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Gary James Carpenter, 70, passed away on Friday, April 12, 2013 at his home in Wisconsin Rapids.
The Service will be on Thursday, May 9th at the Herman-Taylor Funeral Home in Wisconsin Rapids. Visitation will be from 2:00-4:00 PM followed by a Masonic Service. A closing service will be led by Reverend Beaton. A reception will be held from 5:00 - 7:30 PM at Great Expectations in Wisconsin Rapids for family and friends.
Gary was born August 19th, 1942 in Mauston, WI to John and Evelyn (Muehlenbruch) Carpenter. From an early age, he worked in the family business, Carpenter's Supper Club in Mauston, WI, which would set the tone for further education and career direction. After high school, Gary attended MATC earning his associates degree in Culinary Arts. Gary and Mary Ellen (Thul) were married in June 1965 until July 1993 and had to sons, John and Scott. While raising a family, there were many memorable boating/camping trips with family friends. A vacation to Colorado was a great experience for the entire family. There were many home improvement projects which he and his sons worked on over the years. Many stories came from the projects he had set in motion. Gary later married Judy (Weller) in August 1997 until March of 2000.
Upon moving to Wisconsin Rapids, Gary worked for several years as the Supervisor of the School District Hot Lunch program. He later took a sales position with Gleue Ford Lincoln Mercury and received many awards for outstanding sales and formed many lifelong friendships with coworkers and customers. During this time Gary also held an elected position with the Wood County Board. The food service industry became his path once again with Baraboo Sysco Foods. He was a Territory Sales Representative and Regional Manager with several years of prosperous sales and recognition until his retirement at age 55.
Gary's sense of determination and hard work soon found him going back to work for Rapids Ford and Johnson and Sons selling cars and rekindling relationships with customers from his past.
Gary's later life was devoted to the Masonic Lodge 128 and the ZOR Shrine. He supported the Shrine Hospitals with a marketing business selling tickets to raise funds. Gary held many positions with the Masons and Shrine including the DIVAN Board of Directors. He was also an active member of the Royal Order of Jesters 126. The Funster Trailer Program was a very successful fund raiser in which he was a key contributor. For many years, he was a clown with ZOR Funsters for countless parades throughout Wisconsin. This was the part of the being a Shriner he enjoyed to the fullest. Gary also had a great love of the Prairie Home Companion long before it was widely known, and an avid love of collecting Snoopy memorabilia and assembling jigsaw puzzles. He was also a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan.
Gary is survived by his loving sons, Scott Carpenter (Wisconsin Rapids) and John Carpenter (Menomonie); sisters, Susan Carpenter (Madison) and Roberta Carpenter (Milwaukee); brother, Donald Carpenter (Milwaukee) as well as extended families and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, John and Evelyn, and step-father, Richard Shade.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the ZOR Shrine Hospital Patient Transportation Fund in memory of Gary J. Carpenter are preferred. (ZOR Shrine, 575 ZOR Shrine Place, Madison, WI 53719)
Published in Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune on May 6, 2013