Cover photo for Frank Howland Carpenter's Obituary
Frank Howland Carpenter Profile Photo

Frank Howland Carpenter

May 15, 1936 — December 3, 2022

Cleveland Heights

Frank Howland Carpenter

Frank Carpenter passed away peacefully on December 3, 2022, just 11 days after the funeral of his beloved wife of 56 years, Margy.

A successful businessman, Frank started out his career as a salesman for Stouffer’s frozen foods and ended up as an executive at its parent company, Nestle. Margy used to laugh and tell stories that in the early days of their courtship, whenever they went by a grocery store on a date, he would run into the store to ensure that the Stouffer’s foods were displayed properly.  Theirs was a happy and loving marriage, and Frank had a full life. Over the long years of his career, he somehow managed to always prioritize family time.  His children have wonderful memories of family vacations, of their dad rooting for them at various sporting events when growing up, and especially of their father’s encouraging and wise counsel as they grew into adults with careers and families of their own.

Frank grew up in Shaker Heights, where he attended University School (like his father, his brother, all of his brothers-in-law, his son, his son-in-law, and his grandsons) and made many lifelong friends there.  In high school, he captained the football team.  In professional football, the very best of the best players, the top fraction of a percent, get inducted into the Football Hall of Fame and are fitted with a special golden sport coat to mark their excellence.  Frank’s children believe that upon his death, shortly after he was reunited with Margy, Frank was promptly fitted with the special sport coat reserved for only the top fraction of a percent of dads. And that heaven has a new member of the Dad Hall of Fame. 

Frank went to college at Princeton, and served his country in the Army for two years after that.  The Army immediately recognized the leadership abilities and skills that would eventually help Frank lead one of the world’s largest corporations, and put him to work as a barber. Frank then earned his MBA from Stanford and started work at Stouffer’s, famously ‘accepting’ a job offer that was never formally offered and showing up to work with no agreement on salary or title but confident in a handshake that those details could be worked out.  37 good years later he retired from the same organization and began the next chapter of life.  Frank took cooking classes and made wonderful meals in retirement, having spent his entire career around food but never having the time to actually cook much himself.  Frank and Margy traveled together, and spent winters in Naples, FL.  It has been said that “Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.”  Frank and Margy’s children can happily remember them together, looking outward together towards the beach in Florida, watching many beautiful sunsets in their golden years.

Frank and Margy often entertained family and friends in their Cleveland Heights home.  Frank was a charismatic storyteller who was prone to laugh loudly at his own jokes and stories.  His laughter would fill their home.  Throughout his adult life, Frank was an outstanding amateur photographer, and his pictures document a lifetime shared with dear family members at every special occasion or holiday and ordinary gatherings made extraordinary by the close relationships and love of a large extended family of siblings, nieces and nephews, and many longtime friends.

Grandchildren Grace (18) and Fiona (17) Carpenter, and Frank (20), Ted (19), and Joey (17) Applebaum have fond memories of time spent with their grandparents both at their home and on group vacations.

In his final years, Frank watched over and cared for Margy as she fought a courageous battle against Alzheimer’s Disease, until he himself succumbed to the disease. A lifelong member of Plymouth Church, his family takes comfort that he is no longer suffering and that he is currently reunited with many loved ones in heaven.

Frank Howland Carpenter was predeceased by his parents, Edward Lester Carpenter and Elizabeth Howland Carpenter. His brother William Howland Carpenter just recently passed away.  Frank is survived by his sister EilzabethListerman, children Elizabeth Carpenter-Applebaum (Ken) of Cleveland Heights and Frank Howland Carpenter, Jr (Gayleen) of Fort Collins, CO, grandchildren Frank, Ted and Joey Applebaum and Grace and Fiona Carpenter, and many nieces and nephews. 

A Memorial Service will be held at Plymouth Church, 2860 Coventry Road, Shaker Heights, OH 44120 on Friday, June 9th at 4 PM.  Private Interment, Lake View Cemetery. 

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, June 9, 2023

Starts at 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Plymouth Church of Shaker Heights

2860 Coventry Rd, Shaker Heights, OH 44120

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