Donald Chester Carpenter, 93, passed peacefully on Oct. 6, 2020, at the Oregon Veterans Home in The Dalles, Ore. Don was born March 2, 1927, in Livingston, Mont., the son of Chester and Cecile Carpenter. Having been raised on the family’s ranch outside of Clyde Park, Mont., Don graduated from Park County High School in 1945.
Following graduation, Don enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving with the 440th Army Band. After completion of his military service, Don met and married Juanita June Crofford in 1948, while both attended Northwest Nazarene College. Don earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Northwest Nazarene College, as well as a Master of Arts in Media Science from Portland State University, and taught music in Montana and Idaho until arriving in The Dalles in 1957, to teach music at The Dalles High School.
While teaching at TDHS, Don taught Band, Orchestra, Choir, and was the director for The Dalles Booster Girls, Drum, and Bugle Corps. Later in his career, Don taught music, art, and shop at Chenoweth Middle School, retiring after 38 years of loving service to students and the school community.
Upon his retirement, Don continued to serve his community as a board member of the Civic Auditorium Restoration Project and The Dalles Choral Society, choir director at Gateway Presbyterian Church, pit orchestra director with the Community Theater, a past president of the Columbia Gorge Community Concert Association, and a docent at Maryhill Museum of Art. Don also enjoyed hunting, fishing, golf, painting, and reading — especially Louis L’Amour. He was a woodworker and artisan, a handyman, and carpenter in the truest sense of the word.
Don is survived by his wife of 72 years, Juanita, who resides at OVH, The Dalles; his brother, Louis Carpenter, of Bozeman, Mont.; his son, Michael (Lynn) Carpenter, of The Dalles; grandsons Kyle (Jennifer) Carpenter of Aurora, Ore., and Cory (Karyn) Carpenter of Bozeman; as well as four great-grandchildren. Don was preceded in death by son, Steven Carpenter. His family would like to give a special thanks to all his caregivers at The Oregon Veterans Home, who provided wonderful care and support the last two years, and The Springs at Mill Creek, previously.
Affectionately known as “Carp,” Don was loved and respected as a teacher, friend, mentor, and often times as a father figure. He will be remembered for his sense of humor, contagious smile, and amazing voice. At his request, and due to the pandemic, there will be no memorial service. In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor may be made to The Dalles High School Music/Art programs or The Oregon Veterans Home.
Arrangements are under the direction of Spencer, Libby, and Powell, 1100 Kelly Ave., The Dalles, where condolences/remembrances may be sent.