William Frederick Carpenter

October 22, 1948 - March 10, 2021

William (Bill) Carpenter, of Fort Myers, Florida, passed away March 10, 2021, after a long battle with leukemia.

Bill was an educator in New Jersey, beginning as an elementary school teacher and progressing to superintendent of schools before he retired.  He was active in USTA, having served as Adult Competition Coordinator for USTA Middle States, and was a member of the Middle States board.

Bill will be remembered for a ready laugh that is difficult to describe.  It was distinctive, infectious, uniquely his own.  He loved devilling other people and making you laugh with him.

He had a propensity to trade cars, having owned more than 45 in his lifetime, and loved to help others “get a deal” too.  

He was an avid camper and took his daughters on many a hike looking for the “Jersey devil”.  He also knew how to make magic candy fall out of his sleeve with just a few special words.  After retiring, he and his wife loved taking their RV on road trips to explore this beautiful country of ours.

He had an eclectic taste in music and could name most popular songs from the 50’s or 60’s after hearing just a few bars.

Bill was an incredible athlete and played baseball, basketball and tennis.   He was dubbed the “fastest man over 60” by one of his teammates.   He loved competing and expressed it through his tennis.  His teams made Sectionals in both New Jersey and Florida, and he went to Senior Nationals four times with various teams.

Most of all, Bill loved his family.   His daughters were the light of his life, and he was close with his niece, Zhi, nephew Billy, and cousin Tabby.  He had a special bond with his sisters-in-law on Team Willie as well.

Bill is survived by Mary, his wife of 51 years, by his daughters, Sarah and Natalie, and son-in-law (Alex), by his sister Vasha, her husband Wayne, and the many friends he treasured and held close.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, PO BOX 735308, Dallas, TX 75373-5308 or Hope Hospice, 9470 Healthpark Cir., Fort Myers, FL 33908. 

A scholarship to provide disadvantaged young tennis players who want to compete in tournaments with the funds to do so is also being established.

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Fort Myers, is entrusted with final care.


  1. Judy R. Emens Mar 14, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of Bill’s family.


  2. Lori Tobias Christiansen and Chan Christiansen Mar 14, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    The loss of Bill leaves a gap in our family that won’t be filled. He was handsome, funny and smart–the first college graduate I knew. He was a proud father and husband; an athlete, a man who valued family. And likewise, we valued him, particularly for the love and affection he showered on his Aunt Betty and Uncle Tobe. He always made time to visit even when time was short; and holidays were all that much more special when Bill, Mary and their girls were with us. Rest in peace, Bill. We’ll miss you and hold our memories of you close always. With love & sorrow, Lori & Chan

  3. Mary Daniels Mar 15, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    Mary, Sarah, and Natalie
    I am so sorry for the loss of your husband and father. May the Lord keep watch over you during this most difficult time of your grieving. Much love to you sweet Mary.
    Mary Daniels.

  4. David Seiverling Mar 15, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    I just lost a very good friend. We had so many good times on and off the tennis court. He never said a negative word on the court . Great competitor and even better person. Will miss you

  5. Sharon Harris Mar 15, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    Bill will always hold a special place in our hearts. We had so many wonderful times together playing cards (at which he loved challenging all players), looking at various pieces of land, shopping for cars and just gathering together to reminisce over good times and share laughs. He will truly be missed but we are grateful for the precious memories that will carry us through good times and bad.

  6. John davis Mar 15, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Bill carpenter was an exceptional man( not only on the tennis court which I had pleasure of being part of that world) but more importantly in life he was a contributor and touched so many people .he always made time for everyone no matter how important in fact bill went out of his way to touch the elderly and disadvantaged
    A true hero in our book!!
    John davis marsha bornt and family

  7. Eric and Kirsten Yonkin & Family Mar 15, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    “Bill will be remembered for a ready laugh that is difficult to describe. It was distinctive, infectious, uniquely his own. He loved devilling other people and making you laugh with him.”

    This statement is so very true. I have many fond memories of Uncle Bill and how he could make anyone laugh, especially Eric.

    May you find peace during this difficult time and know that he is always with you. Sending much love.

  8. Joyce Chin Mar 15, 2021 at 3:08 pm

    Mary my heart goes out to you and your family.. I know he was the love of your life. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  9. Jerry and Nancy Maringione Mar 15, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    Nancy and I send our deepest condolences to Mary, Sarah ,Natalie, and the family. Although I have known Bill a relatively short while, I feel as though I have known him all my life. That was the kind of person he was… caring, compassionate, and great competitor.. I saw him leave fo a tennis match early, and return home later, in the day. As educators, we shared a common bond. We will miss him dearly.

  10. Doug and Dolores White Mar 15, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    We’re so sorry for your loss, Mary.

  11. Joe Spadaro Mar 15, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    Bill will be sorely missed by all his tennis buddies. Bill had an infectious laugh and was such an upbeat individual. He inspired all of his teammates with his positive attitude. A great competitor and even a better person. 🙏

  12. Jean Handwerk Mar 15, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    What a great picture by which to remember him! There’s that ready grin! He had such a zest for life. Wish that we all had that. I am so sorry he fell asleep so soon.

  13. Don “Hutch” Hutchison Mar 16, 2021 at 8:14 am

    A dear friend and tennis buddy who will be sadly missed by many. I believe I got Bill involved in USTA tennis by recruiting him for my Interdistrict team at Radley Run many years ago. He became a great friend and leader. I will miss him dearly.

  14. Greg and Pam Moore Mar 16, 2021 at 11:39 am

    My thoughts and prayers to you Mary. Your husband was quite a guy. While I didn’t have the pleasure of having him as a teacher, my sister did, and loved the experience. Treasure the times you had and the memories shared. May God grant you peace and be your strength and refuge during this time of loss.
    God bless.

  15. Sue Spadoni Mar 16, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    So very sorry for your loss, Mary.
    You and Bill had many adventures together. May the happy times sustain you and your daughters.
    Take care.

  16. Joanne Lennox Mar 16, 2021 at 3:49 pm

    It’s because Bill lived life to the fullest and had such a loving family that so many of us have a huge hole in our hearts. His laughter and antics will be missed but he will always be with us.

  17. Terry & Mackie Harris Mar 18, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Dear Mary, Sara & Natalie,
    Terry & I would like to express our condolences to you & the rest of your family. I worked with Bill many years ago at Maurice River Township School. My husband Terry was Bill’s tennis partner numerous times including the Middle States tournaments & travels to Nationals. We will always remember his jovial laugh & competitive spirit.
    Praying for all of you.
    Terry & Mackie Harris

  18. Steve Hayden Mar 18, 2021 at 11:00 am

    I have known Bill though tennis…both through his volunteer service for the USTA and in playing tennis. Bill captained the Middle States team many times for the Dunoff Cup including one held in Wilmington Del during one of the Cup’s years. He was always a pleasure to be with and always had a good story to tell of his travels or tennis matches. I know we will all miss him so very much.

  19. Dorothea Yordy Mar 18, 2021 at 11:37 am

    I’m so sorry for the loss of Bill , May you find comfort in knowing your family will be in my thoughts & prayers. 🙏 Take Care! With Love & Caring , cousin Dorothea (Carpenter ) Yordy ❤️

  20. Marcelle H Yonkin Mar 18, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    Bill was the best brother-in-law one could ever wish for. He always made everyone laugh and enjoy life with him. “Now Willie” was Mom’s favorite words when he was around. Mary, you and the girls will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  21. Jay W Witmer Mar 18, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    It was a sad day when I learned of Bill’s passing. A great competitor, a person who never said a bad word about anyone and a truly great person. Many great matches against Bill, and I was usually on the losing side, but always great fun. Will miss him.
    Jay Witmer – League Coordinator and Past President of USTA Middle States

  22. Larry Blohm Mar 26, 2021 at 9:28 am

    BILL was one of the nicest men I have ever known. Always willing to help someone & very generous. I knew him for about 40 years through education & tennis. No one was more competitive than Bill on the tennis court. During the past few months, we had many conversations & reminisced about the good times. I will truly miss one of my GREAT FRIENDS.

  23. Dan Mourning, Sr. Mar 30, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    I was saddened to learn of “Mr. Carpenter’s” passing. One of my favorite teachers in the Bridgeton Public School system. I had him in 5th grade at Buckshutem Rd. School, and he left an indelible impression on me as a then 10 or 11 year old. I’ll soon be 57.

    Rest in eternal peace, sir.

  24. Dale Fields Mar 30, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    Thoughts and prayers to the family🙏

  25. Tammy. Mazza- Feliciano Mar 30, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    Sincere condolences to his family and many friends. May he forever rest in Heavenly peace

  26. Dee Austin Mar 31, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    So sorry to hear of his passing. I remember Bill from the Bridgeton YMCA. Avid sportsman and competitor. Condolences to his family.

  27. David Philips Apr 1, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    I worked with Bill at Sun and Fun Swim Club! He was a bit older than me and was my boss but we still did some things together like shoot a lot of basketball. He was a fun guy to be around!

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