David Scribner Carpenter, of Cabot, Vt., died at sunrise March 22, 2021, at home at age 65, from complications due to Bulbar Palsy ALS. He died with friends, family, and his faithful dog by his side, music in his ears, laughter, tears, and conversation around him.
David was born in Newburgh, N.Y. on Nov. 6, 1955 to Richard Carlton Carpenter and Joan Scribner Carpenter. Though he was born and raised in New York his heart was always in Vermont. His grandfather’s farm in Corinth, the family camp on Shadow Lake in Glover, and the family homes in Lyndonville and St. Johnsbury were his anchors to his Vermont heritage.
David graduated from Cornwall High School in New York at age 17 and moved to Vermont, never to live anywhere else again. He graduated from Lyndon State College with a degree in history in 1977. He tried a year of law school (‘contracts are made to be broken’) and almost finished his Master’s degree at UVM (just had to finish the thesis…). He taught history, social studies, and English in Waterford and Lunenburg schools. As a college student he discovered the violin and the love of fiddle music; setting the course for the rest of his life. He organized and played in fiddle contests, music festivals, and contra dances. He played for weddings, funerals, senior citizens, farmer’s markets, and any special event. For many years he played his fiddle and interpreted the maple museum at Maple Grove during the foliage season (a highlight being the time he met the man who invented the ‘Yield’ sign). He traveled extensively with the Vermont FolKids and the Green Mountain Volunteers, bringing traditional New England dance and music to all parts of the world; Ecuador, Viet Nam, Thailand, China, Indonesia, France, Belgium, and Canada.
He made friends far and wide that he kept in contact with, never forgetting a birthday or significant day. His other passions were history, in particular Vermont history, and gardening. He could remember historical dates endlessly and could make history interesting. He was a voracious reader and always had a huge historical book in progress. His garden was a show piece. He grew vegetables for restaurants, stores, and neighbors. One of his biggest sorrows with the progression of his disease was to not order seeds for the upcoming growing season. A last instruction was for friends to go to the root cellar and take home some vegetables from his last garden.
Always one to throw a party, he organized his last; the day before he died. His loss of speech didn’t prevent him from directing, through dictation, who to invite, to make sure people were fed, though he couldn’t eat or drink himself, and to put the champagne in the snow for celebrating his life at the end. He got the party he wanted and with the notes of his own tunes being played by dear friends in his ears, he faded away.
David is survived by son Samuel Charles Carpenter of S. Portland, Maine, his daughter Zara Duguay Windsor (Eric) of Trussville, Alabama, his grandchildren also of Trussville, Kinley, Addison, and Cash. His sister, Stacey Carpenter Wygant (George) of Marlboro, New York; his niece Lindsey Wygant Sutton (Shane) and nephew James Wygant (Ann), daughter Lily, of Marlboro, N.Y.; his aunt Carol Carpenter Porter (Don) of Florida. Also his cousins Susan, Steven, and Sandy, Ben and Megan, and Tina, Bobby, and Steven. He is also survived by his first wife, Delsie Hoyt and his second wife, Susan Carpenter of Cabot. He was predeceased by his parents and his cousin Adam Prescott. His life was celebrated with him before, and as he died. Further celebration and distribution of his ashes will be at the convenience of the family. In David’s memory please plant a sunflower, a tomato, deliver a vegetable to a neighbor, dance, and revel in spring.
At the convenience of the family.