RUTHERFORDTON-Robert Edgar Carpenter Jr. passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. He was born June 29, 1928, to Robert Edgar Carpenter and Margaret Ann McFalls Carpenter of Cliffside.
As his father before him, R. E. Carpenter Jr. became a Registered Professional Engineer in 1958. He was a member of The Association of General Contractors of America, Inc., and a lifetime member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Born in Cliffside, he attended Cliffside School until 1944 and graduated from Shelby High School in 1945. He graduated from North Carolina State in 1949 with a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering where he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and a Companion of St. Patrick. He became a partner with his father in R.E. Carpenter & Company, Inc. Engineers and Builders of Rutherfordton, which was organized in 1946.
With his father, he constructed, designed, and renovated textile structures throughout Rutherford County including the Haynes Mills at Cliffside and Avondale, and the Mill Art in Spindale. Their work included major renovations to the First Baptist Church and the First Presbyterian Church Sanctuaries at Forest City and the Cliffside Baptist Church in Cliffside. He designed and built the Matheny Motor Company Building, and constructed the Mooneyham Library in Forest City. Ed designed and constructed the second addition and renovation to the Skyland Textile Plant in 1972 in Forest City, and was commissioned by G.B. Harrill to design and construct the Executive Building in 1975 in Forest City. He designed and constructed the major portion of the Collins & Aikman-Mastercraft Plant in Spindale in 1975 through 1983. Other industrial renovations and/or additions include Spindale Mills, Elmore Corporation, and Washington Mills at Spindale, Laurel Mill at Rutherfordton, and N.C. Display Company at Alexander, as well as Alexander Mills School.
He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior on July 3, 1938, at Cliffside Baptist where he was baptized on July 24, 1938. He was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Forest City where he joined with his bride, Betty Jo Putnam Carpenter in June 1950. He was ordained as a deacon on Sept. 15, 1958. He was a Sunday school teacher, member of the Matheny Sunday School Class, and served on numerous committees at First Baptist Church of Forest City. He belonged to the Kiwanis Club, and served on the Board of Directors at the First Federal Savings & Loan starting in 1963 until it merged with Centura Bank (now PNC Bank).
On June 2, 1950, he married his high school sweetheart, Betty Jo Putnam of Shelby, at Zoar Baptist Church. They made their home on Clay Street in Forest City until 1982 when they moved to Rutherfordton. Their children are Robert Edgar Carpenter III of Rutherfordton, Margaret Elizabeth Carpenter Mason of Forest City, married to Mike Mason, and John (Jody) Joseph Carpenter of Charlotte, married to Beth Jones. His six granddaughters are Dr. Elizabeth Mason Ervin of Columbia, S.C., married to Wayne Ervin, Maggie Mason Jones of Forest City, married to Nick Jones, Carey Alice Carpenter, Laura Elizabeth Carpenter, Emily Joanne Carpenter, and Mary Jordan Carpenter of Charlotte. He has one great-grandson, Jacob Wiley Jones of Forest City and one great-granddaughter, Esther Olivia Ervin of Columbia, S.C. He loved his children, adored his granddaughters, and was enchanted by his great-grandchildren.
He had one brother, John P. Carpenter of Seven Lakes; and one cousin, Mary Lois Webb Elvington of Nichols, S.C.
Special thanks to helpers Faye Street, Francis Clary, Crystal Cooper, Mitzi Snipes, and Sandy Jeffords.
Visitation: The family will receive friends from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. Friday in the Family Fellowship Hall of the church.
Funeral Service: 3 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church of Forest City
Officiated By: The Revs. Dr. Barry K. Keys, J. Anthony Spencer, and Clyde V. Buckner
Burial: Carpenter Plot, Cliffside Cemetery, following the service
Funeral Home: The Padgett and King Mortuary is serving the family
Memorials: May be made to the history fund of First Baptist Church, 211 W. Main Street, Forest City, N.C. 28043; Hospice of Rutherford County Inc., 374 Hudlow Road, Forest City, N.C. 28043; or to The Symphony of Rutherford County , P.O. Box 750, Forest City, N.C. 28043
An online guest registry is available at www.padgettking.com