MOLLY WEST CARPENTER (1941-2015) passed away July 29, 2015, from cancer, at home, surrounded by her family. Molly wrote her own life story for her 50th college reunion two years ago: "I went from Pomona College to Yale, where I earned a now defunct MAT degree in teaching science. Then I taught junior high for two years in Lexington, MA. Then I returned west, married Chris Carpenter, and tried my hand at raising mosquitoes for a living. That drove me back to teaching and a lack of positions landed me in elementary school. I was forced to quit when I was pregnant (female teachers couldn't wear pants or be pregnant) and then had two daughters, Alice and Katy, four years apart. During their school years, I worked off and on at UC Riverside in education and continuing education. Then on a whim, I returned to teaching for eight final years of my working life and found my calling as a first grade teacher. It was like living a sitcom- heart warming and full of laughs - while watching children wake up to the wonder of reading. Then I retired a second time and I have been volunteering ever since, mostly for the public library. Several years ago, I co-chaired a parcel tax measure campaign (Measure I) that received an 85% yes vote- very rewarding. Katy's family lives two blocks away and Alice takes a six hour flight to visit from Oahu, but Skype keeps us all close. I am fascinated with the electronic revolution we are living through and I now understand my grandmother who kept wanting to live longer in order to see what happened next. As she said, 'Curiosity killed the cat, but information brought him back.' That cat must have had Google." Molly served as past president of the League of Women Voters, the Riverside Public Library Foundation, the Friends of the Riverside Library, and was a member of the Library Board of Trustees. Among Molly's other accomplishments was taking up Tae Kwan Do at age 70 with her daughter Katy and grandson Kosta. Molly reached a brown belt before health issues forced her to quit. Also, she was the sole American winner for an international shoe photo-taking contest, winning a trip to Iceland. Molly also managed to get herself invited as a special guest of the Plaintiffs' team during the OJ Simpson civil trial. Molly is survived by her husband Chris; her two daughters, Alice Carpenter and Katy Kim; her son-in-law Young Kim, and her grandsons Kosta Kim and Desmond Kim. She is also survived by her sister Marcia West and brother Peter West, who both live in Seattle, as well as many other beloved in-laws and nieces and nephews spread around the globe. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Riverside Public Library Foundation. A memorial service will be held August 21, at 2pm at the Victoria Club.
Published by The Press-Enterprise from Aug. 5 to Aug. 7, 2015.