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Gilbert Newton Carpenter

Obituary for Gilbert Newton Carpenter

June 7, 1948 - April 23, 2020
San Antonio, Texas | Age 71


Gilbert Newton Carpenter passed away on April 23, 2020 aged seventy-one. His friends called him Gil. He was born in Portland, Oregon and lived there just for a short time before moving with his family to San Mateo, California. Those were the years after the war when returning soldiers, like his father, could explore employment opportunities and enjoy the new levels of demand for workers and upward mobility. In San Mateo, his father commuted to San Francisco for work. Gil's mother, once a very talented concert pianist, taught youngsters to play. Always, a huge grand piano followed along with the family. After California, the family moved back to Omaha, Nebraska when Gil's father opened a partnership involved in auto auctions. They resided in Florence Heights, a suburb of Omaha. There Gil explored the grounds of a large rented farm house with his sister.

Again, the family and the grand piano moved to Omaha proper and Gil began school at Dundee Grade School. But it wasn't long before opportunities arrived and they moved again, this time to Oak Park, Illinois. Gil went to Emerson Grade School. In 1960, when Gil was twelve, his father started another company that was in the rental business and the family moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. It was a fun time for a kid living on Boca Ciega Bay, fishing and crabbing from his own dock. Gil attended Admiral Farragut Academy private school.

Several years later, Gil's father died at age fifty-two and Gil continued to live with his mother and moved with her back to San Antonio, Texas, the home of his grandmother in Olmos Park. He traveled extensively then decided to enlist in the Army and joined the 101st Airborne at their base, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Soon he was on his way to Vietnam assigned and trained as a specialist in an elite Army Tracker Team. Combat Tracker Teams were small, high-trained units consisting of a team leader, a visual tracker, a cover man, a ratio operator and a dog handler. To show their effectiveness in the jungle, the Viet Cong put out large bounties on their heads.

The stress of combat affected Gil and after three years, he was sent back to base. His experiences would haunt him the rest of his life. He remained in San Antonio and lived alone. He never married. Those that knew him never failed to remark what a gentleman he was, thoughtful and kind. He loved to send surprise presents and caring cards. He also loved his cigars.

He is survived by his sister, Ellen Carpenter Mitchell, his niece Lara Mitchell Tate, his grandnephew Oneil Wood and his two grand nieces, Jordyn Tate and
Jadyn Tate.

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Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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