Tributes to popular former magistrate after death at 87
A long-standing county magistrate who was chairwoman of the Bridgnorth bench for many years has died at the age of 87.
Mary Carpenter passed away at the Lady Forester Nursing Home in Much Wenlock after suffering a short period of ill health.
She became a magistrate in Bridgnorth in the late 1970s and served on the bench until she retired in 2003.
A family spokesman said that Mrs Carpenter died peacefully after her health declined in recent weeks.
He added: “Mary was very proud to serve on the bench and was a strong believer in local justice for local people.
“In her latter years she became quite a popular figure in Much Wenlock. She had many friends in the town and thoroughly enjoyed pottering about chatting to as many people as she could. The Raven Hotel became something of a second home.
“She was very gregarious and kind, and touched the lives of many people in Shropshire and beyond over the course of her lifetime. She will be missed by many.”
Mrs Carpenter was the daughter of an army brigadier, Geoffrey Auten, who was awarded an OBE for services at the end of the Second World War. Her uncle was Harold Auten, a naval officer who was given a Victoria Cross for what has been cited as “one of the finest examples of coolness, discipline and good organisation in the history of Q ships”.
She moved to Shropshire in 1960 when she married Jim, a carpet manufacturer and former High Sheriff of Worcestershire, who died in 2004. The couple lived in Eardington, near Bridgnorth, for many years.
A family-only funeral is due to be held at Shrewsbury Crematorium on May 25, and then a full service of thanksgiving will follow when circumstances allow.