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Karen Kay Carpenter

July 31, 1952 October 30, 2018
Karen Kay Carpenter
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Obituary for Karen Kay Carpenter

With the deepest sorrow, the Carpenter family reports the passing of Karen (Kay) Carpenter (66), beloved wife and loving mother. The long-time Wimberley resident joined her Maker at 3:41 p.m. on October 30th due to unexpected health complications. She fought valiantly to survive and held out for as long as she could. Kay Carpenter was born in Harlingen, TX to her father, Ralph Costal Christian, a successful farmer, and her mother, Willie Gene Hardin of San Saba, a school teacher. Kay grew up in the south Texas town of Raymondville in the Rio Grande Valley. During her childhood, she became an accomplished pianist and singer. Kay attended Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Spanish. Part of her employment started as a professional secretary for various companies, but later in her adult life, she was primarily a partner with her husband, Carlton, at Carpenter Insurance. Wherever Kay worked, traded, or patronized, she touched many lives over the decades. Though she participated in diverse ministries, she was a founding member of Cypress Creek Church and always considered it her home. She held numerous roles for many people and affiliations, but none compared to being a helpmate to her husband, a devoted homemaker for her children, a caring aunt, and an affectionate Nana.

She discovered a passion in her life, the joy of painting---as Bob Ross would say---and set out to master the craft in her late twenties with the aid of longtime and current instructor and mentor Betty Ritchie. This commitment to artistry has filled many homes and businesses with paintings and Christmas cards. Later, she would go on to spread happiness with her delectable cakes, cookies, and pies with Kay's Kreations. Her love of cooking, painting, and music passed on to her children, a fitting tribute to her talents. One pastime that brought great pleasure in her life came from gardening, a dedication imparted by Georgia "Jeanie" Carpenter, Carlton's mother. The pink rose became a cherished staple, often cultivating it herself. Kay took great solace in watching her children (Kasey, Kyle, Cara, and Caleb) flourish and pursue their own passions and careers in the medical field, aviation, entrepreneurship, and writing.

In life, only her love for God could rival the devotion she had for her family. She is preceded in death by her parents and her brother Gene Christian but survived by her husband of thirty-three years, Carlton Jay Carpenter. The two wed on February 17th, 1985. The couple would grow together in their love and commitment for each other. Her four children--and their spouses--live on as witnesses and extensions of her grace and decorum. Like every mother, she loved her children, but her fervor manifested in her ten grandkids. Her family ensures her memory echoes long after her light has left this world. Her lineage, which spans the great state of Texas and the globe, surpassing ethnicities and nationalities, will continue for generations with Kasey and Cheryl Belote, Kyle and Mika Belote, Cara and Tony Ramirez, and Caleb and Ashley Carpenter, and her grandkids, Melanie, Alaina, Byren, Cole, Kinsey, Kyoka, Keiden, Kellen, Keslie, and Carter, and a host of nieces and nephews as an aunt and great aunt. Kay is also survived by her sisters, Mary Sue Freeman, Cathy Christian, and Kandice Krueger, and her brother Raymond Christian, and her beloved sisters-in-law, Cindy Carpenter and Christi Weber.

Funeral Services were held Monday, November 5, 2018, at 11:00 a.m., at Cypress Creek Church in Wimberley. Burial followed in the Wimberley Cemetery. For more information, call Thomason Funeral Home at (512) 396-2300. To sign the guest registry please visit our website at

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Cemetery Details


Wimberley Cemetery Final Resting Place

Old Kyle Road
Wimberley, TX 78676

Old Kyle Road Wimberley 78676 TX
United States

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