Muncie community mourns passing of Mark Carter, 'The Hot Dog Man'

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MUNCIE, Ind. (WTHR) — Muncie is remembering a business owner who became a local legend.

Mark Carter was a staple of the Ball State Village, and was affectionately known as "The Hot Dog Man" from the years he operated a campus food cart.

Sadly, he passed away on Monday. He was 58.

"I loved his food and just loved him," said Rhonda Clevenger-Gibbons, a Muncie resident.

That's pretty much the response you get when asking anyone here about Carter. Many met him for lunch or a late night snack.

"There's not a friendlier guy on the face of the Earth, I mean seriously, I never saw him when i wasn't smiling," said Derek Edwards, owner of White Rabbit Used Books.

Many around Muncie have been sharing pictures and memories on social media.

"I was in there at least two to three days a week. He knew about what time I came in most days so he would put a couple spaghettis back so that they would be ready for me," Rhonda said.

They came back for the friendly face, but also for Carter's food.

"Three-way, four-way, five-way, whatever they want to call it, every chili cheese dog I've ever had from anywhere else, Carter's is the benchmark," Derek told us. "Even if it was just a chili cheese dog or a plain hot dog, I don't know, there's just something about his stuff. He became an icon for this area."

Carter also served hot dogs at the Muncie Mall.

"He was amazing, the epitome of what a father should be, a legend and my hero," his daughter Megan wrote on Facebook

"He was a great guy - very funny and so nice and he loved his family," wrote a cousin named Cara. "I have seen multiple Facebook posts today of people sharing the unbelievable news and sharing their Ball State HDM stories...truly a testament to how many lives he has touched."

"Not sure how hundreds of thousands of college kids would’ve made it after 3am in The Village at Ball State University without you!" wrote Matt Whisner. "And damn could he make some awesome chili dogs."

"Mark Carter was not just 'The Hot Dog Guy.' He was a good man who was truly respected by everyone who met him," Justin Schneider wrote.

Carter graduated from Ball State in 1983 with a degree in business. He is a 1979 graduate of Delta High School.

He is survived by his wife Kathleen and two children, among other relatives.

Visitation was Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. at The Meeks Mortuary and Crematory in Muncie. An hour of visitation will be held before funeral services begin at noon on Thursday.