Hundreds Celebrate The Life Of Local Teacher

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WISTER (KFSM)- Hundreds of people filled the Wister High School gym to celebrate the life of Jerry Carpenter, a man who went above and beyond to make others feel loved.

The Poteau High School teacher died after being involved in a car accident on US 270 near Wister on Wednesday night (Feb. 8).

"He wanted everything," Wister Board of Education member, Connie Kelley said. "That's what I'll remember. He wanted everything; the academics, the ball fields, the buildings, he wanted everything."

Several people spoke about Carpenter's family, the light of his world.

"Family was first," Kelley said. "You could tell that with employees here. If they had to be off for their families, family was first with him. It always was."

He created a legacy as an educator in Wister for more than 20 years and had been teaching in Poteau since August.

"He was a good teacher and a good instructor," Kelley said. "He knew how to relate to the kids to get them to want to learn. He did care about them, it wasn't phony, it wasn't false. He cared. He went that extra mile to help them and make them feel better about themselves."

Because of Carpenter's love for his students, a scholarship has now been created in memory of him.

"He was never too cool to hang out with the young kids," friend, Bryan Fields said.

"He's just so caring," student, Seth Hill said. "He wrote everyone loads and loads of letters of recommendation. He was always there to reach out a kind hand in troubled times and good times."

The pastor asked those who had been given something by Carpenter to stand. Nearly everyone in the gym stood up.

"They were telling the truth," Kelley said. "That was literally true; everyone stood up. He had given something to them in one way or the other."

Many of the people who knew "Mr. C" said his laugh is something they remember vividly, as well as the times he would interrupt class just to give a piece of candy to each student in the classroom.

The Jerry Frank Carpenter Memorial Scholarship raised more than $6,000 at the service on Saturday (Feb. 11).

For Jerry Frank Carpenter's full obituary, visit the LeFlore County Journal's website.





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