Date of Birth: April 10, 2001
Date of Death: March 21, 2023
Isaiah Reimon Carter, 21, of Phoenix, Arizona, passed peacefully surrounded by family at 4:20 a.m. March 21, 2023 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident. He was born April 10, 2001 to Amanda Larkin and John Carter. He was raised in Ottumwa, Iowa with his mom, his Chad, and sisters, Jaylin and Grace. When Isaiah was born, a tornado touched down outside of town. This energy would continue with Isaiah the rest of his life. His energy and beautiful smile left an imprint on everyone he met. Isaiah acquired nicknames from those that loved him his entire life. Zay, Buddy, Bubba, Knucklehead, Karma Kid, The Boy, I-Man and Mama’s Boy. When called mama’s boy he always replied with a wide grin and a “Yes, I am”. He loved fishing, video gaming, time in the woods and mountains, adventures with his cousins, and sports of all kinds, including the occasional game of paintball with Chad. He was a natural athlete and channeled all that tornado energy into basketball, football, baseball and track. He spent many nights playing catch with his mom in the yard. He enjoyed his time with his teammates playing in local youth programs, leagues and travel basketball and baseball, making friends everywhere he went. As he entered high school, his love of football took over and other sports dropped to the side. He loved being an Ottumwa Bulldog. After graduation from Ottumwa High School, he took a summer trip to Colorado, adventuring in the mountains with his mother and Chad. He fell in love with the mountains, learned you don’t load up on junk food at high altitudes and became a fan of white-water rafting. His passion for football earned him a scholarship to William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He loved the atmosphere of the locker room and work on the field, but he decided that his passion for football did not match his distaste for schoolwork. When Zay left college, he took a fulltime job with Corteva in Hedrick, Iowa. There he learned what it was to work, met good friends and saved money for his next adventure. When his sister, Jaylin, graduated college, the two of them hatched a plan to move to a big city… somewhere warm and with opportunities. Jaylin and Isaiah were truly best friends. Thick as thieves, they had each other’s backs. They discussed options and settled on Phoenix, Arizona. They loaded everything they owned in their 2 cars and with just a couple job leads, drove to Phoenix and began their adventure. They got an apartment together. To save money, they decided on a one bedroom apartment and Zay slept on a fold out couch, as that was totally his style. Isaiah worked briefly at an Amazon warehouse and then moved on to Coreslab Structures. There he worked in concrete, building prefab pieces for parking garages and other buildings. He loved being outdoors and working with his hands. He learned quickly, becoming a trainer and acquiring new skills. It's at Coreslab that he found his people. He was loved by his coworkers, considered a brother by most. When Isaiah had saved enough money, he decided it was time to get his own place and found an apartment. He was proud to be out on his own, decorating his apartment and giving it the Zay makeover. He loved Phoenix and the nearby mountains, hiking and getting the best views of sunrises and sunsets. Isaiah fell in love with the local restaurants and various cuisine. Always excited to call his mom and talk about the best oxtail stew, curry or goat he just tried. He lived life with a sense of adventure and his smile always with him. Isaiah was an organ donor. His tissues were harvested with skin, arteries and veins being used for burn victims and his heart valves to be used to repair the hearts of babies born with heart issues. A few years ago when Isaiah was wanting to do things the “Isaiah way” his mother told him that sometimes you have to follow the rules. Isaiah’s response was “Nah, this isn’t the United States of America. This is the United States of Isaiah”. With his loving gift, this will truly be the United States of Isaiah. Isaiah is survived by many loving family members and friends. His body will be cremated in Phoenix, Arizona and a Celebration of Life will be scheduled later in Ottumwa, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, a memorial Isaiah Carter Youth Sports Fund will be set up to help Ottumwa area youth that can’t afford programs or equipment. Isaiah was always passionate about helping others and this included when teammates didn’t have proper gear, asking his mom to help get shoes or whatever the child needed. Please contact Chad Larkin for more information.