Gordon Russell Carpenter, born February 6, 1920 in Denton, Texas passed away Saturday, June 14, 2014 at the age of 94. He was preceded in death by his parents Solomon Lafayette and Grace (Foeler) Carpenter, four siblings, and wife of 45 years, Mary Borah Carpenter.
Gordon attended Denton High School; he graduated from the now University of North Texas in 1940. Following graduation, he moved to Washington, D.C. and enrolled in Georgetown University School of Law. While in Washington, he joined the FBI and was assigned to field offices in Washington D.C., New York City, Boston, and Buffalo. He was a Resident Agent in Rochester, NY. At the conclusion of World War II, Gordon resigned from the FBI, returned to Dallas, and enrolled in the SMU School of Law. He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1947, a year before he completed Law School. His passion for the FBI continued as National President of the Society of Former Special Agents in 1963.
Gordon joined the staff of the Southwestern Legal Foundation which was housed on the SMU Law School campus. There, he met Congressman Hatton W. Sumners. In 1958, Gordon graduated from SMU Law School and joined the Trust Department at First National Bank of Dallas. He served as vice president and senior financial officer until his retirement in 1984. In 1959, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation, a position he held until the time of his death. He was the first Executive Director of the Foundation in 1985 and returned as Trustee in 1995.
Gordon was a longtime distinguished member of the Dallas Bar Association. He was on the Board of Directors in the 1960’s and served as Chairman of the Centennial Committee in 1972-73. In 1983-84, he was a Trustee while serving as Secretary-Treasurer.
Gordon was the recipient of numerous awards during his lifetime. From the State Bar of Texas, he was honored in 1963 with the President’s Award; in 1993, the Honorary Leon Jaworski Award for excellence in teaching; in 1994, the Nancy Garms Memorial Award for support of Law Focused Education; and in 1998, for the Gene Cavin Award, the highest honor given for continuing legal education. Gordon was also very active at the University of North Texas as President of the Ex-Students Association in 1961-63, President of the Alumni Association in 1972-74, Chairman of the Foundation Board in 1980-88, Chairman of the 100th Anniversary Homecoming in 1990, and Member of the President’s Council. The University honored him with the Outstanding Service Award in 1974, the Green Glory Award in 1984, and the Outstanding Centennial Alumnus in 1990. In 2001, he was recognized with the Charles O. Galvin Award for Service to SMU’s Dedman School of Law. He was honored with the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation in 2004.
Gordon is survived by nephews Edward Reis and his wife Ginger of Missouri; John Reis of North Carolina; Jerry Reis and his wife Kerry of Dallas; Richard Reis and his wife Linda of Colorado; and former niece-in-law, Cindy Reis of Dallas. Also, grandnephews and grandnieces Michael Reis and wife Lindsay, Patrick Reis, Rachel Reis, and Katy Reis of Dallas; Lorrie Isringhausen and husband Jason, Amy Goodman and husband Steve, and JamieDoak and husband Eric from Illinois.
Services will be held at the Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, 9800 Preston Road, at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 officiated by Reverend Dr. Blair Monie. The interment will be at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church Columbarium immediately after the service. Gordon will be placed to rest next to his beloved wife Mary, who preceded him in death on May 1, 2007.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church or the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation in support of its collegiate scholarship programs; 325 N. St. Paul Street; S-3920; Dallas, Texas 75201.