HOUSTON — Fred Alan Carpenter Jr. of Houston passed away from Alzheimer’s complications on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018.
He was born in Brownwood on Sept. 19, 1940 to Fred A. Carpenter and Nancy Renfro Carpenter. Fred grew up in Brownwood where his family owned and operated the beloved Renfro Rexall Drug Stores. Fred attended the University of Pennsylvania for his undergraduate years. He was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity and also played football. Although he was a Texas boy at heart, Fred treasured his four years at Penn.
Upon graduation, Fred began his lifelong career in the life insurance and group health benefits business. Fred married Bette Barcus in Brownwood on Aug. 17, 1963. They lived briefly in Philadelphia and Chicago before “coming home” to Houston. Fred’s insurance business thrived and for the last 20 years before retirement, he was Principal of Fred Carpenter and Associates.
Fred had an enviable gift of naturally being able to balance his work life with his family life and his personal passions. He loved to play tennis at The Briar Club.
He treasured his time spent hunting at the Lee Ranch in Brownwood and spending time with his Brownwood family.
Fred served St. Luke’s Methodist Church and his Lord loyally and joyfully for over 40 years, first as Sunday school attendance secretary and then as a dedicated member of the Usher’s Guild.
Most important to Fred, however, was his family. He was a dedicated husband to Bette and to their only child, Clare Carpenter Leppert. Fred rose to perhaps his biggest challenge in 2008 when Clare’s husband, Mike Leppert, passed away, leaving Clare and her two young children, Katie and Lake, without a husband and father. Fred jumped in, being an amazing presence in his grandchildren’s daily lives, which was the greatest gift he could have ever given.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Bette; and his son-in-law, Michael Leppert.
He is survived by his daughter, Clare; his grandchildren, Katie, Lake and Leigh; his brother, Richard Renfro Carpenter of Brownwood; and his sister, Cathryn Carpenter Harkey and husband Gordon of Early.
The family wishes to thank Belmont Village Hunters Creek for two years of tender care. With heartfelt gratitude we also recognize Yvonne Gomez, Katherine Johnson, Tracy
Levy, and Joni Milton of JM Home Healthcare for being our “Team Fred.”
A memorial service was conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 20 in the sanctuary of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 3741 Westheimer Road in Houston, where Dr. Tom Pace, Senior Pastor officiated. Immediately following, all were invited to greet the family during a reception in the Hines Baker Room. Prior to the service, the family will have gathered for a private interment at the Greenwood Cemetery in Dallas.