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M. Ellen Carpenter

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BENNINGTON -- M. Ellen Carpenter, 52, a well known member of the Boston legal community, died unexpectedly, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2006, at Massachusetts General Hospital, of complications from a brain aneurysm she suffered while visiting her family in Bennington.

Born in Bennington, Oct. 9, 1954, Ellen was the daughter of Mary Elaine (Connifey) Carpenter and the late J. Russell Carpenter. A graduate of Mount Anthony Union High School, Ellen was a 1976 cum laude graduate of the University of Vermont where she was named an Outstanding Woman in Political Science. A 1979 graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, Ellen was a member of their Moot Court, a White Scholar, and the recipient of the Harold Weber Award for Oral Advocacy.

She was most recently a partner with Christine Roach, at the law firm of Roach and Carpenter, PC. Ellen and four co-workers at the U.S. Attorney’s office founded Kern, Sosman, Haggerty, Roach, and Carpenter in Boston in 1989. Specializing in the field of bankruptcy law, Ellen was honored as a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy.

Ellen previously was employed by the U.S. Department of Justice as a trial attorney in the tax division, and at the U.S. Department of Labor. She was a member of the Massachusetts and District of Columbia bars. A member of the Boston Bar Association, she served as its president from 2004-2005. Ellen was a former member of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers, whose chair she was from 2004-2005. An Adjunct Professor in Consumer Bankruptcy at Southern New England School of Law, Ellen was a recipient of their honorary degree in 2005. She was a member of the Panel of Chapter 7 Trustees for Massachusetts. A frequent lecturer on the BBA, MCLE, and ABI panels on trial advocacy, the presentation of evidence, civil procedure, commercial litigation and bankruptcy. In June, she was invited to travel to Russia to lecture on bankruptcy.

Ellen was a member of several professional organizations including the Boston Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts, and the American Bankruptcy Institute. She believed in mentoring both new lawyers and high school students. During her term as president of the Boston Bar Association, she was responsible for initiating a program, in conjunction with the Bankruptcy Court, to teach high school students the importance of fiscal responsibility.

When not working, Ellen enjoyed spending time with her niece, nephews, godchildren, and the children of several close friends. She loved to travel, enjoyed sporting events of all kinds, especially Notre Dame football. A vibrant person, Ellen enjoyed spending time socializing with her many friends, colleagues, professional associates, and family.

Survivors include her mother, Mary Elaine Carpenter of Bennington; her siblings and their families, 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. Ellen was predeceased by an infant brother, Jerome Patrick Carpenter and by her father who died June 10, 2006.

The funeral will be held from the Mahar & Son Funeral Home in Bennington on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2006 at 10:30 a.m. with a prayer and from Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales Church at 11:00 a.m. where the Mass of Resurrection will be offered.

Friends may call at the Mahar & Son Funeral Home Friday 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 M. Ellen Carpenter’s memory may be made to Bennington Project Independence or to the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center through the office of the Mahar & Son Funeral Home, 628 Main Street, Bennington, VT 05201.
Published in Bennington Banner on Dec. 13, 2006
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