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Imhotep was born Kevin Anthony Carter on January 28, 1962 to Ruby and Fred Carter in Chicago, IL. He was the 4th child, youngest and only boy. He was a very precious and inquisitive youth and definitely tested their patience in many ways. He learned to read at the age of 3 and often displayed his talents to unbelieving family and friends as they presented him with passages of their choosing that he accurately read perfectly. As a young boy he entered and won many awards for debate competitions across the city and surrounding suburbs. In addition to academics he enjoyed sports (little league baseball) and music (bass guitar, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Saxophone). From a music standpoint, the 1st song he ever played the bass line for was “Just My Imagination” by the Temptations. He graduated from Burnside Elementary School and transitioned to St Peter and Paul Elementary school for 7th & 8th grade. He then received a scholarship to Hales Franciscan High School, where he was able to challenge his knowledge and thrive academically. He also participated in athletics as a member of the baseball team.
As a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist, Imhotep subsequently graduated Hales Franciscan valedictorian, and received a partial academic scholarship to Duke University in Durham, NC. He instantly formed bonds with fellow students who shared similar goals and they remained a close-knit brotherhood throughout his life. He originally aspired to become an engineer, but in his words “the engineering calculus really caused a rude awakening and proved that it was not for him.” Instead, he chose to pursue chemistry and African American studies. While at Duke, he explored grant funded scientific research working at NIH in Research Triangle Park, NC. However he never allowed his academics to prevent him from maintaining his faith or music foundation. While in North Carolina, he also took several courses at the nearby North Carolina Central University. During his participation in the Pentecostal Fellowship, he met and created strong bonds with lifelong friends. Even though he was miles away from home, his faith journey was built on a strong foundation and he never forgot that. He met and was instrumental in helping to build a wonderful ministry, along with Elder Marion Wright in Durham, NC at the greater Emmanuel Pentecostal temple. He would later return there with his wife and children to once again participate in continuing this ministry years later.
Portions of his undergraduate education also included study at Howard University, where he pledged Alpha Phi Omega fraternity and continued involvement in this service organization throughout his life. Here he again made instant and lifelong friends who also pursued similar career paths that are unmatched till this day. Ultimately he graduated from Duke University as a double major with BS and BA degrees.
Upon graduation, he applied and was accepted to medical school at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. But he felt that he needed a break, so he took a year to explore more grant funded research with the Minority Biomedical Research Support Program, while he also took graduate classes at Chicago State University.
He then matriculated into the 1st year medical school class in the fall of 1985 at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Champaign-Urbana, IL. While there he participated in many committees as a student advocate, tutored fellow classmates in biochemistry and Immunology as well as contributed to numerous student medical societies in various capacities. However finances were sparse and tuition was due. He then applied for and received a public health scholarship from the Illinois department of public health to cover expenses. In return for the scholarship, he agreed to serve in a medically underserved area upon completion of his residency in a primary care specialty. His choice of Internal medicine stimulated his interest in pulmonary medicine and he was offered an opportunity to train in a top learning and research institution, so off he went to his alma mater Duke University’s Pulmonary Medicine fellowship as their 1st African American candidate. 2/3 through the training, he transitioned back to Illinois to fulfill his scholarship duties in primary care medicine at Frances Nelson Health Center in Champaign, IL now equipped with the added knowledge attained from the fellowship experience. He felt fulfilled in this role, as he often viewed this opportunity as a way to give back to an underserved community much like the one he was from.
Wherever his educational journey took him, he always used his musical talent to be a blessing to faith-based ministries. Even during his gap year it seemed as if he didn’t miss a beat. He managed to play bass for the Illinois District Council young adult choir in the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.
Imhotep was excited to return to his home state and reconnect with fellow musicians.
He continued this passion even when he matriculated to medical school. During one of the rehearsals for a concert at Apostolic Faith Church, he viewed a young lady reading a medical ethics book during break time and decided to inquire what her interest in medicine was. Who would have guessed this would be his lifelong partner in life, soulmate, wife and mother to 4 beautiful children from one chance encounter at church? Together they raised them, nurtured them and taught them to be givers and always strive to be their best. They worked as a dynamic team to give and minister whether socially or musically, mentoring by sharing their gifts, often setting an example just by living and being.
He gladly accepted the call to Christ at an early age. In his words “it shaped who he was and the direction of his entire family.” He was an active member of Indiana Ave Pentecostal Church. He also contributed to the music ministry locally and statewide with the IL district council’s young adult choir. This legacy continued throughout college with the Pentecostal Fellowship and into medical school with the University of Illinois Black Chorus. During his very limited free time, he continued to find a space for music by participating in a few ensembles as well as talent shows. He often thought of himself as a frustrated musician who happened to be a doctor. Throughout the years, he was an integral part of many music ministries across several decades. Other ministries included: Alpha and Omega Pentecostal Temple under the direction of mentor & Suffragan Bishop Edward T. McGee, Prince of Peace Apostolic Church under the direction of mentor & grandfather-in-love the late Suffragan Bishop John H. McCall, as well as several others in IL, NC, TX, VA. Most recently he and his family joined and participated as active members in the New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ, beginning in 2012 under the leadership of the late, Pastor Adam Thourogood (Charmyn) and current Elder Waddee Thourogood (Nekeysha).
Both in official and unofficial capacities, he mentored and advocated for others at every transition point in his life musically and professionally. Often simply seeing and then filling a need. Over the years, he joined the faculties of: the University of Illinois College of Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (TX), Elizabeth City State University as well as Eastern Virginia Medical School. In fact, he recently received accommodation and retired from EVMS October 31, 2023 after many years of service.
Throughout his career, he also worked in jails and prisons to provide healthcare to these very special communities as a site medical director. This led him to pursue a new career path that did not exist when he initially began called correctional medicine. He continued to gain knowledge, experience and expertise to advance his career in various settings and locations. Ultimately he was selected to become a regional medical director, thus responsible for overseeing many facilities and staff in multiple locations throughout the United States.
Despite unexpectedly becoming ill and experiencing a 1-1/2 year long protracted and gradual decline in his health, he continued to strive to work and deliver his best wherever he went. On November 3rd 2023 he succumbed to these health challenges and he will be dearly missed.
Although all of the above accomplishments are very true; Imhotep basically considered himself a family man, loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and dear friend. He is remembered for his genuine nature, with unmistakable care and unmatched passionate concern for those he loved.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 36 years Katrina DS Carter, MD, 4 children: Ann-Gelle Carter-Jarvis, MD, MS (Lawrence), Kevin Ajamu Carter AS, BS (Angie), Azmera Shanelle Carter and Adisa Steffan Carter. 3 Grandchildren: Alilah Serenity Carter, Cyira Lundon Williams and Lawrence Carter Jarvis. 3 sisters: Belinda Carter, Brenda Carter and Kathy Carter, 2 sisters in law: Karen (Darin) Watkins, Kristina (Michael) Houston. Grandmother in law: Jessie C McCall, a host of nieces & nephews Caleb (Esther) Griffin JD, Peter (Tiffany) Griffin, Marc (Stephanie) Griffin, Jamie Williams, Karen Williams, Krystalyn (Rovon) Mccullum, Christopher Catron, Michael Houston, Alaina Houston, Alex Houston. Honorable mentions: Bishop John S., McCall, Emmett Steward MD, Bruce Sumlin MD, Ralph Henry Griffin, Glover Washington, Stephen (Charlene) Bradley, Shemroy (Doris) Johnson, Carol (Ruben) Berry MD, Corinthias (Cheryl) Patterson, Derrick (Melinda) White and a host of relatives and very dear friends.
Truly unique and One of a kind. When you look around and view what he saw in his office or home, there were numerous cherished photos and an unmistakable knowing that he loved his family and that same enduring love was returned.
The Carter Family