Hall of Famer Tony Carpine Passes Away

Aug. 30, 2008

Tony Carpine, a former Eastern Washington University record-holder and league champion in the 880-yard run, passed away Wednesday (Aug. 27) after a long battle with cancer. He was 82.

Carpine had been a loyal supporter of the Eastern Athletic Department for more than 25 years, and helped start the Orland Killin Lobster Dinner in 1982. In 2005, he and his brother Fred and his uncle Vic were collectively inducted into the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame.

A memorial service to celebrate Carpine’s life will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 1 p.m. at the Showalter Hall Auditorium on the EWU campus in Cheney, Wash. A reception will follow at the Cheney Rodeo Grounds. In lieu of flowers, at the request of the family donations can be made to the Tony Carpine Memorial; Eagle Athletic Association; 127 Hargreaves Hall; Cheney, WA 99004.

A resident of Cheney for more than 60 years, Carpine was born Feb. 3, 1926, in Renton, Wash., and graduated from Renton High School. He served in the Army during World War II, then settled in Cheney.

After attending Eastern, he worked for more than 30 years in road construction, first as a rock crusher and then as operator of an asphalt roller. He retired in 1986, then owned and operated Antonio and Sons Deli in downtown Cheney for six years before selling the business in 1994.

While at Eastern, he met his future wife of more than 58 years, Vivian. They were married on Aug. 9, 1950, in Cheney.

On the track, Carpine was listed in a 1950 publication as "one of the top half-mile prospects ever to hit Eastern Washington. He won the 1947 Washington Intercollegiate Conference title in the 880 and his time that season of 1:56.5 set a school record.

Together, the Carpine trio helped Eastern win numerous Winco and Evergreen Conference track and field tiles, including the first-ever EvCo title in 1949 (as well as 1950 and 1951). Tony and Fred were a major part of the 43-straight dual meets Eastern won under legendary coach Red Reese from the late 1940's to the early 1950's.

Vic Carpine ran the 100-yard dash in 9.5 seconds in 1939 which still stands as a school record with three other runners, and at that time was just a tenth of a second away from the world record. He made two appearances in national championship meets in the 100. He has the second-best 220-yard time in 21.4, which stood as a school record for nine years, and at one time held the 440 record with a time of 49.5.

Nicknamed the "Renton Rabbit," Vic helped Eastern to the Winco team title in 1939 and 1940, setting the league's record in the 100 (9.7) en route to winning three events (100, 220 and mile relay). He set Winco records in three events (100, 220, 440), including two that still stand. World War II prevented the Olympics from taking place in 1940, and he went on to pilot a B-17 in the war effort. Vic went on to coach in the Seattle area, and passed away on Jan. 31, 2005, at the age of 86.

Fred won three-straight Evergreen Conference titles in the mile, setting the meet record each year. He won with a time of 4:27 in 1951 as Eastern won its fifth-straight league title. He currently resides in Renton, Wash.


Obituary Published in the Spokesman-Review . . .

CARPINE, Antonio "Tony" Dell (Age 82)

Passed away on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at Deaconess Medical Center in Spokane, Wash.
Tony was born on February 3, 1926 in Renton, Wash., to Domenic and Mary Carpine. He was one of nine children and attended Renton High School until he joined the U.S. Army in June 1944. He served during World War II as a rifleman in Europe and a cook in the Philippines. He was awarded numerous medals and decorations, including the Bronze Star, for his service before his discharge in May 1946.
He returned to Washington to complete high school, then attended Eastern Washington State College in Cheney, Wash., from 1947 to 1950, where he was a four-year letterman in track. He ran the mile relay and the 200 meters, and set a school record for the half-mile in 1947. He was inducted into the Eastern Washington University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005 for his achievements.
On August 9, 1950, Tony married Vivian Grimmett of Cheney, Wash., where they raised their family and lived for 58 years. He worked road construction driving a roller until retirement in 1986. He also joined the Washington Air National Guard in 1954, reaching the rank of Chief Master Sergeant in 1979.
During his retirement, Tony enjoyed fishing, working in his garden, and cooking. One of his favorite activities was organizing feeds for coaches and players at EWU; he was a lifelong supporter and fan of EWU athletics.
Tony is survived by wife, Vivian; daughter, Glenda Ates and husband John; son, Gary Carpine and wife Jodie; son, Michael Carpine and wife Joyce; daughter, Janice Fitzgerald and husband Leo; three granddaughters, Lisa Carpine, Christie Cogley (and husband Ryan), and Theresa Carpine; and six siblings. The family extends thanks to the staff at Deaconess Medical Center and Dr. Wittenkeller for their care of Tony.
A Memorial Service will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 1 p.m. at Showalter Hall at EWU with a reception to follow at the Cheney Rodeo Grounds. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Toni Carpine Memorial, Eagle Athletic Asso., 127 Hargreaves Hall, Cheney, WA 99004.
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