Rene Carpenter, Astronaut’s Wife Who Broke NASA Mold, Dies at 92

In the 1970s, after she and Mr. Carpenter divorced, she had a television program of her own, “Everywoman,” which was pioneering in its feminist perspective and its frank treatment of previously off-limits subjects like birth control, natural childbirth and sexism.

Rene Louise Mason was born on April 12, 1928, in Clinton, Iowa. Her parents named her Rene (rhymes with “keen”) after a friend of her mother’s named Irene.

Her mother, Olive Loraine (Olson) Mason, was one of the first female clerks at Clinton’s railroad station. Clinton, a small river town, was hit hard by the Depression, and her father, Melville Francis Mason, was out of work and soon out of the picture, divorcing his wife in 1930.

Olive Mason later married Lyle Price, a brick mason, and he adopted Rene, who became Rene Louise Price. The family moved to Boulder, Colo., in 1941, where Mr. Price began a successful construction business.

Rene graduated from Boulder High School in 1946 and attended the University of Colorado, where she majored in history. She worked as an usher at the Boulder Theater, where she met Mr. Carpenter; they married in 1948. While he was in the Navy’s aviation officer training program, she bore five children, one of whom, Timothy Kit Carpenter, died in infancy.

Ms. Carpenter and Mr. Carpenter divorced in 1971, and she married Lester H. Shor, a developer. He died in 2017. Mr. Carpenter died in 2013 at 88.


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