He was born in Peoria, the son of James and Mary Eileen Sparks Carpenter. He graduated from Spalding Institute in 1962 where he was taught by several Viatorians. He earned a bachelor of science in sociology from St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa (1972); a master of divinity from Catholic Theological Union (1976); and a master of arts in pastoral studies from Loyola University (1983).
Father Carpenter received his habit as a Viatorian on Sept. 7, 1963. He pronounced his first vows on Sept. 8, 1964, his perpetual vows on Oct. 21, 1970, and was ordained to the priesthood on April 30, 1977.
Father Carpenter spent his first year of ministry as a young brother assisting with retreats at Viatorian Villa in McHenry. He served as a teacher at St. Viator High School (Arlington Heights) and as a teacher and counselor at Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas). He was a parochial vicar at Maternity BVM Parish (Bourbonnais) and St. Viator Parish (Las Vegas). During these assignments, he served as chaplain to the Bourbonnais Village fire and police departments and as chaplain to the Las Vegas fire department. He was appointed pastor at St. Jude Parish (Rochester), St. Viator Parish (Chicago) and again at St. Jude Parish. Father Carpenter served the Viatorian community as the director of mission appeals, director of priestly formation, and as provincial councilor.
He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his brothers J.D. Carpenter of Goodyear, Ariz., and David Carpenter of Peoria; nephews and nieces, grand-nephews and grand-nieces; and his aunt and uncle, Lyle and Loretta Sparks.
The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Dec. 12 at St. Viator Church in Chicago. Interment was at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.
Lauterburg and Oehler Funeral Home in Arlington Heights was in charge of arrangements.
In memory of Father Carpenter, memorials may be sent to the Clerics of St. Viator, Mission Fund, 1212 E. Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, IL 60004.