Rex E. Carpenter
1940 - 2020
March 17, 1940
November 21, 2020
Rex E. Carpenter, 80, left this world on Nov. 21, 2020, in Grand Island, surrounded by his family, after battling CCOVID-19 for several weeks.
Given the pandemic, the funeral will be limited to family only.
Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, at Apfel Funeral Home. Masks are required. Family will not be present. Once it is safe to do so, a Celebration of Life will be planned to allow all those who knew him to gather, reminisce and raise a glass to honor Rex. Memorials can be made to JDRF at
Born on St. Patrick's Day in 1940, in Burwell to Audrey (Sigmund) Carpenter, Rex was the seventh of 10 children. He attended Burwell High School and served our country in the United States Air Force.
He met Jonadyne "Jonni" Allen in Lincoln in 1960, married her on Feb. 4, 1961, and loved her for 60 years. Rex and Jonni raised their three sons and a daughter in a house full of energy and mischief, encouraging them to reach for their dreams and instilling in them a deep sense of community. Above all, Rex loved family.
Rex was a car man from the start. Always a hard worker, he worked long hours to provide for his young family. He started at MacDonald Motors in Lincoln washing cars and working in the shop during the day. He would come home to have dinner with his family and to play with the kids. He would then shower, put on his only suit, and head back to try to sell cars.
Over the next several decades, he worked as salesman and general manager, and became a new car dealer in his own right. He owned several car dealerships including Carpenter Cars where he had the Nissan and Chrysler franchises. Most recently he owned Auto America, which he was proud to operate in partnership with his oldest son, Scott.
For Rex, it was always a priority to give to others - family, friends and strangers. As a strong believer in supporting his community, Rex was generous with his time and money. He served on the Fonner Park board of directors and the Community Chest Board. He was a constant supporter of Christmas Cheer and the Salvation Army.
Many may not have known about Rex's frequent random acts of kindness giving others money, food, housing and vehicles. These were typically provided quietly, often with the recipient not knowing the source.
During their 60 years together, Rex and Jonni traveled the world. He often mused that he had never dreamed he would have been able to have such a full and wonderful life that he was sharing with Jonni. Rex has never met a stranger, he was always quick with a kind word. In addition to his dear friends in Grand Island, he also made several wonderful friends in Palm Desert, Calif., where they wintered for the last 20-plus years.
In addition to spending time with family and friends, Rex enjoyed games of skill: gin rummy, black jack, poker, golf and even an occasional game of cornhole. He loved the Huskers and spending time at the Platt Duetsche, Riverside Country Club and Fonner Park.
More than anything, Rex loved being with his ever expanding family. He never missed a birthday party or graduation, and he was most likely to be found with a grandchild on his knee. Sunday mornings were reserved for calls with each of his children. He provided them with unconditional love and support. He was quick with a hug and always their biggest fan. His entire family respected and adored him, and we will all miss him like crazy.
Rex is survived by his wife, Jonni; his children, Scott (Theresa) Carpenter, Michael (Holly) Carpenter, Amie (Victor) Martinez Rawl; grandchildren, Haley (Rob) Bogdasarian, Alexis Carpenter, Ethan (Teagan) Carpenter, Ellie Martinez, Averie Martinez, Beckett Rawl, Simmons Rawl; great-grandson, John Michael Bogdasarian; and siblings, Irene East, Sherri (Ken) Freadhoff, Robert (Kathy) Carpenter, Dennis (Maureen) Carpenter; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his youngest son, Todd Carpenter; his mother; and his siblings, Elayne Gould, Cecil Carpenter, Gene Carpenter, Dion Nissen and Vivian Nixon.
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by The Grand Island Independent from Nov. 25 to Nov. 27, 2020.
4:00p.m. - 6:00p.m.
Apfel Funeral Home - Grand Island
1123 W 2nd Street, Grand Island, NE 68801
Funeral services provided by:
Apfel Funeral Home - Grand Island
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21 Entries
Jonni,, so sorry to hear about Rex. We will never forget you and Rex welcoming us to Grand Island and having dinner. Even though we were competitors for years we were also great friends. Rex was always so interesting to visit with and i will miss our talks. He is in a better place now.
brian and carey hamilton
November 28, 2020
Sending thoughts and prayers. He definitely had a kind heart. I worked for him many years ago at Auto America and have always had a friendship with him and the family since. He always would ask how I was my family and my kids. That definitely speaks a lot about a person. May you rest in peace Rex.
Stacie Ansbach
November 28, 2020
Dear Jonni and family, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Becky Janda
November 27, 2020
So sad to learn of Rex's passing. As you miss his earthly presence may cherished memories give you comfort and peace.
Dan & Margaret Lind
November 26, 2020
Our prayers are with Jonni, Scott, Mike, Amy and their families. I have many fond memories of Rex, he will be missed by so many.
Bob Lunn
November 25, 2020
a loved one
November 25, 2020
Going to miss seeing you on your morning walks down stolley Park Road. As well as seeing your face at fonner Park
Stephen Large
November 25, 2020
Joel Lonowski
November 25, 2020
Our family sends our deep condolences to the Carpenter family. Rex always had a smile and a warmth about him. He was always a gentleman and a great friend to us all. He will be greatly missed. Love the Jeffries Family.
Bill Jeffries
November 25, 2020
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to your family. Rex was a true gift to our community. His kindness was real and embraced by so many. I am so very blessed to call him my friend. Heaven has received a generous & caring angel. HE is waiting with open and loving arms....
Julie Owens
November 25, 2020
Dear Jonni, Amie, Scott, and Michael, and your entire family. Rex was such a kind person and I have so many great memories from our families growing up together. I will be thinking of you and sending you love. Deanne Buck
Deanne Buck
November 25, 2020
We are soooo very sorry for your loss. Rex will be missed by many. He was a great neighbor and friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all
Sally and Gordon Hrnicek
November 25, 2020
We are so saddened to hear of Rex´s passing. Jonni, we extend our deepest sympathy to you & your family. We will miss our talks at the Saddle Club. We just arrived in FL for the winter so am sorry we won´t be at visitation. Sending you love & prayers. So so sorry Jonni
Roger & Barb Luebbe
November 25, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Rex was such a good friend and we will miss him with our whole heart. God Bless you Jonni, Michael, Scott, Amie and the rest of the family.
Karen and Dave Colan
November 25, 2020
Jonni, and the Carpenter family. My deepest sympathy for your loss. Rex was a very good and kind man. He will truly be missed. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Janie Bryer
November 25, 2020
Out deepest sympathy goes out to the family.
George D Bartenbach
November 25, 2020
Jonni, Amie, Vic and sorry for your loss. You will be in my prayers.
Linda Mitchell
November 25, 2020
Jonni, I am so sorry about the loss of Rex. He was truly a really nice guy who was always fun to be around. Please know that Sandy and I will be thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.
Steve Leininger
November 25, 2020
Jonni and Family, I am so very sorry for your loss! Please know you are all in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
Doug & Julie (Glaze) Swanson
November 25, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers to Jonni and the Carpenter family. Rex was so kind to us, a Our thoughts and prayers to the Carpenter family. Rex was a real Gentlemen, I will always remember the weekend I spent in Palm Desert with Rex and Jonni. Grand Island has lost a Great man. RIP
scott broers
November 25, 2020
My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Thank you Rex forever car deal you did for me. Fly high Angel.
Kristin Ohlin Brooks
November 25, 2020