Anne Nicodemus Carpenter
Poet and horsewoman Anne Nicodemus Carpenter died Oct. 23 at her home in Lederach, Pa. She was 96.
Mrs. Carpenter was born Nov. 21, 1914, in New York, N.Y., and grew up in Smithtown, N.Y. She developed a love of horses from a young age. To fund her horse endeavors, she ran a boarding kennel for dogs and trained Labrador and Chesapeake Bay retrievers for field trials. She graduated from St. Timothy’s School (Md.), and was the editor of the school’s literary magazine.
In 1975, Mrs. Carpenter’s love of ponies led her to establish Halcyon Farm in Lederach with her two mares, Severn Vista and Crefeld Gloria, and her two stallions by Cusop Sparklet, Lord Tennyson and Dorian Gray. She bred such notable ponies as Halcyon Sir Lancelot, Halcyon Hawthorn, Halcyon Holly, Halcyon Hero, Halcyon Hosanna, Halcyon Wilde Oscar and The Patriot. She also stood a Thoroughbred stallion, Yankee Passover, who was known for his successful hunter and jumper offspring.
Her love for all animals was evident to anyone who visited her. Her daughter, Katherine Echeverria, remembered a time when the creatures roaming the house included raccoons, flying squirrels, screech owls and even a red-tailed hawk, in addition to the usual complement of dogs, cats and hamsters. One memorable childhood chore was replenishing the supply of milkweed for the Monarch caterpillars that graced the top of the refrigerator on their way to becoming chrysalises.
Mrs. Carpenter was also a published poet. In 1985, she won the Eileen Barnes Award in a nationwide competition sponsored by Saturday Press. Later that year she published her first book of poetry, Ma’s Ram and Other Poems. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Ontario Review, The American Scholar and Harvard Magazine. Garrison Keeler read two of her poems on the National Public Radio program “The Writer’s Almanac.”
“My mother lived a naturalist’s life,” said Echeverria. “She loved caring for all her animals, but her ponies and horses gave her the most pleasure. She enjoyed breeding them and seeing them go on to successful show careers. Every week when the Chronicle arrived, she would go through the horse show results and put sticky notes on the pages that had information about her ponies or horses. She was so pleased to see the young riders who had showed her ponies go on to successful riding careers.”
Mrs. Carpenter is survived by her sister, Fairlie Nicodemus, her five children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, P.O. Box 155, Meehoopany, PA 18629. www.indraloka.org.
This obituary appeared in the January 16, 2012 issue of the Chronicle.