Molly West Carpenter
1941 - 2015
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.
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12 Entries
In the few years I worked with Molly on the Gabbert videos not a day went by that I wasn't impressed with her as I witnessed all her capabilities. The world needs lots of Molly Carpenters and we need them now.
Jerry Gordon
July 31, 2021
Marshall and I send you and the family our deepest sympathy. Loosing a spouse after such a long and loving marriage is sooo terribly hard on you and the girls.
Paula and Marshall Smith
August 17, 2015
Molly was the best possible person to be in a book group with. Her wit, intelligence and laughter enlivened any discussion. Her fascination with the OJ trial held us bound for months and prize-winning essay that got her to Iceland decades ago was a piece of artistic imagination. The world has lost a very smart and very funny person. My deep condolences to Chris and the entire family.
Carla Lazzareschi
August 16, 2015
Chris, our hearts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. Molly will long be remembered for all she has done for the libraries . Much love to all, Jane and Joe Barr
Joe Barr
August 7, 2015
My prayers to all the family. I am so glad I was able to reconnect with Molly this past year. We had so many family memmories to share.
Jackie Weese
August 7, 2015
On behalf of Dean of UCR Extension, Sharon Duffy, me and my staff I join you not only in grief at the passing of a lovely person, but also for the loss Molly's family suffers. Our hearts and prayers are with her family and her many friends. Molly was an active lifelong learner, as well as a longtime friend to many and a contributing member of Osher and LIFE Society. She was a proud member of the coordinating committee to produce both of John Gabbert's DVD documentaries: When all the World Was Young and Riverside, My Riverside and worked with him on a special collection of poetry for the LIFE Society. She joined in on the New York City theater trips, and was always a lively participant in Osher courses, and the Summer Film and LIFE Lecture Series. We will miss Molly's great sense of humor and passionate personality.
Sandra Richards
August 6, 2015
What an extraordinary woman; what an extraordinary life.
Phyllis and Jim Crabtree
August 6, 2015
Molly's intelligence, caring spirit, and sense of humor made every day I worked with her a pleasure and a blessing. My condolences to her family.
Jon Kindschy
August 5, 2015
Katy, love and hugs to your family during this difficult time.
Monique, Jim, Diego & Chris Moraga
August 5, 2015
Molly was a wonderful lady and I always admired her passion for her causes and her incredible wit. I feel so lucky to have had her in my family and in my life. Much love, Lindsey
Lindsey West Wallace
August 5, 2015
What a beautiful life of love and service she gave to her family and community. May the memories she made with you comfort you and give you strength always...Kevin, Christine, Kathryn and Connor Heinemann
Christine Heinemann
August 5, 2015
A good friend. A great leader, an incredible mind, and a terrific personality. Hard to find such a wonderful combination and the loss of Molly denies us of such a rare person. Deeply saddened.
Jerry Gordon
August 5, 2015
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