LEXINGTON, Ky. - Helen Watts Lester Carpenter, 90, widow of Maurice Pitman Carpenter, passed away June 9, 2013 at St. Joseph Hospital. Born Dec. 9, 1922 in Harrodsburg, KY, she was the youngest of five children born to the late Minor and Zerilda Emily Watts Lester. Mrs. Carpenter graduated from Rose Hill High School in Mercer County in 1940 and she began nursing school at the Nazareth School of Nursing, Saint Joseph Hospital in Lexington. After her marriage in 1942, she transferred to Nazareth School of Nursing, Saints Mary and Elizabeth, in Louisville, KY, graduating in 1944. In 1950, she became one of the state’s first registered nurse anesthetists after training with Dr. Warren Sergent at Saint Joseph in Lexington. Known as “Carp” in the operating room, she worked at both Saint Joseph and Central Baptist Hospitals as a nurse anesthetist into the 1970’s. During the 1960’s, she participated in some missions with a medical group from Saint Joseph providing minor elective surgeries for the Frontier Nursing Service in rural Hyden, KY. Mrs. Carpenter and her husband were one of the first residents of Meadowthorpe, moving there in 1951, and living there for 62 years. She loved to help people in their time of need, particularly medical – her mother, her husband, children and grandchildren. She enjoyed all UK sports and Cincinnati Reds baseball, and she made tremendous Thanksgiving meals for her family.
Survivors include a daughter, Emily Watts Carpenter Piercy and son-in-law, Lawrence; son, Cecil Douglas Carpenter and daughter-in-law, Mona; grandchildren, Justin Maurice Piercy and Adam Lawrence Piercy; David Malcolm Carpenter and Jacob Cecil Carpenter; and great-granddaughter, Julia Leanne Piercy.
Funeral services will be held 12:30 pm Wed. at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home, Harrodsburg Rd. by Rev. Malcolm G. Lunceford. Burial will follow in Hillcrest Cemetery in Perryville, KY. Visitation will be 11:00 am Wed. until the service time at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions are suggested to The KY League for Nursing Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1579, Berea, KY 40403.
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