MARQUETTE, MI – Elizabeth McQuade Carpenter, age 98, died peacefully at home surrounded in the care of her family on Saturday morning February 10, 2018.
Elizabeth was born on May 24, 1919 in Bay City, MI to Arthur Nicholas McQuade and Mary Catherine Cleary. At age 7, Betty’s mom died and the family moved to Marquette to be with her mother’s extended family. Betty and her siblings were cared for by her mother’s three sisters and her dad on Champion Street. Aunt Nellie assured Betty, “I will always take care of you.”
Betty attended Baraga Grade School, followed by Baraga High School where she played piano and clarinet, demonstrating an exceptional talent for music.
After high school, in June of 1940, Betty graduated with her teaching degree from Northern State Teachers College, now Northern Michigan University. Her first teaching experience was in Manistique where she taught kindergarten from 1940 to 1942, before joining the Navy. She entered the Navy as a WAVE (Women Activated for Voluntary Emergency Services). Basic training was in Lakehurst, NJ and her first assignment as an aerographer was in Atlanta, GA in 1944. Following that, she signed up for overseas duty in Hawaii and embarked on a ship from San Francisco, CA.
While in Hawaii, she had the opportunity to fly over the Island of Molokai and upon seeing the multitude of white crosses on the hill, she was deeply moved.
Returning to the United States, Betty spent three years teaching in Iron Mountain, MI, where she received her private and commercial pilots license in 1948. There she met Jack Oliver Carpenter and they were married on May 7, 1949 in Marquette. They settled in Duluth, MN and welcomed six of their eight children and two more followed in Waukesha, WI. After the youngest was five, Betty returned to teaching Special Education for the next 20 years. She valued each one of the children she worked with and found such joy and also a great sense of accomplishment teaching children with special needs.
In June of 1985, Betty retired from teaching and she and Jack chose to return to Marquette and settled in a log home on the shores of Lake Superior. They had six good years there before Jack died in 1991. Betty was fortunate to live the rest of her life there, with support from family.
Betty was preceded in death by her dad; Grandpa Mac; her sister, Patricia McQuade; her brother, Robert McQuade (Shirley); and her eldest son, Stephen Carpenter.
Betty is survived by her children, Mary Carpenter (George Stoewer) of Esko, MN, Clare Carpenter of Lafayette, CO, Daniel Carpenter (Ann) of Waukesha, WI, Jean Carpenter of Duluth, MN, Michael Carpenter of Dallas, TX, Matthew Carpenter of Marquette and Ellen Carpenter (Dana Teske) of Minneapolis, MN; grandchildren, Nathan Carpenter (Anne), Erin Carpenter, Bridget Carpenter, Theresa Mergener (Marcus), Andrew Carpenter, Rachel Carpenter, Lai Xin Stoewer, Yiyuan Stoewer and Dolly Lazo (Victor); and five great grandchildren.
The family will receive relatives and friends at St. Peter Cathedral, Marquette, on Saturday, February 17th, from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 12:30 p.m. with Rev. Msgr. Michael Steber officiating. Betty’s children will act as her escorts. A luncheon will follow the mass in the parish hall. Spring burial will take place in the Holy Cross Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Betty’s name to Bay Cliff Health Camp, PO Box 310, Big Bay, MI 49808 or Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres, 1300 Co. Rd 492, Marquette, MI 49855.
Special thanks to Dr. Huffman and Marcie Snowaert, RN, as well as Linda Carlson, RN and Carol Blashill, RN of Lake Superior Life Care and Hospice.
The Canale-Tonella Funeral Home is assisting the Carpenter family where memories may be shared at canalefuneral.com.