Academy, and then came to LPC to start his training in LPC’s Police Academy Program.
“We can all admit we saw Karter as a man that would be saving the world or helping people out. That’s just who he was,” said Sara
LPC student Lane Foscalina has known Karter for nearly a decade. “He was the epitome of optimism,” Lane said.
Though Lane was more like a big brother to him, Karter helped Lane train for football. He also helped Lane with negative self-talk, encouraging him, explained Lane.
Karter also left behind his four year relationship with his high school sweetheart Emory Weingart. Emory’s father, Matt Weingart expressed how much Karter taught his daughter how to love. “A dad couldn’t ask for a better standard to be set for how his daughter should be taken care of,” said Matt.
The span of a life isn’t known, and neither are all the roadblocks, obstacles or detours in the road. While Karter is no longer here as part of an unexpected life tragedy, those who knew him feel that Karter wouldn’t want his death to take the wind out of them and withdraw from life.