Gene B. Carpenter, 90, Little Compton


Gene Blakely Carpenter, professor emeritus of chemistry at Brown University, passed away this week in Providence. He was 90.

Gene was born in Evansville, Indiana, to Leland and Juanita (Blakely) Carpenter. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville in 1944, and Ph.D from Harvard University in 1947.

Gene worked for Linus Pauling at California Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral research fellow where he became fascinated with x-ray crystallography, a groundbreaking field at the time.

In 1949, he joined the faculty at Brown University. His expertise in chemistry and crystal structure led him to fellowships, visiting scientist and lecturer roles around the world. These sabbatical assignments included the University of Leeds in England, University of Gronigen in the Netherlands, University of Zagreb in Yugoslavia, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, University of Göttingen in Germany, and University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

His research on chemistry and crystallography appeared in more than 100 scientific journals and publications. He was a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Crystallographic Society.

Gene had a lifelong passion for pursuing knowledge on an astonishingly broad range of subjects. This made him a joy to his friends and family. He also enjoyed summers at Little Pond Cove in Little Compton.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Elizabeth Carpenter; daughter Anne Carpenter of Little Compton; son and daughter-in-law Jonathan Carpenter and Mary Engel of Bozeman, Montana; granddaughters Tate Carpenter and Sophia Carpenter; step-grandchildren Ave Millhauser, Rebecca Dry and Jessica Dry; and four nieces and a nephew in Alaska.

Services will be private. Memorials may be made to the Bethany House Foundation, 110 S. Angell St., Providence, Rhode Island  02906. Condolences may be left at


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

2016 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Prudence Island · Riverside · Rumford · Seekonk · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.