Monday, November 12, 2001

Big-hearted cop led effort
to rid Big Isle of pakalolo



By B.J. Reyes

Richard "Dickie" Carter, a retired police officer who had been in charge of the Hawaii County Police Department's program to eradicate marijuana, has died at age 58.

Carter died Thursday at Queens Medical Center. He had retired two years ago and twice this year had surgery for a brain tumor, said his daughter, Gayle Carter-Martin.

"He was a man with a big heart, and he would do anything he could for anybody," she said.

Carter was in charge of the department's vice squad when he led the Operation Green Harvest marijuana eradication raids in the late 1970s. He later was involved in the prosecution of organized crime leader Henry Huihui.

Being a police officer "was something that he wanted to do," Carter-Martin said. "That was his life's career. He loved it, and he worked very hard at it."

Born in Hilo, Carter was an all-star athlete at St. Joseph School, his daughter said. Later in life, he translated his love of athletics to community work.

"He coached tee ball, he coached basketball, he coached baseball -- he did anything for the kids, both young and high school, no matter what age," his daughter said. "He raised money to help all these teams, for uniforms and travel. Whatever it took, he always did."

In addition to Carter-Martin, Carter is survived by wife Pamela; sons Richard Jr. and Todd; another daughter, Shelley Balleza; parents Alexander and Grace; brothers Alexander Jr., David and Morton; and five grandchildren.

A memorial Mass is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. tomorrow at Malia Puka O Kalani Catholic Church, Keaukaha, with burial at 2 p.m. at Homelani Memorial Park. Casual attire and no flowers are suggested.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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