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J. Russell Carpenter

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BENNINGTON -- J. Russell Carpenter, 78, a well known resident of Elm Street, longtime local businessman, and former Vermont state legislator, died unexpectedly Saturday, June 10, 2006, at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington.

Born in Schenectady, N.Y., Dec. 17, 1927, he was the son of the late J. Russell Carpenter Sr. and Catherine Butler Carpenter. He received his education in Bennington and was a 1945 graduate of the Bennington High School. He married the former Mary Elaine Connifey in Gardner, Mass., on Aug. 16, 1952.

For many years, Russ owned and operated the family business, T.A. Carpenter & Sons Lumber, Hardware and Paint on Scott Street in Bennington.

He attended both the University of Vermont and Siena College in Loudenville, N.Y. A World War II veteran, Russ served in the U.S. Navy from 1945 till 1947. He had been a long time member of the Tin Can Sailors, a group of veterans who had served on various destroyers. He also was a member of American Legion Post 13 in Bennington.

A devout member of Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales Church in Bennington, Russ was also a long time member of the Knights of Columbus Council 307 in Bennington. He was a past grand knight, member of the 4th Degree Assembly and served as Vermont state deputy of the K of C from 1992-1994.

From 1988 thru 1992, Russ served in the Vermont state Legislature as a representative from Bennington District 2-3. In 1993, Gov. Howard Dean appointed Russ to the Vermont State Lottery Commission; he was later reappointed by Gov. James Douglas. He represented Vermont in the Tri-State Lottery Commission and served a term as its chairman.

Russ and Elaine traveled extensively both across this country and abroad, and were also members of the Vermont “251 Club.” Russ was very proud of the fact that he had visited all 50 states and their capitals.

A great lover of music, Russ had served for 25 years as judge of the bands appearing in the Bennington Battle Day parade. He sang locally with barber shop quartets and was selected as a member of the Vermont All State Band playing the clarinet, while in high school.

The greatest joy in Russ’ life was his family.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Elaine Carpenter of Bennington; his children and their families, M. Ellen Carpenter of Boston; Patricia Bolduc, her husband, Robert, and their daughter, Elizabeth, of Scarborough, Maine; John P. Carpenter, his wife, Sylvia, and their sons, Jess and Sean, of Bennington; James Theodore Carpenter and his wife, Anne-Chantal, of East Hartford, Conn.; several nieces, nephews and cousins.

The funeral will be held from the Mahar & Son Funeral Home in Bennington on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 at 9:30 a.m. with a prayer and from Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales Church at 10 a.m. where the Mass of resurrection will be offered.

Friends may call at the Mahar & Son Funeral Home Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. when the family will be in attendance.

Burial will take place in the family lot in Park Lawn Cemetery.

Should friends desire contributions in J. Russell Carpenter’s memory may be made to Bennington Project Independence through the office of the Mahar & Son Funeral Home, 628 Main St., Bennington, VT 05201.

The following organizations are asked to meet at the Mahar & Son Funeral Home Tuesday evening to conduct services in memory of Mr. Carpenter: K of C Council 307 at 6 p.m. and American Legion Post 13 at 6:30 p.m.
Published in Bennington Banner on June 12, 2006
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