H. Glenn Carpenter Jr.


Updated May 19, 2017: Glenn Carpenter Jr. of Edgartown died on May 13, 2017, from complications arising from esophageal cancer. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Mary Jane; his son William and wife Ellen, of Falls Church, Va.; and his daughter-in-law Amy and granddaughter Jane of Pittsburgh, Pa. He is predeceased by his son, Robert; his sister, Carolyn Walker; and his brother-in-law E.R. “Mike” Walker of Johnstown, Pa.

Glenn was born in Greensburg, Pa., on March 16, 1939, the son of the Rev. H. Glenn Carpenter Sr. and Mary Louise (Rose). His father, a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) clergyman, moved the family to Johnstown in 1950. Glenn graduated from Johnstown High School in 1957, and with a B.A. in English from the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown in 1961.

Following the advice of his brother-in-law Mike, while in college Glenn completed the Platoon Leaders Class program of the U.S. Marine Corps. He served three years of active duty as an infantry officer in California, Japan, the Philippines, and Virginia, retiring as a reserve lieutenant colonel in 1980. Decades later, he and Mike would enjoy traveling on space-available military flights to Germany, England, and Hawaii.

Following his active duty service and a brief stint as a sales representative for Proctor and Gamble in San Francisco, Glenn returned to Western Pennsylvania for graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh. There he soon met Mary Jane Scheidhauer of Mercer, Pa.; the two were married in August 1966, and both spent a year teaching English at the Pennsylvania State University campus in Altoona. In 1967 the two moved to Mount Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburgh, where Mary Jane briefly taught high school. In Pittsburgh Glenn started a career with Gulf Oil that over 17 years would take him and his family first to Texas in 1980, and then to England in 1981.

His sons Bob (born in 1969) and Bill (born in 1972) enjoyed learning to sail in foul weather with their father at Bosham Sea School on the south coast of England, and walking along the public footpaths and driving along the lanes near their home in Gerrards Cross in south Buckinghamshire. All three of them could fit in his MG Midget, with Bill squeezing behind the passenger seats. The whole family enjoyed traveling around Europe, visiting among other places the Scilly Isles; the Porsche factory in Stuttgart, Germany; and Bantry Bay in Ireland.

In 1983 the family (now including two Cavalier King Charles spaniels) came back to Pittsburgh, where Glenn started an executive recruitment and outplacement firm. By 1988 the family moved to their vacation home in Edgartown, which they had built 10 years before. Glenn worked as the business manager at the Vineyard Gazette for 11 years.

Glenn cared about his adopted community of Martha’s Vineyard, and in retirement served as the director of the Martha’s Vineyard chapter of the American Red Cross, and on the board of the Edgartown Council on Aging. He also kept active by driving a tour bus in the summers and by volunteering with the Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard and as a trustee of the Edgartown library. For 29 years he sang bass at the Federated Church in Edgartown, where he and Mary Jane were active members. He also enjoyed singing with the Island Community Chorus and with Island A Cappella.

Glenn’s lifelong interests included running, bike riding, and walking. On his frequent international trips while working for Gulf Oil, he would plan running routes around Kuwait, Tokyo, and Singapore well before jogging was fashionable. Later he completed a walking circuit of Martha’s Vineyard, and many long bike rides around the Vineyard and the Cape. As a car enthusiast, he enjoyed buying and selling a wide range of vehicles, including a 1938 Oldsmobile, a Porsche 356, four MGs, and a Geo Metro convertible. His last road trip was to drive the Trans-Labrador Highway through far northeastern Canada with his son Bill in 2016.

A memorial service will be held at 10 am on Saturday, June 3, at the Federated Church on 45 South Summer Street in Edgartown. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be sent to the Federated Church, P.O Box 249, Edgartown, MA 02539.

Editor’s note: Updated to include services previously omitted.