Thomas James Carpenter
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October 10, 1936 – November 26, 2020
Thomas James Carpenter was born October 10, 1936 in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, the son of Darious and Evelena (Logan) Carpenter. He completed this life on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2020 at the age of 84 years in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Thomas loved Family and especially his grandchildren, duty, the green hills of Rutherford County NC, OU football, a good laugh and his wife Yvonne. He enjoyed reading, a good challenge, and was a self-ordained mechanic, handyman, plumber, and grill-master. He took great pride in his work and was always willing to lend a helping hand to those who matter most. Some areas of his still in development were being kind to phone or door to door solicitors and everything mentioned above that he was self-ordained. He had horrible handwriting, great confidence, somewhat reserved, and was highly intellectual. He feared God and was extremely loyal.
His family and friends affectionately address him as TJ in the Tar Heel State. TJ along with his twin sisters, Janette and Geneva were born and raised in the Rutherfordton and Spindale areas of North Carolina located in the foothills of the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains. His mother Evelyn died when he was five, so he was mostly raised by his grandmother. As a young man, he was taught to respect his elders, work hard for whatever he wanted, and was dared to dream big. These dreams turned into aspirations which took him on an amazing journey. After graduating high school, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served time as an air traffic controller on an aircraft carrier during the Korean War. After fulfilling his commitment, he studied Engineering at North Carolina Agriculture and Technology Institute. He furthered his education by completing the Master’s program, in 1971, at the University of Oklahoma where he went on to earn, in 1980, his Doctoral Ph.D.
Shortly after receiving his masters, he was introduced to Yvonne, by her brother Carver, who became his absolute love of his life. He married Yvonne Elaine Harrison on Aug. 23, 1969 in Tulsa, OK. They moved to Oklahoma City where he worked for the City of Oklahoma City, working up the ranks from a lab chemist and eventually retiring as the Superintendent of Public Works. They raised their sons in Oklahoma City and were members of the Anglican Church of the Holy Cross.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Yvonne; his sons, Aaron Carpenter and wife Stacey of Plano, TX, Dwayne Carpenter and wife May of Elgin, IL and Edric Carpenter of Oklahoma City; his grandchildren, Garrick Carpenter, Isaiah Carpenter, Israel Carpenter, Malia Carpenter and Gavin Carpenter; his great grandson, Chrisean Carpenter.
Graveside service will be 2:00 p.m. Friday, December 4, 2020 at Resurrection Memorial Cemetery, 7801 NW Expressway. The Rev. Mark Williams will officiate.
Memorials may be made to the Anglican Church of the Holy Cross , 10509 N. Council Road, Oklahoma City, OK 73162. A private viewing for the immediate family will take place on Thursday December 3, 2020 at the Vondell Smith Mortuary located at 13125 North MacArthur Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73142. Vondel Smith Mortuary (Vondelsmithmortuary.com) will also dedicate a webpage that will include the obituary, memory wall for condolences and book of memories. Due to the egregious nature of this pandemic and strict CDC guidelines, we will not have a repass or wake following the funeral service. Instead, we ask you to utilize the dedicated web page for your condolences, prayers and well wishes. It is an extremely difficult decision for the family not to host our beloved and awesome network of family and friends. However, we think what is most important right now is keeping everyone safe.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”John 11:25-26