RED BARN PASSES THE BATON -
Dear Loyal Red Barn Customers
As you may already know, Phil Carter passed away in May 2023.
He, and his wife, Pat Carter, bought Red Barn Feed & Saddlery in 1984, after “retiring” from full careers of teaching and social work. Red Barn became his passion, and he was dedicated and devoted to providing the best possible prices and the highest quality animal supplies to the animal lovers of the San Fernando Valley.
Many things changed over the 40 years, but Phil’s daily dedication to the business did not wane. Now that Phil isn’t at Red Barn every day, we have decided to honor his passion and sell the business to someone who will love it as much as he did.
The Carter Family is very happy to announce that beginning September 14, 2023, Jeff Kirby of Theresa’s Country Feed and Pet will begin operating Red Barn under the name Theresa’s Country Feed and Pet at Red Barn.
Jeff also brings a deep passion for pets and customer service and we are excited that he has chosen to carry on the Red Barn - Phil Carter legacy, right here at the Red Barn Tarzana location.
Phil would definitely approve of the transition and we think you will too.
We sincerely want to thank you for your many years of loyalty and we know that you will continue to support Red Barn as it moves forward into its next era..
- The Carter Family
PHIL CARTER, RED BARN'S OWNER AND LIFEBLOOD FOR 40 YEARS HAS CROSSED THE RAINBOW BRIDGE - MAY 4, 2023
Whenever big life events happened, Phil Carter would ask “did you ever think……?”. Well everyone who knew Phil, the answer is “no – we never thought that there would be a day that you would be gone”. As we process his passing one thing is clear – places, titles and dates can’t possibly describe the person who was Phillip Leroy Carter.
He was born in Oak Park Illinois to Ralph and Ruth (nee Jones) Carter, and he lived a life that was filled with purpose. On the surface, it might appear that his life was full of contradictions. A child of the Great Depression and WWII, he was a humanist, a U.S. Marine Corps Captain, a businessman, a Social Worker, a teacher, civil rights leader, a tireless worker, a volunteer, an animal lover, a traveler, a man of routine, a husband and a father.
Phil’s life embodied the concept of “woke” long before it was called that. Despite growing up in a conservative Republican family, he earned a degree in sociology at Northwestern University and a Masters in Social Work from UCLA. He was the first director of the Venice Service Center, where he led the community into organizing around building workforce equity and opportunity. He was dedicated to helping children, youth and young adults find pathways forward through his work as a Parole Officer, as a group home therapist, as a CASA and adoption services volunteer and as a foster parent. He shared this experience and passion with his students as a professor of Social Work at Cal State Los Angeles, where he taught for more than twenty years.
One of his moments of pride was when he discovered that then governor Ronald Reagan wanted to close the Venice Service Center, and then President Richard Nixon included him on his “enemy list” because of the empowering impact his work was having in the Venice community during a time of turmoil and unrest.
When he was ready to “retire” from teaching, he created an entire second life at Red Barn Feed and (Saddlery) Pet where he and his wife Pat transformed a sleepy feed store into a thriving animal supply business. What was intended to be something fun to do for a few years became a place he went everyday for forty years.
Phil found humor in all things. In his ninety years, he learned to navigate large perverse bureaucracies, he taught us that there is no substitute for hard work, he questioned authority, breaking and ignoring rules as he saw fit, and he threw his whole-self in to projects that excited him. Those who encountered Phil Carter knew him to be a force of nature.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Phil’s name to Cal State University, Los Angeles, Lymphoma & Leukemia Society or Kitten Rescue.