Richard Carpenter, 1936-2010, former Vail psychologist |

Richard Carpenter, 1936-2010, former Vail psychologist

Vail Daily
Vail, CO Colorado

Richard Paul Carpenter, 73, passed away April 3 in Santa Fe, N.M., where he was a member of the community at El Castillo Retirement Residences.

He was born in Wolfeboro, N.H. on Oct. 23, 1936, one of three sons of Carolyn Gibbs Carpenter and Ralph George Carpenter II. He attended Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire before completing studies for a bachelor of arts degree at Brown University in 1959.

He then settled in Boston, where he completed his doctoral studies at Boston University in 1973, including clinical training at Judge Baker Guidance Center. Returning to New Hampshire, he worked as a psychologist in Manchester, specializing in the treatment of children and adolescents.

In 1984, he moved to Baltimore, continuing in private practice, and working at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the Osler 5 Wing, one of only three wards in the country dedicated to treating and researching HIV/AIDS.

According to Baltimore Magazine (December, 1987), Richard was particularly helpful to HIV/AIDS patients and their families in working through the stage of denial: Having lost his vision at age 45 as a result of diabetes, “… Carpenter knew a thing or two about denial himself. He had continued to drive a car until almost legally blind. The result was a high incidence of flattened mailboxes in (Manchester).”

In 1992, he relocated to Colorado, establishing a practice in Vail where he remained until retiring to Santa Fe in 2000.

He is survived by his son, Dr. Joshua Carpenter, his wife, Annie, and their daughters, Abigail, 17 and Lelia, 13 of Craftsbury Common, Vt.; and a daughter, Eliza Carpenter Dennee, her husband, Peter, and their son, Isaiah, 11, of Kenosha, Wisc.

No memorial service is planned. The Carpenter children ask those who wish to honor their father to do so by making a donation to Heartbeets Life Sharing, a community for adults with developmental disabilities, 218 Town Farm Road, Hardwick, VT 05843.

Richard’s family and friends will remember him as described perfectly in Baltimore Magazine as, “… a big man with an elegant head of silver hair and an irreverence for pretention. His sometimes earthy conversation and his habit of referring to himself as a ‘shrink’ in his gravely, humorous voice makes some of his more formal colleagues uneasy.”

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