Friday, October 19, 2012

James Chalmers

James Chalmers passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. He was born in Detroit, Mich., on Aug. 28, 1928, and lived there until he graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in electrical engineering. Work with Westinghouse Corp. took him to San Francisco where he met Elizabeth Earl, who became his wife. Their son, Brent, was born in 1954, followed by a daughter, Catherine in 1957. They lived in San Mateo their entire married life, and Jim was active in the business and civic affairs of the city. He served on the San Mateo School Board, the City Council and as mayor.

In addition to his partnership at his engineering firm, Ambrosini and Chalmers, he founded CMC, an electronics control manufacturing company. He was an active member and past president of the San Mateo Rotary Club and served as chairman of its annual fundraising raffle for many years. He served on the boards of the Lesley Foundation, Mills Hospital, Borel Bank and Boston Private Bank. In 1998 he was named Distinguished Citizen by the Pacific Skyline Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

For the last 30 years, Jim and Elizabeth spent summers and winters in Sun Valley. Jim had immense energy and athletic drive and was a member of the “Suits” group of the Mountain Masters. He was an avid hiker, always clocking his time up the Bald Mountain Trail, and in September he and his daughter did the Yosemite Grand Traverse, including a successful climb up the back of Half Dome. He has done several cross Idaho and Washington bicycle rides, and could be seen walking his beloved dog, Max, miles every day around the valley. He was admired by all who knew him for his boundless generosity and positive attitude.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; son, Brent; daughter, Catherine; and three grandchildren, Peter, Caroline and Annie.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Oct. 20, at 1 p.m. at the Peninsula Country Club, 701 Madera Drive, San Mateo. Donations in his memory can be made to the James Chalmers Memorial Fund, c/o San Mateo Rotary, Box 95, San Mateo, CA 94402.

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