BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — Kind, giving, caring, willing to help at a moment’s notice – these are just a few of the ways that friends and family describe Charlie Carr.
The beloved community member and friend to so many in Maumee passed away on September 20 after a four-year battle with cancer. He was 64.
His wife of 40 years, Mary, and his two children, Angela and Andy, attribute his genuine optimism to maintaining a signature upbeat attitude that carried him through life – even during times when he was not feeling well.
“Dad focused on the positive,” said Angela. “He did not want people to know that he was sick. He wanted people to just be happy.”
An avid supporter of the Maumee community, Charlie took on projects whenever there was a need. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Maumee, the Maumee Chamber of Commerce and Habitat for Humanity. He was the co-founder of the Maumee Holiday Light Parade, served as Santa at the Maumee Fire Division pancake breakfast and was a volunteer tutor at Queen of Apostles School, where he also spearheaded several building improvement projects.
He participated on the Maumee Municipal Planning Commission and the Maumee Administrative Board.
His brother, Maumee Mayor Richard Carr, said that Charlie was an incredibly giving man.
“If you describe Charlie, he would do anything for anybody at anytime.” Rich said. “Anything anybody called him for, he would help.”
Charlie was an active volunteer at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Maumee, where he and Mary co-chaired several parish festivals.
“It was fun and the kids went to St. Joe’s, so that was our family,” said Mary. “Eventually, it morphed into other groups.”
Charlie helped raise funds for significant causes, including Maumee Relay for Life, the Maumee Performing Arts Center, and in 2004, he helped raise $50,000 to save Maumee Little League.
In 2010, he was named the previous year’s Maumee Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen of the Year, an honor also bestowed upon his father, Charles Sr., and his brother, Rich.
Andy attributes his father’s sense of service to the lessons he learned from his parents, Helyn and Charles Sr., who also volunteered tirelessly in the community.
“My dad was always putting other people first – that’s what he learned from his dad,” Andy said. “And when you look at everything he did, like playing Santa, making kids smile and brightening everyone’s day, he always put others first.”
Charlie spent 43 years working at The Andersons before retiring in 2013.
“The Andersons and the Anderson family were a very big part of his life,” said Andy. “He was always so grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Anderson and they were very good to him.”
In addition to his career at The Andersons, Charlie served as a volunteer firefighter and EMT in Maumee for five years.
He is the oldest of three children. In addition to his brother Rich, he has a sister, Jody Albright, who is the youngest sibling. Charlie forged friendships that went back decades, and he easily made new ones, Rich said.
“He would walk into a room full of people and by the time he left, everybody was his friend,” said Rich. “He was the one who was the politician in the family.”
According to Mary, Charlie had over 1,000 phone numbers in his contacts, and even while he was sick, more than 100 visitors came to see him in the hospital.
Charlie loved to fish, something he did on the Maumee River, and he went fly-fishing with Rich at the Rockwell Springs Trout Club. He also restored an old Boston Whaler, which he launched on the Maumee River and trailered to various lakes in Michigan.
Angela and Andy recall fond childhood memories of Charlie grilling hamburgers for their many friends who swam and played games in their backyard.
“Dad wanted us to be safe and have fun, and he liked to know where we were,” said Angela. “He was our protector, that’s how I would describe him.”
While they miss their father very much, they realize that he is no longer in pain, and that does give them some comfort.
“My dad was an angel on earth with invisible wings,” said Andy. “Now he’s an angel in heaven. That’s a good way to think about him.”