Hugh Burnett Chalmers, Sr. of Earle, Arkansas passed away on Tuesday, February 8 in West Memphis, Arkansas. Mr. Chalmers, a graduate of Christian Brothers High School attended Rhodes College, formerly Southwestern at Memphis where he was a Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity member. He was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church in West Memphis and attended Bible Study at Idlewild Presbyterian Church for many years where he was an avid Bible scholar.
Mr. Chalmers owned and operated Chalmers Buick-GMC and Hugh Chalmers Chevrolet-Cadillac-Toyota for over 45 years in West Memphis. A former recipient of the Time Magazine Dealer of the Year Award, he was the past president of the Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association and past president of the Memphis Automobile Dealers Association. He served on the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas System for fifteen years appointed by then Governors Dale Bumpers and David Pryor. More recently he served as vice president of the Living Hope Institute in Texarkana, Arkansas. In addition, Mr. Chalmers served on the Board of Directors of Fidelity National Bank, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Crittenden Memorial Hospital. He was appointed by then Governor Dale Bumpers to the Arkansas State Board of Social and Rehabilitation Services, Arkansas State Building Services, the Office of Economic Opportunity’s Community Development Corporation of Eastern Arkansas. He was appointed by then Governor Bill Clinton to the Democratic Central Committee of Arkansas, and elected to the Crittenden County Quorum Court. He was co-chairman of the West Memphis United Way, a member of the West Memphis Chamber of Commerce and a member of the West Memphis Rotary Club.
Mr. Chalmers is survived by his wife, Joyce Ferguson Chalmers of West Memphis and the loving members of the Ferguson family, his sister, Betty Chalmers Peyton of Memphis and his children: son, Hugh Burnett Chalmers, Jr. (Mindy) of Memphis, daughters, Janis Chalmers Bartlett (Randy) of Little Rock, and Leslie Kathryn Chalmers of Destin, Florida as well as the four granddaughters whom he adored, Kathryn Stephens, Rachel Stephens, Tish Chalmers, and Lucy Chalmers. Mr. Chalmers was predeceased by his first wife, Janelle Brower Chalmers, and his late parents Hugh Chalmers and Wilma Burnett Chalmers
A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in West Memphis on Sunday, February 13 at 4 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church in West Memphis, the First Methodist Church of West Memphis, Idlewild Presbyterian Church, Mid-South Community College or the philanthropy of your choice.