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Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 at 10:15:07 :

Point Reyes Light
October 31, 2002

Inverness' Carpenter, 75, ex-publishing exec dies

By Larken Bradley

Inverness resident Dow Wheeler Carpenter, Jr., a retired publishing industry executive, died suddenly Tuesday, Oct. 22 of heart failure while traveling in Kennebunkport, Maine, with his wife and several friends. He was 75.

As an executive with Times Mirror Co., the former parent company of the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Carpenter spent much of his career overseeing the company’s book and publishing business, and its cable television operation. In 1986, as senior vice president, he retired due to health concerns, but continued serving as a management consultant to the company.

Consumate gentleman

Described by friends as a "consummate gentleman," Mr. Carpenter’s calm demeanor, resonant orator’s voice, and commanding presence endowed him with an "almost knightly quality," noted Jerry Warren of San Rafael, Mrs. Carpenter’s cousin.

Born in Los Angeles on Oct. 5, 1927, Mr. Carpenter attended Beverly Hills High School. He went on to Stanford University where in 1950 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Though his parents had high hopes for their only child becoming an attorney, after attending classes at the law school during his senior year, he quickly realized his vocation belonged in business, his wife, Dian Carpenter, told The Light on Tuesday.

Mr. Carpenter was an outstanding debater and public speaker. At Stanford he was awarded the Mellinkoff Medal for oration, and was later honored by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the Joffre Marechal de France award.

After serving as Lieutenant, J.G., in the US Navy during the Korean War, Mr. Carpenter completed his M.B.A. at Stanford University where he graduated in 1955. The same year he met his future wife, also a Stanford student, through mutual friends. The two wed the following year, and had been married for 46 years at the time of his death.

Southern California businessman

Upon graduation, the couple migrated to Southern California where they resided in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, where their two daughters were raised. Mr. Carpenter went to work with the Ramo Wooldridge Co., early pioneers in the space industry, and in the early 1960s joined the management consultant firm, McKinsey & Co., where he became a consultant to Times Mirror, under the auspices of former Los Angeles Times publisher, Norman Chandler.

Mr. Carpenter later joined Times Mirror where he held a number of key positions including group vice president of the company’s book and magazine publishing, and cable television; chief financial officer; and ultimately senior vice president.

In 1986 the couple moved to Inverness into a home owned by Mrs. Carpenter’s family for more than 40 years. A member of an old Inverness family, Mrs. Carpenter’s grandmother, a Montague who married a Butler, began visiting West Marin in the late 1880s.

A large man with a broad smile, "Dow always had a Cuban cigar in his mouth," recalled friend and Inverness weekender, Doug Moore.

An avid traveler, Mr. Carpenter enjoyed organizing trips with friends recalled Bill Barnett, of Inverness. Several years ago Barnett and his wife, along with the Carpenters traveled to Western Samoa where Mr. Carpenter had booked them at a small resort off the beaten path.

Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter took several trips to Italy, their favorite destination, said Mrs. Carpenter.

Enjoying East Coast trip

Last week Mr. Carpenter enjoyed a final trip to New York where he, his wife, and friends enjoyed several plays, and later went on to Maine, to behold the autumn foliage.

Mr. Carpenter was a member of Zeta Psi fraternity, a former member of the California Club, and the Inverness Yacht Club. He served on the board of trustees of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art; Freedom From Hunger/Meals for Millions; The Leisure Group; Economex; and Schramsberg International.

He is survived by his wife, Dian Carpenter of Inverness; daughters, Karen Carpenter of Mendocino; and Carolyn Fox of Inverness; and two grandchildren, Dow and Georgiana Fox of Inverness.

A memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Olema.

The family has suggested that any memorial contributions be made to the Foundation for Cardiac Research, PO Box 1728, El Cerrito 94530; the Jack Mason Museum; or to a favorite charity.

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