Robert Ruliph Morgan Carpenter, III – known to all as “Ruly”, passed away at home September 13, 2021, surrounded by his family – he was 81.
Ruly was born in 1940 in Wilmington Delaware, to Robert Ruliph Morgan Carpenter, Jr. (Bob) and Mary Kaye Carpenter.
He graduated from Tower Hill School. An athlete and scholar, Ruly excelled in football, basketball, and baseball. He attended Yale University where he played both football and baseball and was the captain of the baseball team.
0n July 10, 1960, Ruly married his childhood sweetheart, Stephanie Conklin – they were married for 61 years. He graduated from Yale in 1962 and returned home to work for the Phillies and take business courses at the University of Delaware. During that time, he assisted Tubby Raymond who was the baseball coach.
Ruly’s father insisted he learn all aspects of the business, so Ruly worked in every department. In November 1972 at the age of 32, he became the youngest Owner/President in baseball history. Developing young players was by far his favorite aspect of the game. Ruly, Paul Owens, and Dallas Green worked together to build the best farm system in baseball. After three Divisional Championships in 1976, 1977 and 1978, the Phillies won their first World Series in franchise history in 1980.
He sold the team in 1981 due to rising player salaries, which he believed were not only ruining baseball, but also a large risk to take as it was before the era of large television contracts.
After selling the team in 1981, Ruly served on the Board of Trustees at both Tower Hill School and the University of Delaware. He was the ultimate philanthropist, giving to countless charities, not only financially, but with his time. He enjoyed working outdoors at home and with the ground crews at the Ronald McDonald house and Tower Hill School.
Ruly’s passion for sports continued even after the Phillies and was fulfilled by attending University of Delaware Football and Baseball games and the Annual Blue & Gold Football game that his father Bob co-founded in 1956 and in which Ruly played in 1958. He enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren compete in sports, rarely missing a game – rain or shine. He served as an assistant volunteer coach for the Tower Hill baseball team, culminating in a State Championship in 1987.
Regardless of his many and varied accomplishments, nothing mattered more to Ruly than his family and friends. Ruly’s grandchildren knew him has “Rue Rue”, and they were his greatest source of pride along with his three children.
An avid Hunter and Fisherman, he imparted technique and passion to all his children and grandchildren. Some of Ruly’s best days were spent hunting and fishing with his family and friends in Delaware, Maryland, and South Carolina.
His friends described him as having “hands of steel and a heart of gold.” He was a quiet, humble, and selfless man who would give you everything and ask for nothing.
Ruly is survived by his wife Stephanie, his children: Bob (Leslie), David (Sharon Dellose), Cinda Carpenter (Gail Turner). Siblings; Mary Kaye “Coo” Murray (Jamie) and Keith Carpenter (Sharon), and nine grandchildren.
Ruly was larger than life to many, his charismatic personality, humility, wit, and loyalty will forever be remembered by those who had the chance to know, learn and be loved by him.
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