Ralph Hugh Carpenter

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ralph Hugh Carpenter, of Shelby, passed away on Jan. 15. He is survived by his wife ,of 65 years, Mary Effie Barefield Carpenter, children; George R. (Marguerite) Carpenter of Prairieville, La., Richard H. (Audrey) Carpenter of Pelham, Connie Carpenter (Glenn) Miller of Clay, Robert C. (Myrna) Carpenter of Metairie, La.; eight grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Ralph, who was born in Georgia on June 4, 1922, lived his early years in Lagrange, Ga., Lanett, Birmingham, and West Point Ga.

He played football at West Point High School.

He met Mary Effie Barefield while living in West Point and they were married on Aug. 30, 1941. For three years, he served as a Merchant Marine during World War 2. His service took him around the world.

He was included in a group representing Merchant Marine Veterans at ceremonies opening the National D Day Museum&8217;s War in the Pacific Wing in New Orleans, La. After his service, he moved his family to Birmingham.

His occupations included employment at the Mountain Brook Standard Oil service station and with Commonwealth Life and Accident Insurance Co. where he achieved a management position.

From the 1960s to 1980s, he opened

and successfully operated service stations/tire centers at several locations in Birmingham including WACO Oil on First Avenue South, C-ANN Oil on Warrior Road, and subsequently on Tuscaloosa Avenue and finally at 10th Avenue North. He and Mary retired to Shelby Alabama in the early 1980s. Since re-locating, he and his wife Mary have been heavily involved in the community.

He was one of the first members of the Shelby Volunteer Fire Department and served for over 25 years being honored as Firemen of the year in 1997 and 2005. His desire to serve others is evidenced by his repeated acts of service to individuals in the Shelby community.

His membership at Bethlehem Baptist Church provided other opportunities to serve where he assisted with many projects including the major renovation of the church facility. Family, friends, members and former members of the Shelby Volunteer Fire Department and members of Bethlehem Baptist Church were invited to attend visitation at the Bolton-Letlow Funeral Home on Wednesday Jan. 17, from 6-8 p.m. The funeral service was held at the same location on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 2 p.m