Rena Gene Carter, 83, passed away on February 15, 2016. She was born in Big Spring Texas to Lynette and Dortch McElhannon. She married a U.S. Air Force officer in 1959, and with him enjoyed living in many parts of the world. Following her husband's military retirement, she and her family settled in Smithfield, NC in the mid 1970s. Her talents were many and she worked hard all of her life. She loved music and the ocean. She enjoyed fishing so much that she shared the sport with her children, and they fished with her often throughout their childhood years. She was an avid reader, an accomplished seamstress, gardener, and chef. Through her life-long love affair with food she touched many lives. She catered weddings and other social events, taught cooking classes, and delivered meals to her dearest friends when they were ill. She was a member of Centenary United Methodist Church. A character in her own right, she was truly unique, sometimes difficult, and often misunderstood. Those who've taken her lessons to heart will always remember her as someone who used sarcasm and wit to connect with people. She is survived by her husband, Jeremiah (Jere); sons, Jay and Christopher; daughters, Lynn, Jennifer, and Kimberly; eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends. No public service was held. The family expresses thanks to the compassionate caregivers of the SECU Hospice of Johnston Health for the amazing work they do, and to those who encouraged us to find within us the gifts that make each of us precious, and the ineffable mystery and extraordinary beauty of the human heart. Those who remember Rena are encouraged to celebrate her life in their own special way.