James Cater, 79, of Saucier, died Jan. 2, 2019 at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport. He was born in Newton County, Miss. and graduated from Conehatta High School in Conehatta. He attended East Central Community College in Decatur and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Southern Mississippi. He also earned a master’s in mathematics education and Master of Education in Administration from USM. James was awarded two National Science Foundation fellowships to study mathematics at the graduate level and three National Summer Fellowships, which he used to attend Oregon State University and USM earning a AAA certification in mathematics education.
James spent over 40 years as an educator, teaching mathematics in Florida, Georgia, the Gulfport School system and Harrison Central High School. He retired in December 2006 after serving 10 years as assistant principal and 4 years as principal at Harrison Central High School. He also served as state president of the American Federation of Teachers for four years, advocating for both students and teachers.
James is preceded in death by his father, Vardaman Cater, his mother, Clara Cater, and sister, Clarice Cater Seals. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jerry Cater of Saucier, Miss; daughter, Sherry Conerly (Michael) of New Orleans, La.; son, Michael Cater of Biloxi; five grandchildren, Claire Conerly Kiamie (AJ), Alex Conerly, Maggie Conerly, Emily Cater and Aaron Cater; and two great grandchildren, Caroline and James Kiamie.
The visitation was Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 from 5-8 p.m. at Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, O’Neal Road, Gulfport. The graveside service is Sunday, Jan. 6, at 1 p.m. at Conehatta Cemetery in Newton County. View and sign register book at www.bradfordokeefe.com.