He promised to love her forever, and he did. Beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Donald Elmore Carpenter passed from this world into the arms of our Lord, and his Magdalena, in heaven on Oct. 30, 2017.
Born in Rockford, Ill., on Aug. 4, 1924, Don was the second of three boys. His parents were Richard Marvin and Louisa Tacy (Evans) Carpenter. He excelled at nearly everything he set his heart on. He had many honors as a Boy Scout, played the flute in his West Rockford High School marching band. Stimulating his love of music, especially opera, symphony, John Phillip Sousa and the bagpipes.
He completed pre-dental studies at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Ill., and the University of Illinois.
Don loved to fish, hunt, play golf (he hit a hole-in-one on the championship golf course at his vacation home at Innisbrook in Tarpon Springs, Fla.), work in his garden and tell stories.
When World War II broke out, the military gave Don a 4-F medical classification. Totally disappointed not to be able to serve in the war, he accompanied his father from their home in Rockford to Portland, Ore., where his father had been hired as fire chief of the Portland shipyards (at that time they were building victory ships as their part in the war effort).
It was here where good fortune allowed him to meet a co-worker, whom he later described as “the love of his life” — his Magdalena.
After WWII ended, Don and Magdalena married on July 13, 1946, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Portland. Their daughter, Penelope Dawn, was born a year later on July 23, 1947, in Portland. Don and Magda both worked, including a two-year residency in The Dalles, Ore. They returned to Portland where Don continued working and studying at the University of Oregon Dental School.
Their second child, Alan Baird, was born in Portland on March 5, 1954. Donald graduated in 1955 as a Doctor of Medical Dentistry, where he was a member of Psi Omega Dental Fraternity. Upon graduation, he was commissioned First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. The family moved to George Air Force Base in Victorville, Calif. His military service was to be one of the most rewarding times of his life. He received an honorable discharge at the rank of Captain in 1957.
The family moved to The Dalles where Dr. Carpenter took over the dental practice of Dr. A. E. Esson, the longest continuing practice in Wasco County. For relaxation, Don engaged in commercial fishing for salmon during the month of August out of the family camp in Chinook, Wash. Don’s boat, the Yellow Bird, had a lot of adventures for over 30 years on the Pacific Ocean. Don also hunted deer and upland game with son Alan and friends on the Fargher ranch during his years in Wasco County.
In 1960, their third child, Rebecca Anne was born in The Dalles. Don’s greatest love was his family. He had a passion for everything he was part of. Anyone who had the privilege of his involvement in their life had been very blessed. He spent his professional life in The Dalles as a family general dentist. He was also a community leader, as well as an avid golfer and lifelong sports fan. He loved all Oregon Duck sports - Go Ducks! His family and friends adored his keen intellect, sense of humor and unwavering devotion. Dr. Carpenter continued a long and very successful practice until 1985 when his wife Magdalena became terminally ill with Meig’s Syndrome. He retired from his dental practice and devoted himself full-time to her loving care until her death.
During the time of Magda’s care, Don became interested in commissioning a sailboat. After Magdalena’s death, he learned to sail with friend, Janice Self Colletti, who he later married. They went on an adventure sailing on the Mila Moya off the coast of the U.S. and Mexico. He travelled to all seven continents! He enjoyed walking among the turtles in the Galapagos the penguins in Antarctica. The birds of the world were his favorites.
Jan sadly passed away after a number of years, living in Medford, Ore., Don chose to live for a brief time in Eugene, Ore., before choosing to spend the rest of his life near his daughter, Penny, in Leavenworth, Wash.
As part of his Scottish heritage, he was a member of the Clan Baird Worldwide Society. The bagpipes and Celtic music remained among his favorite music. He was a member of the Oregon State Dental Association, Mid-Columbia Dental Society - past president, on the staff of the Mid-Columbia Medical Center, dental staff, the University of Oregon Dental Alumni Association, Knights of Columbus (president—The Dalles Council, Fourth Degree —past Faithful Navigator (founding member of The Dalles Council), Grand Knight of the State of Oregon), lifetime member of the Navy League of the U.S. (past state of Oregon Navy League president. past Thirteenth Naval District regional president, national director, Naval War College), member of St. Peter Catholic Church in The Dalles (1957-1990), Parish Council, The Dalles Lions Club, The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce, and The Dalles Country Club.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Robert Edwin, Clyde Alan; wife and mother of his children, Magdalena Margaret Lomnicki; and second wife Janice Self Coletti. He is survived by his three children, Penelope Dawn Carpenter (John Ressler), Alan Baird Carpenter, Rebecca Anne Rasmussen (Steven); grandchildren, Whitney Gray Shephard Mombert (Kyle), Lauren Ashley Carpenter, Forrest Alan Carpenter (Brooke), Christopher Carpenter; great-grandchildren, Grace Carpenter, Magdalena (Mila) Gray Mombert, and Genevieve (GiGi) Mae Mombert; sister-in-law, Lee Lomnicki (Joseph); numerous nieces, nephews, greatnieces, and greatnephews.
A memorial mass will be offered at St. Peter Catholic Church at 1222 West 10th Street, The Dalles, on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. Interment with full military honors will follow in St. Peter Catholic Cemetery adjacent to St. Peter Catholic Church. A reception will follow in St. Peter Parish Hall. Spencer, Libby, and Powell Funeral Home of The Dalles in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation in honor of Dr. Donald E. Carpenter to St. Mary’s Academy Foundation of The Dalles, 1112 Cherry Heights Road, The Dalles, Oregon 97058 or the Fisher House Foundation, 111 Rockville Pike #420, Rockville, MD 20850, a military foundation.
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