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Arch Carpenter Arch was born in Mt. Vernon, Washington and raised around the Puget Sound. He graduated from Bellingham High School and joined the U.S. Army fighting as a paratrooper in WWII first in Italy, then through France, Belgium and into Germany. He participated in all five campaigns in the European Theatre including Airborne assaults into France and Germany. Discharged in 1945, he married his high school sweetheart Mary Ellen and enrolled into the University of Washington School of Architecture. Upon graduation with the UW class of 1950, and armed with a ROTC commission, he was invited to participate in the Korean War, where he served as a platoon and company leader during three major campaigns. Quieter years were spent in various postings and assignments around the world. He spent a three year tour during the "Cold War" as a Company Commander in the 187th Airborne Battle group of the 11th Airborne Division. The unit was deployed to Lebanon to stabilize a rebellion in 1958. His service in Vietnam included two tours, the first as an Advisor to a Mekong Delta Vietnamese Brigade, the second commanding the U.S. 1st Battalion of the 508th Parachute Infantry of the 82nd Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade which was attached to the 101st Airborne Division. After duty on the Joint Chiefs of Staff he was assigned as the 8th Division Chief of Staff in Europe and then as Commander of the 2nd Brigade of that Division. Upon return to the U.S. he was appointed as Deputy Commander of Army Readiness Region 8 and then as Assistant Chief of Staff to the 6th Army at the Presidio of San Francisco. Colonel Carpenter commanded fighting units from Rifle Platoon level through Company, Battalion and Brigade levels. A veteran of twelve major campaigns as a Combat Infantryman, he was awarded Two Silver Stars, Four Legion of Merit Medals, Five Bronze Stars, Four Air Medals, a Joint Service Commendation Medal. Four Army Commendation Medals. One Purple Heart. And numerous Medals and Decorations from grateful foreign countries. He is only one of roughly two hundred recipients of the Combat Infantry Badge with three awards. Service did not end with his separation from the military; Arch was a 35 year member of the Gig Harbor Lions club, serving his club and community as President and Zone Chairman. Arch was a 5 time recipient of Lion of the Year and a Melvin Jones Fellow Award recipient. Arch also received the NESA Award for Outstanding Eagle Scout Lifetime Achievement. Arch was married to Mary Ellen for 68 years. Together, they raised five children, Gayle, Connie, Karen, Brad, and Ronald; and enjoyed their eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 7th at Haven of Rest Funeral Home in Gig Harbor, with military honors rendered at the inurnment service; followed by a reception for all at Harbor Place at Cottesmore also in Gig Harbor. Please sign his online guestbook at with condolences and memories for the family.

Funeral Home
Haven Of Rest Funeral Home Cemetery & Crematory
8503 Hwy 16 W Gig Harbor, WA 98335
(253) 851-9991
Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on June 4, 2014
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