MORENCI, Mich. - Verle Carpenter, a trustee for Lenawee County's Medina Township and member of numerous boards, died of a stroke Monday in Toledo Hospital. He was 59.
Mr. Carpenter was a crop and dairy farmer while serving different government groups.
About 1988, he joined the Medina Township Board of Review and worked on it for about eight years, four of which he was chairman. He became a township trustee about 1996 and served until he became ill.
As a trustee, he spent time in the last three years negotiating to get advanced life-support equipment for the township's ambulances. Before that, the township had only basic service, so ambulances with life-saving equipment had to come from farther away.
For the last three years, he represented the trustees on the township's planning commission.
Born March 2, 1944, to Donald and Elizabeth Carpenter, he lived near Hudson, Mich., and Morenci most of his life. He played baseball and was a quarterback on the football team at Hudson High School. He studied agriculture at Michigan State University for two years before he began farming.
Mr. Carpenter had about 80 dairy cows until 1993 and grew soybeans, corn, and wheat. He was a dealer for DeKalb Genetics Corp. for many years.
In 1995, he was honored as the Lenawee County Conservation Farmer of the Year for his efforts to prevent soil erosion on his farm.
Mr. Carpenter was a longtime member of the Michigan Farm Bureau.
He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Hudson and served as treasurer of the Medina Cemetery Association until he became ill.
Mr. Carpenter's community involvement included his neighbors. Tom Craig lived across the street from him for 37 years and recalls trading work and equipment with him whenever one of them needed something.
Ron Hauter, a lifelong friend, called him “a model for a lot of people in terms of his integrity and honesty.”
In his spare time, Mr. Carpenter enjoyed golf. When he first started, his wife played better than he did, so he had to practice in order to compete with her, his nephew Scott Perryman said.
“He was a fun-loving guy,” Mr. Perryman said.
Surviving are his wife, Shirley, and mother, Elizabeth.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. today in the Brown-Van Hemert Funeral Home in Hudson.
The family suggests tributes to the First United Methodist Church Memorial Fund or to a charity of the donor's choice.