THORNTON, CO…Margaret Carpenter, Thornton’s longest-serving mayor, passed away on Friday, November 24, at the age of 87. Carpenter was elected Thornton Mayor in November 1979, and served as Mayor for over 20 years. “It is hard to say goodbye to a good friend, a person who loved her family and this city without limitation,” says former Thornton City Manager Jack Ethredge.
Margaret Carpenter was first appointed to Thornton City Council in August 1973. The following November she was elected to her first full term on city council. In November 1979, she was elected Thornton Mayor, and sworn-in on January 14, 1980. “Mayor Carpenter was a champion for the City of Thornton for several decades,” says Thornton Mayor Heidi K. Williams. “I give a lot of credit to her for the healthy growth of the city. While she was mayor, the city acquired land, water rights, and developed a vision for the city which we are all enjoying today. When I was a new mayor, she was always there to talk and was very supportive of me. She will be missed, but, she will be remembered for the dedication and impact she had on our wonderful city.”
Carpenter’s accomplishments include:
• providing leadership to ensure Thornton had an adequate water supply into the 21st century
• 1974: appointed to the Colorado Municipal League Policy Committee
• 1981: served on the Colorado Water Roundtable with Governor Richard Lamm, the Transportation Roundtable in 1986, the Growth Summit with Governor Roy Romer in 1995, and on the Supreme Court/Court of Appeals Nominating Committee
• 1981: rallied the city when a tornado struck the community
• 1983: Carpenter became the first Thornton Mayor to be elected for a second consecutive four-year term, and went on to serve three additional terms.
• 1992: appointed to serve on the Denver Regional Council of Governments, (DRCOG) in capacities such as the Executive Board from 1992-1999, Chairman of the Board in 1995 and 1997, the Legislative Committee from 1992-1999
• During her 26 years on City Council, she represented the city, and at times the Denver Metro area, on regional, state and national levels
In July 2001, the Thornton Recreation Center was renamed Margaret Carpenter Recreation Center, and in May 2013, the new Carpenter Park, 3498 E. 112th Ave., behind the Margaret W. Carpenter Recreation Center opened. After leaving public office, Carpenter continued to live in Thornton. She was an avid golfer, and world traveler, but most enjoyed spending time with family.
- 1986: Actress Jane Russell and Mayor Margaret Carpenter.
Right - 1999: Carpenter at her retirement party.