Dr. Donald E. Carpenter, DMD


   He promised to love her forever and he did. Beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Donald Elmore Carpenter passed from this world into the arms of Our Lord and his Magdalena in Heaven on Oct. 30, 2017. 

Born in Rockford, Illinois on Aug. 4, 1924, Don was the second of three accomplished boys. His parents were Richard Marvin Carpenter (d.1964) and Louisa Tacy (Evans) Carpenter (d.1944). He excelled at nearly everything he set his heart on. He had many honors as a Boy Scout, played the flute in his junior and senior high school marching bands. This stimulated his love of music, especially opera, symphony, and the bagpipes.

Don loved to fish, hunt, golf (he got a hole-in-one on the championship golf course at his vacation home at Innisbrook in Tarpon Springs, Florida), worked in his garden, and liked to tell stories.

When World War II broke out, the military gave Don a 4-F medical classification. Disappointed not to be able to serve in the war, he accompanied his father from their home in Rockford, Illinois to Portland, Oregon where his father had been hired as Fire Chief of the Portland Shipyards (At that time they were building Victory Ships as their part in the war effort.) It was here where good fortune allowed him to meet a co-worker who he later described as “the love of his life” - his Magdalena.

After WWII ended Don and Magdalena married on July 13, 1946 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Portland, Oregon. Their daughter, Penelope Dawn, was born a year later on July 23, 1947 in Portland. Don continued working and studying at the University of Oregon Dental School. Their second child, Alan Baird, was born in Portland on March 5, 1954. Don graduated in 1955 as a Doctor of Medical Dentistry where he was a member of Psi Omega Dental Fraternity. Upon graduation, he was commissioned First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. The family moved to George Air Force Base in Victorville, California. His military service was to be one of the most rewarding times of his life. He received an honorable discharge at the rank of Captain in 1957.

The family moved to The Dalles where Dr. Carpenter began his dental practice. For relaxation, Don engaged in commercial fishing for salmon out of the family camp in Chinook, Washington. Don also hunted deer and upland game with son Alan and friends on the Fargher ranch during his years in Wasco County. 

In 1960, their third child, Rebecca Anne was born in The Dalles. Don’s greatest love was his family. He had a passion for everything he was part of. Anyone who had the privilege of his involvement in their life had been very blessed. He spent his professional life in The Dalles as a Family General Dentist. He was also a community leader, as well as an avid golfer and lifelong sports fan. He loved all Oregon Duck sports. His family and friends adored his keen intellect, sense of humor and unwavering devotion. Dr. Carpenter continued a long and very successful practice until 1985. He retired from his dental practice and devoted himself full-time to the loving care his wife until her death.

Don became interested in commissioning a sailboat - an interest developed through close friends. After Magdalena’s death, Don learned to sail with friend Janice Self Colletti, who he later married. They went on an adventure sailing on the Mila Moya off the coast of the U.S. and Mexico. He travelled to all seven continents! He enjoyed walking among the turtles in the Galapagos and among the penguins in Antarctica. The birds of the world were his favorites.

Jan sadly passed away after a number of years living in Medford, Oregon. Dad chose to live for a brief time in Eugene before choosing to spend the rest of his life near his daughter, Penny, in Leavenworth, Washington.

As part of his Scottish heritage, he was a member of the Clan Baird Worldwide Society. The bagpipes and Celtic music remained among his favorite music. He was a member of the Oregon State Dental Association, Knights of Columbus President, The Dalles Council, (Fourth Degree - Past Faithful Navigator, Grand Knight of the State of Oregon,) Lifetime member of the Navy League of the U.S. (past State of Oregon Navy League President, Past 13th Naval District Regional President, Naval War College), The Dalles Lions Club, and The Dalles Country Club.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his older brother Robert Edwin, younger brother Clyde Alan, wife and mother of his children Magdalena Margaret Lomicki, and second wife Janice Self Coletti. He is survived by his three children, Penelope Dawn Carpenter (John Ressler), son Alan Baird Carpenter, daughter Rebecca Anne Rasmussen (Steven); grandchildren Whitney Gray Shephard Mombert (Kyle), Lauren Ashley Carpenter, Forrest Alan Carpenter (Brooke), Christopher Carpenter, great- grandchildren Grace Carpenter, Magdalena (Mila) Gray Mombert, and Genevieve (GiGi) Mae Mombert. He is survived by one sister-in-law, Lee Lomnicki (Joseph). He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, greatnieces, and greatnephews.

A Memorial Mass will be offered at Our Lady of the Assumption (formerly Our Lady of the Snows) at 145 Wheeler Street, Leavenworth, Washington on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. Interment with full military honors will be at St. Peter Catholic Cemetery in The Dalles, Oregon on Nov. 30, 2017.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation in honor of Dr. Donald E. Carpenter to St. Mary’s Academy Foundation of The Dalles, 1112 Cherry Heights Road, The Dalles, Oregon 97058 and/or a donation to benefit The Fisher House, best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. The Fisher House Foundation, 111 Rockville Pike #420, Rockville, MD 20850,

(form online at militaryscholar.org/FisherHouseDonationForm.pdf)

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