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C. "Les" Carpenter '69 November 18, 2022 11:23 AM updated: November 18, 2022 11:26 AM

Dr. Cavin Leslie Carpenter
April 22, 1947 ~ November 10, 2022

Dr. Cavin Leslie “Les” Carpenter, 75, of Sumter, S.C., passed away on November 10, 2022.

Dr. Carpenter was born in Bellville, Texas, on April 22, 1947, son of the late Albert and Nina Carpenter. He is survived by Margy, his loving wife of 52 years and his two children, Lance (Mary) Carpenter and Sally (Wendy) Carpenter. He is also survived by his three grandchildren, Maggie, Zach, and Evey Carpenter, as well as his two sisters, Belinda (Jan) Koenig and Rebecca (George) Heindel, and several nieces and nephews.

In 1970, Les graduated from Texas A&M where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets, Army ROTC, and the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant Infantry, U.S. Army, and he bravely toured Vietnam as an Infantry Platoon Leader in 1971-72. After returning from overseas, Les continued his education earning his Masters in Educational Administration at Texas A&M and then his Ph.D in Higher Education Administration from the University of Oregon in 1977. During this time, he remained active in the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring in 1990 with 20 years of service and the rank of Major.

After 13 years as assistant dean of the Marion campus of The Ohio State University, Dr. Carpenter moved to Sumter in 1993 as the Dean of the University of South Carolina Sumter. During his 19 years at USC Sumter, he expanded the bachelor’s degrees from three to five, reinstituted intercollegiate athletics, and served as the president of the American Association of University Administration. After over 30 years in the education field, Les retired in 2012.

Dr. Carpenter did not only make exceptional contributions in his professional life, but he also believed involvement in the community was paramount. Les was a member of First Presbyterian Church where he served as a Ruling Elder and sang in the church choir. He was a member and past president of the Sumter Rotary Club and served on numerous boards including the Sumter-Shaw Community Council, the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce, and the Sumter Literacy Council Advisory Board.

Les treasured the time spent with family and friends. He enjoyed traveling, reading spy and mystery novels, playing bridge and “at” golf, putting together jigsaw puzzles, collecting quotes about education, and attending his grandchildren’s activities.

Dr. Carpenter earned the respect and admiration of all those he met; he will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and the Sumter community.

A celebration of Dr. Carpenter’s incredible life will be held at 10:00 A.M. Wednesday, November 16, 2022, at First Presbyterian Church in Sumter, S.C. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to either the music ministry at First Presbyterian Church, 9 W Calhoun Street, Sumter, SC 29150, or to the Albert L. and Nina O. Carpenter Memorial Scholarship Fund, USC Sumter, 200 Miller Road, Sumter, SC 29150.


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