Danny Carpenter, politician, business owner and baseball fan, dead at 88
FARMINGTON – Danny Carpenter, former Farmington City Council member, San Juan County commissioner, New Mexico House of Representatives member and chairman of the Connie Mack World Series Committee, has died at the age of 88 in Gilbert, Arizona.
Born in Marshalltown, Iowa in 1931, Carpenter moved to Farmington around 1950, and later served in the Air Force. Carpenter started a printing business called San Juan Reproduction Co. in 1957.
Carpenter was a lifelong supporter and an avid fan of amateur baseball. Carpenter coached the Farmington Braves for a time. Carpenter also served in various roles on the Connie Mack World Series Committee, including as the chairman for the 1968 games and as general chairman of the Connie Mack World Series Committee.
“He was instrumental in the Connie Mack World Series being what it is,” Connie Mack World Series Committee board member Brad Campbell said. Campbell said that Carpenter’s vision and passion for amateur baseball inspired and galvanized members of the community, Farmington itself and Carpenter’s children.
“My father was heavily involved in the community,” said Kirk Carpenter, superintendent of Aztec Municipal Schools and son of Danny Carpenter, “He’s obviously left a mark in the community.”
Carpenter said his father was a hard worker, with a sense of humor and that “you always knew where you stood” with him. Carpenter went on to say that his father was extremely humble, and the first to give others credit, even when he got into local, county and state politics.
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Danny Carpenter served as a Farmington City Council member for a term from 1978 to 1982 according to The Daily Times archives.
Carpenter also served as a San Juan County commissioner from 1975 to 1978, and from 1989 to 1992, where he was instrumental in establishing a county law enforcement and emergency services consolidated dispatch center in Aztec, which is now called The Danny Carpenter Communications Center.
Later Carpenter served as a New Mexico House of Representatives member, representing District 2 from 1997 to 1998.
“He told it like it was,” Kirk Carpenter said, “He didn’t like to play politics, he liked to represent people.”
Carpenter went on to say that his father saw himself as a public servant.
“I think when you look back at your life, you want to leave a legacy, and he did that,” Kirk Carpenter said, “He loved Farmington. He loved this community; that’s why he did the service he did. ... He’s not gone. He left a lot behind."
Kirk Carpenter said a memorial service for Danny Carpenter is planned for 11 a.m. on Feb. 24 at The Oasis at 1601 N. Dustin Ave in Farmington.
Sam Ribakoff is a visual journalist for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4621 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.