Julie Ann (Cook) Carpenter, a Los Angeles County employee for more than 20 years, died peacefully at her Los Angeles home last month after a four-year battle with breast cancer. She was 46.
Her courage and grace during that battle were an inspiration to all who knew her, said her husband, Tristram Carpenter.
Tristram and Julie were married for almost five years. He met her after he had moved to Los Angeles from the East Coast.
Julie Carpenter was born in San Francisco in August 1962 to Roy Cook and the late Ann Cook. She grew up in Saratoga, California and graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a bachelorís degree and a master of arts degree in Urban Planning from the University of Southern California.
She worked for the County of Los Angeles for over two decades, mostly with the Department of Beaches and Harbors. Carpenter also served as president of the Miracle Mile Residential Association from 1991 to 2001. Tristram Carpenter said Julieís knowledge of planning brought about significant impacts on development to that area.
She was a senior planner with Beaches and Harbors, joining the department in 1996 from the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning.
Carpenter was the lead planner of the Marina del Rey Design Control Board, for which she prepared staff reports and assisted lessees in preparing their materials for presentation to the board. She was the primary staff link between the board and those who appeared before it with applications for matters as simple as a request to paint a building a new color or install a new or revised sign, to complex matters such as a building renovation or new construction, said Jim Fawcett, a close friend and former chief of planning from April 1993 to June 2000.
Fawcett said that Carpenterís expertise as a planner provided her with a wealth of knowledge to assist applicants before the Design Control Board, but more importantly, she found a way to help everyone who called for assistance.
ìOften, applicants had never made an application to the DCB, and she patiently walked them through the process with a perpetual smile, recognizing the challenges of bureaucracy,î Fawcett said.
ìThe staff of Beaches and Harbors had great affection for her as a friendly, cooperative and supportive member of the staff. Within the planning division, she was more than a colleague, indeed a friend and mentor to her fellow planners.î
As vacancies occurred in the division, she often provided suggestions for candidates from other county departments and helped build a talented and cohesive staff, he said.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Carpenter joined a breast cancer support group at UCLA, and eight of the members of that group spoke at her memorial, lauding her energy, good cheer and bravery as she dealt with the disease.
ìTruly, Julie will be missed not only by her family but also by the many people whose lives she touched,î Fawcett said.
In addition to her husband, Julie is survived by her father Roy and step-mother Ana of Saratoga; her brother Greg and sister-in-law Jean, and their children Landon and Gemma, of Oakland.
She was buried in Saratoga and a memorial service was held March 7th at the Bethel Lutheran Church in Los Angeles.
The family had asked that donations be made to the Julie Ann Carpenter Memorial Fund, created to honor her memory and assist women who are searching for new treatment options. Tristram said the memorial fund is managed by the Pasadena Foundation, a community foundation of that city.