Burlington - Elsa Carpenter died unexpectedly at her home in Charlotte, VT on December 17, 2018 at the age of 88. She was born on November 13, 1930 to Fred and Minna Buschner of Teaneck NJ. After graduating from high school in Teaneck, she attended Bates College in Lewiston ME, earning her BA in sociology. It was at Bates that she met Robert Carpenter, who was to be her husband for 65 years. Their early years of marriage featured frequent moves, as Bob's military service and early career with IBM took them to Sacramento CA, Waco TX, Oakland NJ, Vestal NY, Burlington VT, and Suffern NY. In 1966 they were able to return to Vermont for good, settling first in Burlington while the children were in school, then moving to Charlotte in 1985, where she found peace and joy in the birds at the feeders, the wildlife in the fields, and the sunset views over Lake Champlain.
From her work in the benefits office at the University of Vermont to her countless hours of volunteer efforts, Elsa lived her life in service to others. She was an active and devoted member of the First United Methodist Church of Burlington, serving on many different boards and committees. She gave freely of her time and energy as a troop leader and state officer with the Girl Scouts of America. Foremost, however, was her fierce devotion to her husband and family. In her constant, unwavering love, care, and strength she was the rock and anchor of the family, throughout the years and across the generations, in ways both large and small.
Elsa was predeceased by her three brothers, Paul, Frederick, and Carl Buschner. She is survived by her husband, Robert J. Carpenter of Charlotte VT; her three children: Kathy Carpenter of Middlebury VT, James Carpenter (and spouse Lucinda Thayer) of Plover WI, and Susan Vigne (and spouse Greg Vigne) of Whitefield NH; five grandchildren: Elizabeth Cook (and spouse Philip Cook) of Beverly MA, Hannah Rommer of Hanover NH, Catherine Vigne of Whiting VT, Emily Qian Vigne (and spouse Kenneth Qian Vigne) of Minneapolis MN, and Sarah Covie (and spouse Ali Covie) of Portland ME; along with four great-grandchildren and many nephews and nieces.
A funeral service will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Burlington on Friday, December 28 at 11:00 AM. There will be a reception at the church following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Paul N.
Carpenter '33 Scholarship Fund at Bates College (ATTN: Gift Processing, 2 Andrews Road, Lewiston ME 04240) or to the First United Methodist Church of Burlington, VT.
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Published by The Burlington Free Press on Dec. 23, 2018.