Melanie Carpenter

Melanie Marie Montague Carpenter

1954-2014 WEST CUMMINGTON Melanie Marie Montague Carpenter, 59, of 68 West Main Street, Cummington, passed away on Friday, March 14, 2014 at home. Born on April 14, 1954, in Pensacola, Florida, she was the daughter of Zoe McKey Montague and the late Frank Daniel Montague. She graduated from William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia, and was educated in schools in Tappahannock, Virginia and Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She moved to Massachusetts in 1991 when she and her sons moved to her parents' home in Marblehead, Massachusetts. They again moved in 1999 to West Cummington, where she helped her parents run Riverbear Newfoundlands Kennel, where there was almost always a house full of the Gentle Giants and puppies. Although slowed down by her over forty year battle with Hepatitis C, Melanie led a full life primarily centered around her sons, helping them to realize their dreams of becoming an artist (Robert) and actor (McKey). She was most happy when she followed her passions: painting, photography, nature, holistic healing, gardening, animal tracking, Harry Potter, reading, writing books, creating blogs for the Kennel, her extended family, Christmas, hiding Easter eggs, researching underground homes, and the rights of students who learn differently. While McKey was a student at Wahconah Regional High School, Melanie was an active parent in the Apollonian Players where she was a photographer and props maker. As she slowed down in what she could do physically, her world became bigger as she used the internet to participate in one of her greatest adventures a "Plunderer" on the blog of, a close group of friends from around the world who love the Chet the Dog books by Spencer Quinn, and who also cheer for and support the dogs of Snowhook Kennels of Willow, Alaska, and their Iditarod run every year. She was honored to learn that Snowhook had dedicated the 2014 race to "Melanie Montague Carpenter and her battle against Liver Cancer". The race began on March 1st, and the dog team successfully finished the race on March 13th. Melanie is survived by her sons Robert K. Carpenter and his wife Andrea Cianchiglia of Califon, New Jersey, and C. McKey Carpenter and his fiancee Courtney Chadwell of New York City. She also leaves her mother Zoe Montague of West Cummington, her sister Martha Bodine of Hinsdale, Massachusetts, her brother Daniel (Carolyn) Montague of Rockland, Maine, her best friends, Leonard and Amalia Fourhawks, of Florence, Massachusetts, and numerous nieces and nephews. Melanie was pre-deceased by her father, Dan Montague (2012), and her brother-in-law, Robert Bodine (2006). In accordance with Melanie's wishes, there will be no memorial service and burial will be private. Those wishing to honor Melanie's life are encouraged to contribute to the Apollonian Players of Wahconah High School: 150 Windsor Road, Dalton, MA, 01226, or Snowhook Kennel, Justin and Rebecca Savidis, Po Box 1179, Willow, Alaska 99688.

Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Mar. 21, 2014