Salon 19

Kathleen (LaRoche) Carpenter

December 13, 1942 ~ November 9, 2021 (age 78)


Kathleen Louise LaRoche Carpenter (Kathy), 78.937 years young, of Clifton, Texas, slipped the surly bonds of this mortal realm on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, leaving behind 14 giant-sized boxes of Cheerios from Sam’s Club, 27 frozen entrees, 12 frozen cheesecakes (also from Sam’s), one bottle of Kaopectate dated 1982, and multitudes of other random food and medicinal items that would prove helpful in the event of a zombie apocalypse.  A world-renown lover of exotic chocolates, the European chocolatiers are in mourning at the news of her passing, and chocolate futures have already dropped 30 points.

Kathy is survived by her two daughters, Cindy (Carpenter) Fry and Kelly (Carpenter) Daniels. She is also survived by two sons-in-law Joe Fry and Jeff Daniels; grandchildren Tilly Elizabeth, Thomas Brooks, Katelyn Adele, Alice Marie, and Brooks Michael; her two grandsons-in-law Donald Jones and JD Beeman, as well as her great grandchildren, Ruby Jean and Donald Webster.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Thomas M. Carpenter, parents Clarence and Mildred LaRoche, brother Clarence Rawlins LaRoche, a 1966 Volkswagen Squareback, two knees, and her L5 disc.

Kathy graduated from MacArthur High School in San Antonio, Texas, where she was voted “Most Likely to Party”.  She met the love of her life, Tom, who had graduated from arch rival Alamo Heights high school, and was thus warned against him. Heedless of these warnings, Tom and Kathy wed in January of 1962, during Tom’s last semester at Texas A&M, before Tom was commissioned into the United States Marine Corps.  She loved being a Marine Corps wife, and was the President and chief Party Planner for the Officer Wives Club at every Navy/Marine Corps base at which they were stationed.

While raising her girls, she was a substitute teacher for the Clifton Independent School District, aka, “the coolest teacher in school”.  She often remarked that being a substitute teacher was similar to being a grandparent – all the spoiling and love, none of the responsibilities – and has regiments of former students who attest to that love. 

Kathy enjoyed many, many things.  Among those things were traveling the world (she visited countless locations on six of the seven continents – no Starbucks in Antarctica), cruising (“Platinum Patron” in the Carnival Serial Cruisers), buying enormous hair bows (“I need one in every color”), trying to meet the Pope (and getting kicked out St. Paul’s Basilica), all things British, coordinating fingernail polish with apparel, Glen Frey and the Eagles, singing to the Lord, spending time with her choir and Sunday school class, parties (any party), and playing cards with her two best friends (their motto, “have card shuffler, will travel!”).  She was most definitely not a fan of cooking, as proven by her vast collection of frozen entrées, desserts, restaurant left-over boxes, and party platters (of course!)

Kathy died knowing that BritBox was the best streaming service ever, “Gone with the Wind” was the best movie ever made, “Les Miserables” was the best Broadway musical, everything tastes better with chocolate, and love is the most powerful force in the universe.

She was a fierce patriot, supporting the Disabled Veterans of America, the Wounded Warrior Project, and the Gary Sinise Foundation.  She was a fiercely protective wife, mother, substitute teacher, and friend.  Above all else, Kathy modeled the Father’s love in everything she did.

Tremendous and heartfelt thanks go to the truly exceptional nurses and aides at Sunset Hospice, who provided much more than nursing care for Kathy.  They also modeled the Father’s love in providing peaceful and compassionate care during her transition from this life to the next Great Adventure.

Friends can visit with the family on Thursday, November 18, 2021, from 6-8:00pm at the Clifton Funeral Home.  Her funeral will be held on Friday, November 19, 2021, at 10:00am, at the First Baptist Church in Clifton.

Her burial will take place at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., where she will be buried with Tom.  The location of the gravesite is Section 68, grave 3038, just past Patton Circle, overlooking the Pentagon.

 In lieu of flowers, Mom has requested donations be made to:

Sunset Hospice:
Wounded Warrior Project:
Gary Sinise Foundation:

(you may copy and paste the link in your web browser)


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kathleen, please visit our floral store.


November 18, 2021

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Clifton Funeral Home
303 South Avenue F
Clifton, TX 76634-2246

Funeral Service
November 19, 2021

10:00 AM
First Baptist Church (TX)

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