Walter F. Carpenter, 91, passed away August 27, 2016, surrounded by his family. Walter was born on May 7, 1925, in Randolph, VT, the middle son of Annie Laura (Fowler) and Julian Carpenter.
Walter grew up on a small dairy farm located within walking distance of the village of South Royalton, VT. His passion for agriculture and love of creating better ways of doing things led logically to his career as an agricultural engineer. In high school he graduated at the top of his class which gave him a scholarship to UVM. He earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of Vermont in 1952 and his Master's degree from the University of Maine in 1957. While in college he was active in music, sang in the Men's Chorus, participated in musicals and played the baritone horn. Following graduate school, he taught in the Agricultural Engineering Dept. at the University of Maine in Orono. In the early '60s he left the University and founded an engineering firm, Walter F. Carpenter Associates. Over the next 20 years, he designed agricultural structures and ventilation systems across Maine and the Canadian Maritime provinces. The engineering firm continues today under the name, Carpenter Associates. Never being one to sit still, Walter had many "retirement jobs." His pride was the restoration of the historic Bickmore Building in Old Town, where he created thirteen apartments for senior citizens. Once Bickmore Manor opened Walter and Elaine made sure they knew their tenants and visited them annually with Christmas treats. He understood and valued senior housing both as an investment and as a service to our community. Walter's other big retirement project was the Carpenter Christmas Tree Farm in Old Town. In 1977 Walter and Elaine started the first seedlings which eventually grew into a choose and cut Christmas Tree Farm which continues today. Both Walter and Elaine would spend hours ensuring that each tree was planted, fertilized and sheared to perfection. They both loved visiting with all their friends who came to buy trees in December. Walter also loved the experience of cutting firewood for both his home and that of his family. He would spend hours, much to the chagrin of his crew, deciding which trees should be cut and why. The decision was always prudent. Quality firewood was had by all and proper woodlot management was exercised.
Walter is survived by his "bride" of 63 years, Elaine (Plumley) Carpenter. They were married on July 11, 1953, in Bethel, VT. Walter and Elaine spent many happy days working in their large garden, camping at Mt Blue with several generations of family, entertaining at their camp on Pushaw Pond and riding their bicycles many miles in the US, Canada and in Europe. He is survived by his two daughters and son-in-laws, Nancy and George Putnam of Jeffersonville, VT, and Susan and Paul O'Brien of Hampden, ME. Walter had a very special place in his heart for all five of his grandchildren, Kelly and Corey O'Brien and Brian, Emily and Laura Putnam. Walter was predeceased by his parents, Annie and Julian Carpenter; his grandson, Corey O'Brien; and his brothers, Howard and Merton Carpenter.
Friends may call from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, at the Orono Chapel of Brookings-Smith, 72 Main Street, Orono. A memorial service will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Stillwater Federated Church, Bennoch Rd., Stillwater. The family invites relatives and friends to share conversation and refreshments in the parish hall of the church following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts be made in Walter's name to the Stillwater Federated Church Community Gardens: planting gardens to help the community; PO BOX 386, Stillwater ME 04489. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.