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Salem "LaVern" Carpenter

March 22, 1930 ~ October 28, 2021 (age 91)


     Salem “LaVern” Carpenter, 91, a resident of Shoshone, passed away on Thursday, October 28, 2021 peacefully in his home with loved ones by his side.

     Salem LaVern Carpenter, a black haired, blue eyed, 5 ft. 6-inch, 160-pound man was born to Salem Oras and Emily Almeda Carpenter March 22, 1930 on the homestead in Shoshone, Idaho.  He was so small when he was born, he slept in a dresser drawer.  His nickname was Tom (Tom Thumb).

     Even though he was only 5’6” his comment was “dynamite comes in small packages”.

     He was privileged to ride his horse to school one mile south of his home.  He was an avid horseman and hunter since early childhood.  He would break and ride the horses no one else could or would.

     At the age of 17 he met the love of his life – Opal Joy Walker.  Opal was a 5 ft. 2-inch, auburn hair, hazel eyes, 120-pound beauty from Superior, Nebraska.  He stole her away from his good friend and they had a whirlwind courtship.  They eloped to Elko, Nevada on August 17, 1947.

     The first job was at Sun Valley Idaho, working on the ski lifts and as a snow groomer.  His brother-in-law introduced him to the Iron Workers Union 732.  He spent 30 plus years building high rise towers, missile silos (Grand View), nuclear reactors (Hanford), dams (Hells Canyon, Dworshak, Anderson, Horse Thief).  He also built bridges (King Hill Bridges spanning I-84 and the Malad, and most notable the Perrine Bridge). 

     His talent was recognized early on and was advanced to foreman on most jobs.  Because of his kindness, fairness and ability several crewmen became lifelong friends.

     Late in life he opted to start up a trucking business, Ace of Hearts Trucking, LLC.

     He is survived by: son – Tommy (Juliana) Carpenter of Glenns Ferry; daughter – Nancy (David) Lewis of Shoshone; and son – Randy (Janet) Carpenter of Shoshone; nine grandchildren; twenty great grandchildren.

     He was preceded in death by his beloved his wife of 59 years Opal Joy Carpenter; his parents and siblings; and one grandchild – Patrick Carpenter.

     LaVern was always kind, thoughtful and generous to his fellow man.  He always made time for his family or anyone in need.  He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

     A graveside service will be held on Thursday, November 4, 2021 at 3:00 pm at the Shoshone Cemetery in Shoshone. 

     A celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date.

     Funeral services are under the care and direction of Demaray Funeral Service – Shoshone Chapel.




















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Graveside Service
November 4, 2021

3:00 PM
Shoshone Cemetery
32-98 U.S. Hwy 26
Shoshone, Idaho 83352

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