William J. “Billy Joe” Carter was born May 23, 1928, to Will and Ila (Spencer) Carter in Custer, S.D.
Upon graduation from Custer High School he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during the Korean Conflict. Upon his Honorable Discharge from service, he attended a year of veterinary medicine at Colorado Springs, Colo.
Returning to South Dakota he started his lifelong passion working ranches near Kyle and Elm Springs. In 1970, Joe realized the dream of any true cowboy when he purchased the Hay Hook ranch three miles southeast of Custer. That endeavor spanned nearly 50 years with distinct pride in raising quality beef cattle and living the true lifestyle of the modern day stockman. True to his chosen profession he saw his final batch of calves branded with his Hay Hook iron four days prior to his death on Good Friday, April 19, 2019. He was 90.
Billy Joe is survived by the love of his life, Iola Carter, living life together for nearly 47 years; stepson, Mike Carter (Stacy Reynolds) of Custer; grandson, Mike (Stephanie) Carter of Rapid City, S.D.; granddaughter, Jennifer (John) Grant of Park City Utah; Russ and Ellen Ballard of Buffalo Gap, S.D.; Pat Trask and family of Elm Springs, S.D.; and Sterling Brunson and family of Edgemont, S.D.
A gathering of friends and family will be held at a future date.