Fallen Hotshot Carter was Orme School football standout
One of the 19 men who lost their lives June 30 while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire was an Orme School football standout.
Travis Carter was born on Aug. 7, 1982, in Prescott to Tripp Carter and Glenna Echol. As a little boy, he loved to work on the Necktie Ranch in Walnut Grove with his dad, Tripp Carter, and grandpa, Arden Carter.
He rode tractors, played in the snow and loved Christmas time with his extended family at the ranch.
As he grew older, Carter began to become a real help on the ranch and, according to his dad, he was a good hand and worked, branded and shipped cattle, and drove the large equipment and was great horseshoer.
Approaching high school, Carter was an outstanding athlete and in 2000, began school at Orme in Mayer, where he played football and was an All State, All Conference football player. He scored 16 touchdowns his senior year as tailback.
After high school, he attended the University of Arizona on an academic scholarship but couldn't figure out why he had to attend classes in order to play football. One day, his dad learned through a reliable source that Travis wasn't attending school any longer but rather working at a shoe store. When his dad found out, he called Carter and said, "Why don't you come back home and work on the ranch?"
Carter returned to the ranch in Paulden and according to his dad, he was a great help. Tripp Carter said Travis could do anything and was always willing to help any way he could.
Carter was a quiet boy growing up who loved spending time with his family.
Married in 2005 to Krista Smallen, the couple has two children, Brayden, 7 and Brielle, 3.
Carter's firefighting career began in 2005 when he worked for the Prescott National Forest as a hotshot. He worked at the Rodeo-Chediski fire and many others. In 2009, he was chosen to be among the elite Granite Mountain Hotshot crew through the City of Prescott.
In the same year, the city received a grant from FEMA for firefighting, which provided a full-time career for each member of the crew. Their job in the off season was to trim brush and limbs and protect the areas in and around Prescott.
The Granite Mountain Hotshots were known as "Prescott's finest" and were professionals with a great deal of training.
Carter said one of his favorite places on earth was the "fishing pond" at the ranch.
His family said they are grateful to the Lord for Carter's life and for the time they had with him.
"He will be greatly missed, but we know he is finally home with the Lord, whom he loved," family members said.
Travis was the stepson of former Orme faculty member Karl Siegfried, said Interim Headmaster Michael Gemma.
"Our entire school and camp community greatly mourns the loss of Travis. The life and work he chose speaks to the incredibly selfless and caring man that he was. Travis and the other lost Hotshots team members were the very best of us, and they will be sorely missed," Gemma said.