As the years passed and illness began taking its toll, Fletch seldom left the house, except when there was a breakfast invite on the line from buddies like Joe Muldowney. Fletch’s home became a stomping ground for old friends and associates, those he helped along the way.
The walls of his Bradford home were covered with mementos of his boxing days and an impeccable career of community service, which included service with the AmVets, Haverhill Touchdown Club and Elks.
A boxing show one night at DiBurro’s function hall honored Fletch for creating a vision for youth. When he walked through the door, everyone applauded, even those who never saw the man play or coach. Had it been Rocky Marciano, the reception would not have been greater.
A redwood inside a forest of sequoias, Fletch was the proverbial tree of life. He never wavered in a storm.
Fletcher Carter died earlier this month, but he will always remain among us in spirit.
People like him never die in the eyes of a grateful community.
Writer and photographer Tom Vartabedian is retired from The Haverhill Gazette. He contributes this regular column.