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  CLASS OF 1932

MARCH 19, 1914 - SEPTEMBER 7, 2009

Jack Melville Carpenter, 95, passed away peacefully in his Dayton home, Monday, Sept. 7, 2009.

He was born March 19, 1914, in Decherd, Tenn., and raised in Osawatomie, Kan. He became a "printer's devil" as a young man, learning all aspects of the newspaper and printing trade. After graduating high school, he attended trade school at nights and became proficient in the operation, repair and maintenance of Linotype machines. Jack was proud of his reputation as one of the fastest and most accurate Linotype operators in the midwest.

Following his marriage to Jewel Radcliff Carpenter in 1934, he worked for a Kansas City publishing house while attending business school at night. He then worked for a series of small town newspapers in Kansas, Tennessee and Illinois. In 1942, he moved his family to Fallon, where he worked for the Fallon Standard.

He and Walter Cox later became co-publishers and owners of the Mason Valley News in Yerington. Jack was elected to the Yerington City Council, served as president of the Nevada Press Association and was appointed by Governor Russell to the Nevada Economic Development Commission. He and Cox also established and operated a Chevrolet dealership in Yerington until 1956. Senator Alan Bible persuaded him in 1956 to join his Washington, D.C., staff as his press secretary. Bible later made him his top aide (administrative assistant) in his D.C. office.

During the 1960 presidential race, Jack joined the Kennedy-Johnson campaign, helping to orchestrate LBJ's famous swing through the South on behalf of Kennedy. From 1962 through 1964, Jack and Jewel also owned and published the Sparks Tribune. In the 1964 presidential campaign, Jack again traveled throughout the country working on behalf of the Johnson campaign.

After the election, he resumed his duties as Senator Bible's administrative assistant. He also actively campaigned for election of many Nevada Democrats, including Senator Bible, Governor Mike O'Callahan and Senator Harry Reid.

After Senator Bible retired in 1974, Jack served as chief of staff to Nevada Congressman Jim Santini until 1977, and then joined the American Mining Congress as its legislative liaison. In 1989, he retired and moved back to Lyon County with his wife, Jewel.

He remained an ardent Democrat throughout his life and took great pleasure in conversing with people from all walks of life.

Jack was preceded in death in 1999 by his wife, of 65 years, Jewel; and in 1940 by their infant son, John. He is survived by his daughter, Judith Spangler of Middletown, Va., and her husband, Robert; sons, William L. Carpenter of Yerington and his fiancee, Pam Barrett, Joseph F. Carpenter of Carson City and his companion, Anne Knowles. Jack's surviving and loving grandchildren, their spouses and his great-grandchildren include Alan and Beth Spangler of Chambersburg, Pa., and their children, Robert, Joseph and Hannah, Karl and Nina Spangler of Clinton, Md., and their son, Eric, Danny and Erica Carpenter of Denver and their children, Emily, Natalie and Noah, Brian Carpenter of Oregon and Danny and Brian's mother, Peggy Carpenter, of Reno.

The family is sincerely grateful to the staff of Saint Mary's Hospital and Hospice and most especially, to Jack's many caregivers over the past years, whom he loved dearly, including, Kathleen Hodge, Russell Rehbein, Sheila Ehst, Dean Soules, Dottie Foster, Dianna Allard and Nancy and Merv Lash.

There will be a memorial service at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, at the First United Methodist Church, on the corner of Division and Musser Streets, in Carson City. Walton's Chapel of the Valley is in charge of the arrangements. Burial will be in Osawatomie, Kan. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to a worthy cause of one's own choosing.


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