Helen Lael Carpenter Profile Photo
1941 Helen Lael Carpenter 2023

Helen Lael Carpenter

April 14, 1941 — April 19, 2023

Maryville, TN


It is with a heavy heart we announce the passing of Helen Lael Ellison Carpenter.  She passed away peacefully on Wednesday evening, April 19, 2023 at Blount Memorial Hospital after a long but courageous battle with health problems. She was 82 years old. She was born on April 14, 1941 in Blount County to Jeff (Big Racket) and Lela Ellison. She graduated from Everett High School in 1959. Helen married the love of her life, Junior Odell Carpenter on April 29, 1960. They lived in Blount County the 63 years of their busy but exciting lives together traveling many places until her health declined.  She was a devoted wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend who blessed all her family and many, many friends with her compassion, selflessness and concern for others which influenced the lives of all she met. She was called “Aunt Hellie” by her nieces and nephews and many people who learned about this would say I wish I had an “Aunt Hellie.” Do you think she would adopt me? Her heart was so big. She was a generous, supportive and encouraging to all whose path crossed hers.  She also joined the Order of the Eastern Star, Mary Blount Chapter in the 1960’s. She was very active and supporting, serving as worthy matron, secretary, and different star points. She and her husband attended Grand Chapter different times and she visited other OES chapters in Blount and Knox Counties filling in often to help and serve others. She has remained a member for over 50 years. She was saved at an early age, joined Brantley’s Chapel Primitive Baptist Church in 1953 where she remained a faithful member for 70 years, often serving as pianist. She graduated Fort Sanders School of Nursing in 1964. As a senior, she was voted most professional. She joined the staff at Blount Memorial Hospital as a registered nurse soon after. She was well known for her excellent nursing skills and very respected by her coworkers and patients. She retired in 2007 after a total of 41 years of service. The last 17 years she worked in occupational health at the Aluminum Company of America in Alcoa. The former years she was in house at Blount Memorial Hospital, well known for her excellent emergency room skills. She had a greeting card ministry, sending love, greetings, concern and well wishes to hundreds of people over more than 20 years. Her cards were filled with beautiful stickers, even the envelopes, to add her special touch. Cards were sent for every occasion to a big list of lucky recipients. And people responded by sending their love and well wishes back to her. All were blessed. Helen was preceded in death by her father and mother, Jeff and Lela Mae Sharp Ellison and her infant sister, Rebecca. She is survived by her devoted husband of 63 years, Junior Odell Carpenter; sister, Brenda Adams (Lawrence); brothers, James “Jim” Ellison (Charlotte) and Vonzel Whetzel (Virgie); nephews, Michael Adams (Becky), Shane Ellison (Karen); nieces Kim Ellison Clabo (Andy), Stephanie Adams, Allison Tipton; great nieces, Taylor Clabo, Emily Adams, Megan Adams, Savannah Jack, Meghan Jack, Isabella Ellison Olivia Ellison; great nephews, Ryan Adams, Drew Clabo, Peyton Ellison.  The family will receive friends on Monday, April 24, 2023 from 12:00 PM until 2:00 PM at Brantley’s Chapel Primitive Baptist Church 403 McCall Rd, Maryville, TN 37804 with a funeral service to follow at 2:00 PM.  Family and friends will assemble for a graveside service in the church cemetery following the funeral. Helen will be dearly missed by her family and friends. Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, 865-983-1000, www.smithlifeandlegacy.com

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