A ceremony March 28 named the playground at Liberty Independent Troop Park the “Mike Carreker Playground.”
Liberty County Recreation Department Director Jimmy Martin said Carreker volunteered 28 years for the department.
For the first several years, Carreker was a T-ball and youth baseball coach. Later, Carreker was appointed to the LCRD board and did so for 21 years.
Carreker died a year ago from cancer.
His widow, Bonnie Carreker, said baseball was her husband’s passion.
“But he also loved helping the youth here in Liberty County,” she said. “I am pleased they made so much progress underneath his leadership, as well as Kenny Howard’s.”
Carreker said Howard recognized her husband’s accomplishment, saying there was no doubt the Carreker’s thumbprint is all over the county.
Bonnie Carreker said she can recall a season her husband described as magical.
“He coached his dear friend’s son all the way to junior league and they won the championship and went to the district playoffs and it was just a magical time,” she said, adding her husband, who once worked for Coastal EMC, always thought he missed his calling of coaching.
Carreker said several board members have worked tirelessly to improve parks and services for the youth. She added her husband would have been embarrassed by the attention at the ceremony.
“We were overwhelmed by it,” she said, recalling when the playground was nothing more than a slide and a few swings.
Carreker said her husband fought the cancer and, when he died, many made donations to the LCRD in his name.
“The playground redevelopment was funded by SPLOST and completed in March of this year,” Martin said. “We received over $2,000 in donations that helped purchase the bronze plaque dedicating the playground to Mr. Carreker.”
“We are so grateful they took the time for the man that truly cared about the youth of Liberty County,” Bonnie Carreker said, adding they knew each other for 44 years and were married for 42. “We were blessed to have all that time together.”
Editors note: Last Sunday it was erroneously reported that the dedication took place April 4. The Courier regrets the error.