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Former San Mateo mayor, Jim Chalmers, dies
October 16, 2012, 05:00 AM By Bill Silverfarb Daily Journal staff

Jim Chalmers


Jim Chalmers, former mayor of San Mateo and active Rotarian, died last week at the age of 84, his wife told the Daily Journal yesterday.

Chalmers suffered a broken neck Wednesday after taking a fall from a ladder while doing some painting in his office, his wife Elizabeth said.

He is survived by his wife and two children, Catherine and Brent, and three grandchildren.

"He was the greatest most generous man living,” Elizabeth said yesterday.

Enjoying the outdoors was one of his favorite pastimes as he skied at least 60 days a year. Recently, he climbed the backside of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park with his daughter Catherine, Elizabeth said.

"Jim was such a dynamic person,” said Sue Lempert, former San Mateo mayor and Rotary member.

Lempert described him as a "great athlete” and "generous.”

"It’s a shock for those of us who knew him to see him go so quickly. It seems like just yesterday he was doing his daily run in the neighborhood,” Lempert said about Chalmers.

The man epitomized "service above self,” the Rotary motto, said Anne LeClair, president of the San Mateo County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and Rotary Club of San Mateo board member.

He had amazing sense of humor, she said, was a practical joker and was known as Mr. Reliable.

"He was always putting others first and never looking for recognition,” she said.

He started the picnic grove in Central Park and maintained it for years, she said.

When a friend would pass away, Chalmers was the first to offer support to the family, she said.

"Whatever you’ve heard about Jim, he was even better than that. He was one of the top people who ever walked the planet,” LeClair said.

A memorial for Chalmers will be held this Saturday.

He was the founder of Control, Inc. and served on the board of Borel Private Bank and Trust from 1993 to 2004.

He was named to the governing board of United American Bank in 2005 and also served on the boards of the San Mateo Union High School District, the Mills-Peninsula Hospital District, the Boy Scouts of America and the Lesley Foundation.

He was appointed to fill a vacancy on the San Mateo City Council in January 1974 and served until April 1979.


The memorial service for Chalmers will be held Saturday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. at the Peninsula Golf & Country Club, 701 Madera Drive, San Mateo.



Bill Silverfarb can be reached by email: silverfarb@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106.


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