Our friend was born on Nov. 12, 1948, in front of the “Alamo” in a taxicab. Maybe that was why he was such a history buff and practical joker.

He grew up in San Antonio and Abilene, Texas. At 17, he and a few buddies decided it would be fun to throw a sledgehammer head at federal mailboxes to see the letters go flying and of course they got caught.

As punishment for this federal crime, the presiding judge gave him a choice of 10 years in prison or joining a branch of military service. He chose the Marines where he served his country during the Vietnam War. When he finished his tour of duty, Ted contacted that judge to tell him thank you for turning his life around.

While in the Marines, Ted completed the High School Equivalency Requirements to receive his high school diploma and found a profound appreciation for Texas and American history, as well as, a knack for useless trivia. This began his journey to improve his life and enjoy the knowledge so many others have shared with us all.

In the earlier 70’s, Ted launched his career in telecommunications with Continental Telephone Company in Granbury, Texas, as a lineman. In the earlier years of this new adventure, Ted met a gentleman named Fred Nelson.

Ted so admired Mr. Nelson and his communication talents that he decided to pattern his career after him. It was not uncommon for Ted to tell people he wanted to be a “Fred Nelson” and somewhere along the line he received his wish by gaining the respect and admiration from so many people in this profession.

Ted was a wondering spirit and the communications industry fit him to a “T,” taking him throughout the United States.

Although he never thought of himself as an outgoing person, he really never met a stranger. He would open his heart to anyone, offering his support and friendship.

He is a lifetime member of the American Legion and has been a member the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks for the past eight years. He was first to volunteer for any charitable endeavor, sharing his insight, equipment, and labor.

The Hearts Museum has a special place in Ted’s heart, therefore, in lieu of flowers, a small donation for the new Hearts Museum Building would be greatly appreciated.

We will miss him, our friend “James Ted Carpenter.”

Ted is survived by his wife Rhonda Carpenter; son, Steven Joashua Yeager and wife Susan of College Station; daughter, Michelle Christina Yeager of Bryan; Bonnie Leeann Orr and husband Daniel of Temple; daughter Mary Lou Carpenter Wilson and husband Clint of Huntsville; son Collin Daniel Yeager and wife Stephanie of Bryan; brother Kenneth Carpenter and wife Marlene of Cortez, Colorado; sister Stacie Tuggle and husband Bobby of Clyde, Texas; and 14 grandchildren. He was predeceased by his grandfather William Ovid Carpenter; grandmother Annie Lou Brookshire and step-grandfather Mr. Walter.

The family will receive friends from 4 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec 6, with a Celebration of Life Service at 5 p.m. in the Chapel of the Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home. Interment will be at the Peach Creek Cemetery on Thursday, Dec. 7, with a graveside service at 11 a.m.

Services are under the direction of the Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home Huntsville. Memorial condolences may be made online at www.shmfh.com.

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