Gary Carpenter, 62, of Peterborough, died on February, 3 2018 at Monadnock Community hospital after a courageous battle with esophageal cancer. He was born in Somerville, MA on March 6, 1955, the son of Herbert Carpenter and Hazel (Hughes) Carpenter.
Gary grew up in Somerville MA where he attended local schools. At a young age he joined the United States Air Force where he proudly served. Later in life, Gary’s devoted his time to helping people and veterans suffering from substance abuse and addiction issues. As veteran who once faced these same struggles, he felt this was truly his mission in life.
Gary went back to school and achieved a double master’s degree form UMass Boston, one being in Mental Health & Rehabilitation Counseling. He worked extensively at the Phoenix House in Keene, New Hampshire, serving as a drug and alcohol counselor for over a decade. Gary was part of numerous related organizations and initiatives, such as The Veterans Business Owner’s Association which he co-founded.
Some of Gary’s other passions included playing & teaching basketball, reading, community involvement, and enjoying his family. Gary ran for state representative of the town of Peterborough just a few years ago, as he wanted to be a voice for his community. Gary’s biggest joy was his family. He raised 7 children, instilling that same educational and entrepreneurial spirt that was passed down to him from his father.
Gary had amazing qualities that made him unique. From his positive energy, to his unparalleled determination, to his down-right silliness. His favorite expression was NEVER GIVE UP! - which he lived by each day. Gary left countless impressions with so many people that will never be forgotten.
He is survived by his wife of more than 20 years, Maria (Kelley) Carpenter of Peterborough; his children Gary Carpenter and his wife Julie of Weare, Jamis Carpenter of Portland, ME, David Still of Dover, NH, Virginia Fulton and her husband Josh of Hancock, Alexander Carpenter of Peterborough, Kristopher Carpenter and his fiancé Leona Duval of Peterborough, and Jessica Knappe and her husband Thomas of Keene; his grandchildren Joshua, Darin and Francesca Fulton, and Cameron and Aubree Carpenter; his three brothers Herbert Carpenter and Robert Carpenter, both of Plattsburg, NY, and John Carpenter of Poway, CA; along with his many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his sister Elizabeth Carpenter, and his beloved dog Lilly, whom he loved like another of his children.
A celebration of Gary’s life will be held on Saturday, February 17th, between 1pm – 4pm, at the Hilltop Country Club in Peterborough NH, (casual/informal attire). A special military honors presentation is planned for 1:30pm during the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made in Gary’s name to The Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association at https://www.ecaware.org/give/donate/