Obituaries published in the July 2020 edition of the Texas Press Messenger.
BIG SPRING - Marj Carpenter, a pioneer woman journalist and former moderator of the 207th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA, died June 13. She was 93.
During her tenure as moderator and news director of the Presbyterian Church, Carpenter traveled to more than 126 countries to witness what the church was doing in missions around the world. She served as head of the Presbyterian News Service from 1979 through 1985 in Atlanta, Georgia, and at the church headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, from 1985 through 1994.
Carpenter spent 28 years as a field reporter with newspapers in Pecos, Andrews and Big Spring and was recognized throughout West Texas as a key journalist, historian and supporter of the region. She first gained national recognition as a result of her role as a key reporter on “The Pecos Independent,” which helped expose the activities of Billie Sol Estes in the 1960s.
In 1991 and 1992 she served as president of the National Federation of Press Women, and she was once named NFPW Communicator of the Year.
A native of Mercedes, Carpenter graduated Summa Cum Laude from Texas A & I University in Kingsville with a bachelor’s degree in music. She also held three honorary doctorate degrees from Austin College, Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, and Presbyterian Women’s University in Seoul, Korea.
She wrote two mission books and a book of her life stories entitled “Get Your Foot Out of the Durn Petunias.” Her Big Spring Herald newspaper features were published in two volumes called “Ridin’ Fence.”
She also received numerous awards, including “Woman of the Year” in Big Spring, the Bell-McKay Mission Award, and more than 130 journalism awards, including the Associated Press Community Service Award based on her follow-up of the Billie Sol Estes scandal in West Texas.
She was a member and elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Big Spring and was active in many churches in America, with a special focus on church youth. She supported both the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America for more than 50 years.
She is survived by two children, three grandchildren and other relatives.
Services were held June 18 at the First Presbyterian Church in Big Spring.
Memorials may be made to the music department of the First Presbyterian Church of Big Spring, 701 Runnels, Big Spring, TX 79720; the Heritage Museum in Big Spring, 510 Scurry, Big Spring, TX 79720, or to the Overseas Mission Agency, Presbyterian Church USA, 100 Witherspoon, Louisville, Kentucky 40202.
AMARILLO – Amarillo Globe-News retiree William Lee (Bill) Jenkins died June 8. He was 91.
A native of Amarillo, Jenkins was a University of Texas journalism graduate. After serving two years in the Army during World War II, he returned to Amarillo and began a 40-year career with the Amarillo Globe News.
An active retiree, he was an avid bridge player, competing in nationals and earning the status of Silver Like Master from the American Contract Bridge League. He was also a historian and active in the Amarillo First Christian Church.
He is survived by his wife, Ann, a daughter, stepson, four grandchildren and other relatives.
A memorial service will be scheduled for a later date. Memorials may be made to First Christian Church, 3001 Wolflin Ave, Amarillo, TX 79109.