Thomas Gene Carpenter, 55, owner and founder of Horizontal Rig &Equipment, died on March 10. He is survived by his wife, Cheryl, a son, adaughter and a granddaughter.

Carpenter was born on Sept. 27, 1947 in Nacogdoches, Texas and attended SamHouston State University.

He joined the U.S. Army in 1968 and was honorably discharged in June 1970. AVietnam veteran, Carpenter served as an E-5 sergeant, earning a bronze star formeritorious duty, a national defense service medal, the Vietnam campaign medal,two overseas medals, a U.S. Army commendation medal and expert marksman medalsas a sharpshooter for his efforts.

He worked for 16 years in the pipeline industry, fabricating and welding forpetroleum companies such as Exxon, Mobil, Shell and Texas Eastern. From 1989 to1999, Carpenter was the maintenance and fabrication superintendent at LaneyDirectional Drilling, overseeing the design, construction and maintenance of alldirectional drilling and support equipment. In April 1999, he ventured out onhis own, creating Horizontal Rig & Equipment, based in Conroe, Texas.

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