Carpenter, Bernice Berry

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Clyde Bernice Berry Carpenter, of Radford, departed this life on Friday, June 8, 2007 at 2 p.m. She was the daughter of Clyde and May Berry, who preceded her in death.

She is survived by her husband, Ronald A. (Ron) Carpenter of more than 71 years having lived in the home they planned, built, and enjoyed for more than forty years. It was here, after a valiant battle of nearly four years of a struggle to regain her health and assume her life to helping others that she was called home by her Heavenly Father, having made the long journey from her birthplace of Grayville Illinois to spend almost sixty years in her adopted city of Radford.

They have two daughters, Sonna Carpenter Frazier of Rocky Mount, N.C. and Carole Carpenter Garnetson and husband, Peter, whom she loved as the son she never had, of Iona, Wis.; her five grandchildren are Thomas (Ted) Frazier and three great-grandchildren of Wake Forest, N.C., Amy Frazier, Warren, and two great-granddaughters of Kenley, N.C., Jonathan Frazier of Wilson, N.C. and Kelly Nelson Reid and six great grandchildren of Homewood, Ill.; Kara Nelson also of Homewood; two surviving sisters, Vernita Englum of Terre Haute, Ind. and Dorothy Cassata of Naperville, Ill.

Throughout her life, Bernice devoted much of her energy in helping others. At the age of 85, she organized and taught the Open Door Bible Class in her church. Prior to her coming to Virginia, she attended Eastern Illinois University and taught in Illinois schools. During the years of 1964-65, she was Director of Baptist Students of Radford College. She was deprived of continued service by a very severe illness.

She was a group leader of 27 Baptist Church Women’s Missionary Groups. For many years she was a member of the Executive Committee of Virginia WMU Richmond. She attained a like position in the Virginia Federated Garden Clubs. From this executive group came future presidents. Illness forced her to curtail her activities.

Despite numerous surgeries with prolonged recoveries, she never lost her zest for life or her desire to help others even though she became greatly visually impaired. Her greatest joy was serving on the Board of Trustees of Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson, Va. for twenty seven years, serving as president for two years. She was instrumental in obtaining funds to build two new buildings, an academic building and a dorm. A Beatrice berry Carpenter Scholarship Fund is in place. Possibly her greatest contribution, the formation of the Oak Hill Academy Foundation to promote adequate funding for scholarships.

Disturbed by the accumulation of junk cars, dilapidated, vacant buildings, and the lack of city landscaping, she became the first director of Radford City Beautification Commission. She conducted Landscape Clinics. Many of our Dogwood and Pine trees were planted during volunteer activities. One highlight of every Spring was the sweeping of Main Street by our city officials, mayor, and council, civic groups, students, including the high school band. This event with media coverage kicked off the annual Clean Up designated week. She had pride in and loved her adopted city and her fellow citizens.

She lived a wonderful life filled with caring for others, with long-time friends, a seventy one year marriage with her husband, whose life she enriched beyond measure, her church and her God.

Visitation for her friends will be held at her home 33 Grandview Drive from 7 until 9 p.m. on Sunday, June 10, 2007. A Funeral Memorial Service will be held in her church, First Baptist, Radford on Monday, June 11, 2007 at 7 p.m. Dr. Paul Lane and Dr. Marshall Walker officiating. Entombment will be in Highland Memory Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, you may make a contribution to the Bernice B. Carpenter Scholarship Fund of Oak Hill Academy, Mouth of Wilson Road, Mouth of Wilson, Va. or the Memorial Fund of First Baptist Church, Radford.

Arrangements under the personal direction of Dan Devilbiss of Devilbiss Funeral Home.