Choctaw Man Trying To Get To New Orleans For Father's Funeral

Monday, August 30th 2021, 5:19 pm
By: Brittany Toolis

CHOCTAW, Oklahoma -

A Choctaw man's father passed away on Saturday after a short battle with COVID-19. Then, Hurricane Ida made landfall, and the family is unable to bury their loved one. 

Michael Carter said the hardest part about the loss of his dad is the wait for Ida to pass.

Carter thinks his father, Leonard, caught COVID on trip to Florida during a bowling tournament. The trip happened just a week ago.

He passed away in a New Orleans hospital on Saturday. 

Leonard Carter was fully vaccinated at the time of the trip. He was from New Orleans but retired from Tinker Air Force Base in 1975. 

Now, Hurricane Ida has some of his children and grandchildren stuck in Oklahoma. 

The hospital is keeping Leonard Carter's remains until the family can hold services. 

Michael Carter said his sister tried to plan the services, but funeral homes were not making plans until the storm passes. 

Michael Carter said he and his family wanted to drive down while his father still fought the virus but didn't want to risk getting stranded when Ida made landfall on Sunday. 

The family can only wait for the clouds to clear to have a New Orleans funeral.

"He was able to communicate with her, but I'm looking at the picture from last week till now. It had just taken 10 years off of him in two or three days," said Michael Carter. "It will mean everything. It'll mean everything to my brothers and my sisters, but it will mean everything to his spirit to know that he was honored and we did what his last wishes were."

Michael Carter said even though his late father's home was New Orleans, he would wear the OU Sooners logo with pride even while walking through the French Quarter.