Chester Charles Carmer


Chester Charles Carmer, Jr. (Chuck Carmer) was born June 19, 1930 and transitioned peacefully to the next life May 17, 2016. He was 85 years old. Chuck lived the majority of his life in Centerville, Iowa. He was the only child of Cecil and Chester C. (Chet) Carmer, Sr. Church, family, community and Masons were cornerstones of his life.
A family friend noticed Chuck's inclination toward entrepreneurship and suggested he apply to Babson College in Boston, Massachusetts, where the motto is "Where Entrepreneurs Learn to Lead." A few years after graduating with a degree in business from Babson, Chuck returned to his hometown and purchased a General Motors dealership franchise, which he operated for over 20 years. He simply loved the "art" of the car deal and continued to trade cars as a buyer for himself, family and friends after he retired. As a young businessman, Chuck participated in a community investment group which was formed to purchase Centerville National Bank. In addition, he was involved in multiple joint-ventures, such as a farm operation with a neighbor, a real estate agency, and a St. Bernard business with his wife, Suzanne.
Chuck would be the first to say that his most profitable partnership was his marriage to his wife Suzanne (Grismore) Carmer. The two met when Suzanne's father sent her to Chuck's dealership in Centerville to get a car serviced. Chuck was smitten immediately. He and Suzanne were married July 21, 1957. Chuck was very proud of his family and devoted his life to providing for them. Chuck and Suzanne's partnership flourished 58 years and paid great dividends - son Chester C. (Chip) Carmer III (Jennifer Weidner Carmer), and daughters Jennifer Carmer-Hall (David Carmer-Hall) and Aimee Carmer Higgins (Scott Higgins) and also yielded seven grandchildren: Chester C. Carmer IV, Caroline Carmer, William Higgins, Claire Higgins, Ross Higgins, Nathaniel Phelps and Hattie Phelps.
Chuck and Suzanne retired to Bella Vista, Arkansas and lived there for nearly 23 years. In Bella Vista Chuck and Suzanne found many dear friends, and a strong connection to Community Church. While in Bella Vista, Chuck invested time and talent in serving on the POA Board, Bank of Bentonville Board, and Bella Vista Community Church board of ministries and the church foundation.
A lifelong animal lover, Chuck loved caring for the animals on his farm and always had a dog as a companion. Retirement allowed him to explore the business of leisure with his faithful dog, Libbie.
Chuck and Suzanne moved to Barrington, Illinois in 2014, where they have resided in The Garlands, a continual care retirement community. He will be missed sorely by his family and friends. A memorial service will be held May 21 at the Presbyterian Church of Barrington. The family will be available to greet visitors at the church at 1 p.m. with a service to follow at 2 p.m. A Masonic Internment will be in Oakland Cemetery in Centerville, Iowa at a later date.
Memorials may be directed to Bella Vista Community Church Foundation, The Robert and Charlotte Beck Scholarship fund, or JourneyCare Hospice of Barrington. The Schmidt Family Funeral Home of Centerville is caring for the burial at a later date.
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Published on May 22, 2016
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