Eulogy for
John Carpenter

Presented by Jim Hobbs
Given at Rotary Club November 11, 2008

I was pleased to be asked to do the eulogy for John Carpenter, my good friend for over 40 years. My wife and I had lunch with John and Esther almost every week for the past 20 years, except when they were in Florida. John was 85 years old when he passed away, but looked like he was 20 years younger.

He loved Rotary Club, was a PHF as was his wife, a member of the Golden Plus club of the Lafayette Rotary Foundation, and was president 1984-85.

He was born in Spencer, IN, and had 2 sisters and 2 brothers Both sisters and one brother are still living. After serving in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theater in WWII , he returned TO THE USA and studied two years at Dartmouth College, and the last two years at Middlebury College, in picturesque Vermont.

John then went back to Spencer and secured a job with a meat packing company, and started dating Esther Sparks, who was a student at Indiana University. After her graduation they were married. and soon moved to Indianapolis where he worked for Sherwin Williams Paint Company. Next they moved to Palm Springs Florida where he continued his work with Sherwin Williams, and was in charge of one of their largest stores, located in a new shopping mall.

Two years later, they moved to Lafayette where he bought the RUG SHOP in Market Square and managed it for the next 40 years.

John had many outstanding qualities that I admired, GREAT COOK! HIS HOME MADE PIES WERE THE BEST.

I would like to tell how I saw John as a person.

1. JOHN HAD INTEGRITY. He was completely honest in all his dealings with others. He stood up for what he believed in. One example is when he was working as the manager of a very successful SW Paint Store at an Indianapolis Mall. The Mall decided that all the stores should start opening on Sunday, which was a new thing at that time. John told them that as a Christian, he could not do this. They had a lot of words over this, but John stood his ground, so they told him they would have to fire him if he didn't open his store on Sunday. John stood up for his convictions and was let go.

2. JOHN had a QUIET & CONFIDENT MANNER about him. In the 40 years my wife and I knew him, we never heard him criticize anyone,. Wow! What a compliment! I recall times when I would criticize someone we both knew, he simply did not respond. It was frustrating for me, because I wanted him to add his criticism to mine, but he never did . How did that affect me? Well, I stopped criticizing people around John.

3. JOHN WAS A GREAT GIVER - He gave of his time and his money whenever he saw someone in need. My wife and I witnessed this on numerous occasions. He was involved in many community volunteer activities, like Meals on Wheels , the Salvation Army board, and he worked for LARRA teaching people who did not know how to read, He also volunteered for his church, including Chair of an Endowment Fund Committee for a number of years.

John was always giving things to people, not because it was their birthday or Xmas , but it was because he wanted to give to others to give them a lift or just to brighten their day. He one of the most giving persons I have ever known,

John Carpenter was a great friend to many of us and I count it a privilege to have known him. I sincerely believe I have become a better person for having known John. May God rest his soul.

Jim Hobbs