Dr. Gene A. Carpenter, 70

Dr. Gene A. Carpenter, 70, of Lancaster, PA passed into God’s loving arms at the Lancaster General Hospital Wednesday morning, December 10, 2009 surrounded by family.  Born in Cornwall Township on November 28, 1939, Gene Carpenter was the son of the late LeRoy and Virginia (Hartman) Carpenter.  He was married to Sandra J. (Thiel) Carpenter on November 21, 1959.  The Carpenters celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary this November.

A proud Veteran, Coach Carpenter served in the United States Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and Okinawa, Japan before earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Huron University (S.D.), a Masters of Administration from Adams State College, and a Doctoral degree from the University of Utah.

Coach Carpenter retired from Millersville University in 2001 after 31 years of teaching, advising, coaching and serving as the Director of Men’s Athletics and Head Football Coach. He was the winningest coach in the program’s history with a 212-89-6 record (220-90-6 overall as a head coach) and guided the school’s most successful teams. Carpenter’s 1988 gridiron squad captured the ECAC Lambert-Meadowlands Cup Championship and forty-nine of his players were named All-American. Statistically, Coach Carpenter produced twelve seasons with eight or more victories, and he posted winning records in 29 of his 32 seasons as a head football coach.

As Director of Men’s Athletics, Coach Carpenter administered a strong, nine-sport intercollegiate program that made its mark on regional and national scenes.  Team and individual post-season qualifiers were a yearly norm, as was the selection of All-Americans in several sports.  Coach Carpenter led successful efforts to improve facilities and student-athlete scholarship support, and he also was active with many organizations including several committees within the NCAA, the Maxwell Football Club and the American Football Coaches Council.

He was a member of the F&AM Charles M. Howell Lodge #496.

He was a member of Calvary Church, Lancaster, PA

Coach Carpenter garnered many awards and accolades during his lifetime including the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year Award in 1977 and 1981; the George W. Kirchner Award presented by the Lancaster Sportswriters & Sportscasters Association for outstanding contributions to Lancaster County sports; the Lancaster-Lebanon-Berks Quarterback Club Recognition Award; and the Philadelphia City All-Star Football Association "First and Goal" Award for his work within the community as an outstanding role model.  Coach Carpenter is an Honorary Alumnus of Millersville University, a member of the Pennsylvania Central Chapter Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Susquehanna Chapter Hall of Fame, and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

In addition to his loving wife, Coach Carpenter is survived by his daughter Jodie C. Henderson and husband Bill of Millersville; daughter Julie C. Leach and husband Donald of Landisville; son Dr. Gene A. Carpenter II and wife Melody McFarland of Lancaster; son Captain Scott V. Carpenter and wife Ragen (Yeagley) of Tampa, Florida; son Major Steven P. Carpenter and wife Kaitlin (Powell) of San Marcos, Texas; brother Kenneth Carpenter and wife Betty of Lebanon; and sister Nancy Yordy and husband Henry of Lebanon.  Coach Carpenter is also survived by eight loving grandchildren:  Amanda, Nicole, Ryan, Nathan, Ella, Ezra, Kairys and Boden. Coach Carpenter is preceded in death by his brother Robert Carpenter and his grandson, Steven Paul Carpenter II.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend Coach Carpenter’s Funeral Service from Calvary Church 1051 Landis Valley Rd. Lancaster, PA 17601 on Monday December 14, 2009 at 2pm with Rev. David Allen officiating. A viewing will be held at the church from 11am to 1:30pm.  A social will take place following the service at the church.  Family and close friends will conduct a private interment at Fort Indian Town Gap National Cemetery on Tuesday, December 15th. In lieu of flowers, the Carpenter Family respectfully requests that donations are made to the Dr. Gene A. Carpenter Football Foundation c/o John Guilfoyle, 2437 Gamber Road, Washington Boro, PA 17582. Arrangements made by Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Chapel. 717-560-5100. To send the family online condolences please visit

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Julie & Family – So so to hear about your father.  I know how hard it is to loose a father to Alzheimer’s disease.  I hope you have comfort in knowing he is no longer suffering with this terrible disease.  We will be praying for your family.
With sympathy,
The Johnson’s – Serena, Mike, Alexis & Isabella

The staff of the Ultrasound Department at The Lancaster General Downtown Outpatient Pavilion would like to extend to the entire Carpenter family our heartfelt sympathy.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

With Deepest Sympathy,
Wendy, Linda, Brittany, Jamie, Jenn Leitch, Jessica and Kristi.

Although I was just a fan he treated me like a player.  I haven’t seen him since New Haven over ten years ago, but the memory of his friendship will always make me smile.
Bob Hoskins (Crazy Bob) 1985 – 1988

I can still remember going to his Football Camp 30+ years ago. He worked us very hard. I learned so much about character, confidence and pride. Who would have thought that I would later meet him again when I became an adjunct faculty member at Millersville University in 1999. There I was in a faculty meeting and Dr. (coach) Carpenter comes in the room. I thought I was 14 again…"um,um um, hello Dr. Carpenter" He says, "Hey Jimmy glad to have you on board" I was so stunned. He knew my name. Later that semester he observed one of my classes. While I was lecturing, two students were whispering in the back of the room, I didn’t hear them but Dr. Carpenter did. He whistled at them and said, "eyes front and pay attention" I jumped and I stood at attention the remaining of the lecture.
Thought you should know that he made such a positive impact on my life and thousands more.

Jim Crivaro

Steve & Family,

We offer our deepest sympathy and have all of you in our thoughts and prayers.  We also take solace in the wonderful memories and contributions of Coach Carpenter, who made such a significant and positive impact in the lives of many.  I know he is smiling down on his family, as well as all of those he touched, and that he will never be forgotten.

God Bless,
Colonel & Mrs. J.T. Thomson
Fort Hood, Texas

Our thoughts & prayers are with you at this time of loss.  Coach "Carp"  had a profound influence on all our lives and we have influenced many others.  In that sense, his memory will always live on.  Thank you for sharing him with us, his players, coaches & friends.  We will always remember "Marauder Pride"
Pat Ross

Dear Sandy and the entire Carpenter Family,

It is with tremendous and heartfelt sympathy that I offer this my seemingly inadequate memorial on the passing of your loved one, especially in light of all the many previous accolades that have been written about this superlative human being. You have my honest and most sincere condolences over the loss of your loved one.

I am most simply moved to offer this epitaph in honor and kind respectful remembrance of a special human being. I met your loved one as a stranger and knew him as a friend. I watched, followed, admired and respected his entire life and career, with great awe and admiration, as did so many others. Gene Carpenter was the quintessential "ALL American Boy" and you knew it the first time you ever met him! He was "Special"……….He and his life were the "Yardstick" by which all things should have been measured—-if ever there was someone who you would have wanted to be an example, mentor, and/or influence on your children, yourself or anyone, it would have been Gene. If you’d look up the word "Wholesome" in the dictionary, you would expect to see a photograph of Gene Carpenter. The quality of the stock that he came from is supremely immeasurable. Likewise, the world will be forever a better place because his genes will continue to be perpetuated by the blessing of a wonderful marriage/union with an equally special wife.
The Boy Scouts Motto best describes the Gene Carpenter I knew and will always remember-Physically Fit, Mentally Alert, and Morally Straight! Anymore would be a waste of words.
So mourn as you should and must, but let not your hearts be troubled as you will and should celebrate this special human’s life. It has been said, "Life Is Promise-Fulfill It"……Your mate, your Father, Grandfather, "Coach" and our friend Gene "Spinner" Carpenter, fulfilled his life to the ultimate. May he rest in peace and may you find solace and comfort in the fact that so many others share your grief and sorrow. Celebrate his life and give thanks that the world was able to share and benefit from this beautiful soul and therefore must be a better place because of that association!

Most Sincerely and with great Respect,
John Quairoli-(Pleasant Hill/CHS-’62)

My thoughts and prayers are with Coach Carpenter’s family in your time of grief.  Coach touched lives, helping so many young men develop strength and character, during their college years and beyond.  By all accounts, his own children have grown to be honorable people, productive citizens, and positive parents in their own right.  What greater legacy can there be?   
John DeFrank

My sincere sympathies to the Carpenter family.  Dr Carpenter took a chance on hiring a midwest kid that he had never met and I will never forget that!  I forged numerous life long relationships in Pennsylvania and I owe that to Coach Carpenter.  I will always remember coaching at Millersville with Dr Carpenter; it was the best coaching experience of my life!

Curt Strasheim

We are extremely sorry to hear of Coach Carpenter’s death.  We know he is in a better place and are thankful for that.  We express our sincere condolences to the family.  We also want to express our thanks to Coach Carpenter for allowing us to be a part of Marauder Pride in 1974-1975.  Coach was a great coach, leader and friend but more than anything he was a shining example of what a man is supposed to be; to his God, his family, his staff, his players and anyone who was fortunate enough to be around him. Thanks Coach and God Bless the Carpenter family.

John "Jack" Henry and Carol Henry

Sandy and Family,
Coach meant more to me than you can imagine. I was only devastated like this one other time and hat was the passing of my father. I can pay no higher tribute than that. Jackie and I love you guys and we feel your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

John and Jackie Ricketts

I am sorry to hear about Coach Carpenter’s passing. We all admired and respected him. My deepest sympathy is extended to you at this time and may your memories of him in happier times comfort and sustain you in te days ahead.

I am so sorry to hear of Coach’s passing, but believe he is now on the Good Lord’s coaching staff.

When he arrived at the Ville in 1970, I was one of the many who wanted to know about this man and what he would do for our football team.  We found out quickly that he was commited to excellence and we had better get on board.  He drove us hard, but he forged a winning atttitude.  He made us men and created a lifelong desire to do our best.  I am blessed to have known this man of character.  Coach will always be a positive influence in my life. 

I last saw Coch at the Ville ceremony honoring Bill Davis as a new member of the Hall of Fame.  Though he did not remember me, it was a honor to shake his hand one more time. 

My condolences and prayers to the Carpenter Family.

Dan Wiley – Ville ’73


I pray you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I pray you enough happiness to keep your spiit alive and everlasting.

I pray you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I pray you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I pray you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I pray you enough hellos to get you thru the final good-bye.

With Love and Sadness,
Kristine Young Eelkema
Alexandria, VA

Even though I only played for Coach Carpenter for what seemed a very short time, he had a very profound influence on my life.  Coach will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Please accept my deepest sympathy on your loss.
Dale Sizemore

Dear Family-  So sorry for your loss…It’s been years that I’ve admired your family by being a former neighbor, son Gene’s pal Sean’s mother, hygienist to some of your at the dental office, and on and on.  One memory of Big Gene I have is when I was driving Nicole back to PSU after her bout with mono;  Gene saw us on the highway, flagged us over, and offered to take her the rest of the way.  She was still weak and tired, but Gene helped her with her stuff, and went the extra mile to help her and give me a break by turning around and going back to Lancaster  I’ve informed Sean (Houseal) in Charleston of Gene’s passing. 
Pam (Houseal) Emich

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.  Coach left a positve lasting imprint on the lives of all of us who had the opportunity of knowing and associating with him…no matter how brief that time may have been.

May God’s Blessing and Peace be with you all.
Wayne Hoffman

We both have such wonderful memories of Dr. Carpenter and his family. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. He was a very special person and we are so blessed to have known him.

With deepest sympathies,
Al and Kathy DePippo

Coach is in the real Hall of Fame now. May the good Lord continue to bless and keep you always. God bless you all.
Bill & Susan Davis

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