Someone You Should Know: Iowa WWII veteran celebrates 100 years of life

Published: Dec. 30, 2022 at 8:44 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Ted Carpenter celebrated his 100th birthday on December 16th with his friends and family in Milford, Iowa.

“Pretty great for anyone to live that long. I’ve known Ted for 68 years,” said brother-in-law Don Lamb.

He is a World War Two U.S. Naval Airforce veteran stationed in the South Pacific.

“I went to service in the pacific, I spent 25 months in service. I was a radio operator on board a PB-4Y a B-24 Bomber. We painted them blue and used them for submarine patrol,” said Ted.

He recalls his experience.

“Luckily enough I made it. There were 8 of us picked for these bombers, of the 8 of us, 5 of us made it back,” Ted.

“When they announced that they had the atomic bomb I didn’t believe it. I thought it was an Orson Wells story. When they dropped the second one, then I believed it,” said Ted.

After the war, he and his wife Sylvia served “Nutty Bars” at the Historic Arnold’s Park Amusement Park in Iowa for 23 years.

“My wife and I got married as soon as I got back in Omaha,” said Ted.

“She has quite a little bit of jewelry. I try to wear one to represent her at times. She was so outstanding. She was 84 when she passed away. So I miss her,” said Ted

Ted has three children and two of his brothers-in-law live in Heritage Landing as well.

“Ted and George and I have coffee every Thursday morning, we rotate where we have it. My turn this week. It’s nice to have family living here,” said Lamb.

“When people come to tour at Heritage Landing and they say, ‘Well, I know Ted Carpenter lives here, right?’ Yep, yep. Everyone knows Ted,” said Heritage Landing manager Sally Anderson.

Besides his faith, family, and community, Ted also believes in vitamins.

“I’ve lived a pretty clean life. Haven’t had a lot of sicknesses. I’ve been pretty healthy. I take quite a few vitamins every day,” said Ted.

Through almost 50 years of ushering at his church and being a light in his community, Ted has left an impact on Milford.

“You know how he feels and stands on things, and another thing is his love of God. That’s pretty important to him,” said Lamb.

Ted has received over 180 cards congratulating him on this milestone.

“I couldn’t believe the number of cards I’ve gotten. I’ve got three outstanding children. All of them,” said Ted.

“We celebrated his birthday last year, started talking about him turning 100 this year, and he said, ‘You know, I don’t know if I’ll make that. If the good lord wants me here, I’ll be here,’” said Anderson.

Ted still drives his car and often picks up those who need a ride to church on Sunday mornings.