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DAVID J. CARPENTER


 
 

DAVID J. CARPENTER  

Of Bethesda, Maryland, and Lower Waterford, Vermont, passed away at home last Thursday, November 14, 2013 after a brief illness. The son of Irving F. Carpenter of Somerville, Massachusetts, and Beatrice Elizabeth Kinne of Upper Waterford, he was born in Newton, Mass., and raised there and in Lower Waterford.
After enrolling at the University of Michigan in 1941 to study forestry, he entered the army in 1943. He joined the 86th Mountain Infantry Regiment of the 10th Mountain Infantry Division and trained with the ski troops at Camp Hale, Colorado. He was promoted to the rank of staff sergeant and ended the war, after Officer Training, as a second lieutenant.
Taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, he entered Harvard University, where he met his future wife Christine Bosshard, and graduated in the Class of 1949. During the Korean War, he worked with the Office of Research Operations, a civilian-military research organization run by Johns Hopkins University. He also worked for Radio Free Europe.
His career with the U.S. State Department began in 1960. His first overseas posting was to Monrovia, Liberia, followed by Malta, Paris, and assignments at the State Department in Washington, D.C. He served with distinction at the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam, which he helped to defend when it came under direct attack from the Viet Cong during the 1968 Tet Offensive; in a subsequent posting to Cambodia, he caught one of the last planes out before the country fell to the Khmer Rouge in 1975. After a combined three decades of government service, he retired from the State Department in 1980. At the time of his death he was completing a history of Waterford that his family will have published this spring.
He is survived by Christine, his wife of 61 years, and his three daughters, Susan Singer-Carpenter of Hamburg, Germany, and Betsy Carpenter and Wendy Carpenter-Israel of Bethesda, Maryland, as well as his five grandchildren.
A memorial service will be scheduled in Lower Waterford this spring.
Condolences can be sent to Christine Carpenter at 8000 Park Overlook Drive, Bethesda, Maryland, 20817. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Davies Memorial Library, 532 Maple St., Lower Waterford, VT 05848.



Published in The Washington Post on Nov. 20, 2013
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