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Terry Roger Carpenter

Terry Roger Carpenter
  • April 21, 1940 - January 19, 2018
  • Gull Lake (Richland), Michigan
  • First Presbyterian Church
    8047 Church Street
    Richland, MI 49083

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“You have many wonderful memories but that doesn't fill the empty spot. We often mention the evening flight to Muncie IN for dinner ”
1 of 11 | Posted by: Richard & Joyce Tschantz - Wabash, IN

“I am holding you up in my thoughts and prayers, Jane. Terry was a wonderful person, and I know you will miss him greatly. I love you! ”
2 of 11 | Posted by: Barb Ihnen - Fort Wayne, IN

“Terry was the epitome of the perfect husband, father, grandfather, and friend to all who knew him. I always loved to bump in to him at Harding's -...Read More »
3 of 11 | Posted by: A friend

“Our family is saddened by the news of Terry's passing but know he is now walking the streets of gold in heaven with Jesus. We have so many wonderful...Read More »
4 of 11 | Posted by: Bruce and Carol Ann Campbell - TX

“My heart is with you always. ”
5 of 11 | Posted by: Gaylia and Dave Hanson Gull Lake

“My sympathy to you and your family Jane. I will keep you in thought and prayer. Love to you - Carolyn ”
6 of 11 | Posted by: Carolyn Ren% - North Manchester, IN

“Dearest Jane, Rob, and Susan and families,We are mourning the loss of our friend Terry. Our friendship goes back to the day you moved to North...Read More »
7 of 11 | Posted by: Bill and Judie Silvers - IN

“Bill and I cherish the times through the years we have spent with Terry and the Carpenter Family. We mourn this lost of life of our dear friend. He...Read More »
8 of 11 | Posted by: Bill and Judie Silvers - IN

“We're holding all of you in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Love, Susan and Worth Weller ”
9 of 11 | Posted by: A friend

“We extend our deepest sympathy to you Jane, Rob and all your family! We will surely miss his cheerful presence at the after golf gatherings...Byron...Read More »
10 of 11 | Posted by: A friend

“Dear Jane,My deepest sympathy to you on the passing of your husband, Terry. May you find peace, love, and solace in the months ahead.Blessings to you...Read More »
11 of 11 | Posted by: Peggy Koepke - Mill Valley, CA


Navy Emblem

Terry Roger Carpenter of Gull Lake (Richland), MI

Terry, 77, known for his hard-work and honesty, near-rib-breaking bear hugs, wearing decent khaki pants and button downs for yard work, his loyalty to his country and the Nebraska Cornhuskers, giant bowls of ice cream at bedtime, patient and silent nerves of steel while grandchildren drove him around on learner's permits, unwavering belief in God, true generosity to strangers, the strength of Hercules in body and spirit, his stubborn yet humble ways, and a heart full of love for his family and friends near and far, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 19, 2018 at Rose Arbor Hospice in Kalamazoo, Michigan after a long battle with lung cancer. He will be missed dearly, but is now without pain and in the arms of Christ and his Heavenly family.

Terry is survived by wife, Jane; children, Robert Carpenter (wife, Suzanne), Susan Henke (husband, Alan); grandchildren, Tyler Carpenter (wife, Sarah), A.J. Carpenter, Sofia Henke, Ariana Henke, and Rye Henke; brother-in-law, Keith Cowden; nephews, Chris Cowden, Cole Cowden, and Evan Cowden; niece, Cynthia Triplett, and many dear cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents, Roger and Mary Carpenter of Sidney, Iowa, and his sister, Shirley Cowden of Lovell, Wyoming.

Born in Hamburg, Iowa, Terry's boyhood included farming behind a team of horses with his father, raising cattle and hogs for the 4-H fair, going to church every Sunday, family picnics at the state park, and being a serious student. He played football, participated in FFA, NHS, and played the oboe and saxophone in his high school band. He was the first in his family to go to college and had higher hurdles than most to afford his college education. It was working as kitchen staff at a sorority when his handsome blue eyes first met his true love, Jane. He credited much of the man he became to being a part of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. This is a legacy he shares with his son and grandsons. He and Jane started married life living in several different states as he served in the Navy. His banking career commenced as an FDIC officer, but his talents and personality quickly attained him success as one of our country's youngest bank presidents. He worked as a bank executive in Grand Island, Nebraska, Coopersville, Michigan, and North Manchester, Indiana. His office light was often seen on long past dark as he turned failing banks and struggling customers into success stories. He appreciated his loyal colleagues and took great pleasure in helping mentor others on their journeys to success. He retired from banking and they moved to Richland, Michigan to be closer to grandchildren. There he put his entrepreneurial skills to work founding Gull Lake Realty that is now United Country Lake to Lake Real Estate Company. He was always creative, dedicated and overly generous, volunteering his time to Rotary Club, sitting on various boards, and serving on church councils.

Terry could fix or build about anything and had an old-fashioned common sense to learn things on his own. His grown children credit him with happily assisting with many of their home improvement projects. He was never idle. Whether at the cabin on Elk Lake, at the boat in Grand Haven, or at home on Gull Lake, he loved the water; teaching his children and grandchildren how to sail, drive the motorboats, and all he knew about fishing. In the early 70's, he led his family on their first downhill skiing adventures that created a shared love for the mountains. Terry had great memories of the time he spent and the friendships he made on the golf course. In 2014, he even celebrated a hole-in-one. He enjoyed hunting and fishing trips, always feeling at home in the wilderness. Terry made regular journeys back to his family farm in Iowa to stay connected to his close relatives and hike up through his childhood sanctuary along the bluff trails. In retirement, time with his wife, children, and grandchildren highlighted his best days. Whether skiing down a mountain, boating with a grandchild beside him at the wheel, taking time to visit his children, trips to see grandchildren in college (and cheering for the Huskers with his grandsons), or enjoying activities with Jane, his life centered around keeping his family close.

A celebration of Terry's life will be held at 2:00 in the afternoon on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at the First Presbyterian Church of Richland, with a reception to follow. Mark Jennings will officiate the ceremony. All are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to First Presbyterian Church of Richland, 8047 Church St, Richland, MI 49083. A second celebration will take place later this year in Sidney, Iowa. The family would like to thank their wonderful friends and extended family who have been so supportive and kind. They are grateful to West Michigan Cancer Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Hospice of Southwest Michigan for their efforts and loving care. The Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care is assisting Terry's family.