Billy Vernon Carpenter

June 9, 2012 • Obituaries


A funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m., Tuesday, June 12, 2012, at Tabernacle Baptist Church for Billy Vernon Carpenter, 82, who passed away Thursday, June 7, 2012, surrounded by the love of his family. The Rev. Jerry Beaver of Tabernacle Baptist Church will be officiating with the Rev. Onsy Whicker assisting. Burial will follow in South Park Cemetery. A viewing will be held on Monday, June 11, 2012, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at Tabernacle Baptist Church.

Billy Vernon Carpenter was born in Paducah, Texas, on July 30, 1929, to Chester and Lorene (Barton) Carpenter, and was one of nine children.

He served in the Navy for a short time beginning in 1946 and then joined the Army in 1954. He began his law enforcement career in 1952 with the Amarillo Police Department. In 1956, he joined the Roswell Police Department and then in 1960, the Artesia Police Department. In 1968, he was appointed chief of police in Artesia. In 1970, he returned to Roswell and the Roswell Police Department. Then in 1973, he began working for the [auth] Chaves County Sheriff’s Department, where he worked with his brother Leroy Carpenter. He was elected sheriff of Chaves County in 1979 and served two terms. He was instrumental in establishing the first set of jail standards through the New Mexico Legislature. In 1983, he was elected magistrate judge and served one term. Then he was elected magistrate judge in 1991, and served two terms. He retired in 1998 after his third term as magistrate judge.

In 1954, he married Nona Lorraine Graves in Roswell, who survives him at the family residence. He is also survived by his four children, Dennis Dees (Debbie), of Lubbock, Eddy Carpenter (Laura), Kimberly Webb (Tim), and Allyson McClain (Jim), all of Roswell. His grandchildren are Sonya LoCascio (Jason), Cheryl Sanford (Rion), of Lubbock, Brandy Carpenter of California, Billie Dewey (Roy), of Artesia, Eddy Mac Carpenter (Jodie), of Colorado Springs, Colo., Blake Carpenter (Joann), of Denver City, Texas, Ashley Lucero (Adrian), Michael McClain (Cassie) and Hobie McClain, Cody Carpenter, Nigel Carpenter and Tony Carpenter, all of Roswell; numerous great-grandchildren; his brother C.A. Carpenter (Janice), of Hobbs; his sisters, Savannah Derrick, of Artesia, Bonnie Derrick (Verl), Idell Burnett (Paul), of Titusville, Pa., and Day Hodge, of Carlsbad; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Billy was preceded in death by his parents; and his brothers, Leroy, Elwood and Dan.

Billy was a faithful member of Tabernacle Baptist Church. He served in many ministries at the church including janitorial, the bus ministry, Sunday school teacher, Board of Trustees. He cooked the Men’s Prayer Breakfast for many years, and sang in the choir. He and Nona ran the concession stand for youth camp for several years, and worked diligently wherever needed. He also assisted the church treasurer and the church clerk at every service.

His favorite scripture was Isaiah 12:2, “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also has become my salvation.”

Billy was an avid fisherman and went fishing whenever possible with his fishing buddies. There were always “fish” tales when they got home about the big one that got away. One of his favorite sayings was, “If a story is worth telling, it’s worth enhancing.” He loved going deer hunting when he could. His favorite pastime was spending time with his family. No one could make him smile like his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank Bill Davis, Doil McCreary, Tom Moody, Merle Reynolds and Mel Young for their support and assistance. We would also like to thank Vista Care Hospice for their wonderful care of our father. We are truly thankful for the staff at Lovelace Regional Hospital and Dr. Badine, Dr. Scally and Dr. Jewell.

Those to serve as pallbearers will be the Chaves County Sheriffs’ Honor Guard and honorary pallbearers will be Doil McCreary, Bill Davis, Merle Reynolds, Hawk Boardman, Tom Allen, Larry, Jerry, Perry and Preston McCreary and Don Jones.

The family requests that memorial contributions be made to Tabernacle Baptist Church Building Fund, 115 W. 11th St., Roswell, NM 88201.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at

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