Gross Funeral Home


Willard Clifton Carpenter

August 21, 1923March 31, 2021

Willard Clifton Carpenter, age 97, of Bismarck, Arkansas (formerly from Magnolia, Arkansas) went to be with the Lord and rejoin his beloved wife Gwen on Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Mr. Carpenter was born August 21, 1923 in Bismarck, Arkansas, the son of Andy Lee Carpenter and Rosa Ellen Carpenter.

Mr. Carpenter graduated from Bismarck High School in 1941. He then served in the U.S. Army from 1943 - 1946, and as a World War II Veteran he participated in the European theatre during World War II. He was with General George Smith Patton’s 3rd Army and part of the famous crossing the Rhine River into Heidelberg Germany.

After the military, Mr. Carpenter received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, Ruston, Louisiana in May of 1950. He then earned a Master of Arts degree in June of 1951 at North Texas State College in Denton, Texas.

His work experience included teaching art at Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, AR; public schools in Benson, AZ; Chadron State College, Chadron, NE; Minot State University, Minot, ND, and as Director of the Art Department as Southern State College (now Southern Arkansas University) in Magnolia AR. Mr. Carpenter served in that position for 21 years, until his retirement in 1988.

Mr. Carpenter was a life-long educator, father, husband, and dedicated teacher who truly appreciated his students. When he wasn’t in the classroom, he (along with teaching colleague Fred Henry) could often be found in the student center, taking life in three-quarter time, while doing their collective best to significantly reduce the global coffee supply. The conversations typically revolved around politics where they, undoubtedly, resolved the world’s problems many times over with an affable calm and confidence typically common among those from Americas “Greatest Generation.”

Mr. Carpenter is preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife Gwendolyn Carpenter, and three sisters- Ruby Langdon, Eunita (Nita) Williams and Faye Jones. He is survived by sons Willard (Byrum) Carpenter of Bismarck, AR, Dale Carpenter (and wife Sandy) of Hedgesville, WV, two grandchildren- Scott Carpenter and Kelsey Behnfeldt, and nieces and nephews.

Viewing will be held Monday, April 5 2021 at the Gross Funeral Home in Hot Springs, with public welcome from 5-7pm. Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 10:00 am at the Oaklawn Church of God in Hot Springs, Arkansas, followed by a graveside service with military honors at the Pleasant Hills Cemetery, 2103 Ozark Loop, Bismarck, AR.

A separate memorial service will be conducted on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 2:00 pm at the First Church of God in El Dorado, AR.

Friends and family are welcome to attend either service at their convenience.


  • Willard (Byrum) Carpenter, Son
  • Dale Carpenter (Sandy), Son
  • Scott Carpenter, Grandchild
  • Kelsey Behnfeldt, Grandchild

  • Willard Byrum Carpenter, Pallbearer
  • Scott Carpenter, Pallbearer
  • Cecil Wayne Jones, Pallbearer
  • Kyle Behnfeldt , Pallbearer


  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, April 10, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021


Willard Clifton Carpenter

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