James R. Cartmell, 89, formerly of Middlebury
DURHAM, N.H. — James Robert (Jim) Cartmell, 89, passed peacefully at home with family in Durham, N.H., on May 19, following a 10-year challenge with kidney failure and treatment.
Jim graduated from Phillips Academy Andover in 1948, Dartmouth College in 1953 and the Amos Tuck School of Business in 1955. He started his career in the marketing department at the Ford Motor Company in Detroit, Mich., but soon returned to Vermont to help with the family businesses. During a management stint in Burlington, Vt., he met Jacqueline (Jackie) Warner while skiing at Stowe and she would become his wife of 60+ years. They later settled in Middlebury, Vt., where Jim oversaw the business operations of Cartmell Sales and Service, a successful, family-owned farm equipment and parts business that also included a revolving list of successful side businesses (an appliance business, Harvestore silos, Ski Doo snowmobiles, Kubota tractors and many others).
It was in Middlebury that Jim and Jackie would raise a family and make lasting, positive impacts on the entire community. Jim served for five years as the President of the Middlebury Chamber of Commerce in the mid-1960s. In 1965, he founded and guided the Middlebury Development Corporation (MDC) that owned and operated the Middlebury Industrial Park at the Marble Works facility in downtown Middlebury. The MDC, during its tenure, brought to the town Earth’s Best natural baby foods; plastic manufacturer Polymers Inc.; Simmons Precision, Inc.; clothing manufacturers Gieger of Austria; and Van Raalte Co., which employed 175 women at its peak. MDC also paved the way for business forms company Standard Register to create a facility in Middlebury.
Cartmell was also a director of Chittenden Bank, a long-time Mary Hogan Elementary School board director, and a perennial Vestry and church leadership member of St. Stephens Episcopal Church on the village green in Middlebury. Jim and Jackie were also well known for their enthusiastic support of Dartmouth College alumni activities and joyfully celebrated frequent reunions with lifelong alumni friends.
A lifelong athlete, Jim was a low handicap golfer at the Middlebury College (now the Ralph Myhre) Golf Course and enjoyed playing in (and occasionally winning) local and regional tournaments as well as the annual member-guest gathering. He and Jackie made sure that the children were introduced to skiing as toddlers at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl so they would all have the same enduring love of skiing as their parents. Jim also volunteered for many years as a baseball and hockey coach when his children were young.
Journalist Peter Horton, writing for Greater Burlington Business Digest in October 1987, wrote “The image of Jim Cartmell in all these instances is the same: genial, generous, a gentlemen, outspoken but always fair, always looking tanned and fit from golf and tennis, and always — even on Saturdays at the farm equipment shop — outfitted in dress shirt and tie with an accompanying blazer only an arm’s reach away.”
After selling Cartmell Sales and Service in 1985, Jim later sold the Marble Works real estate complex to a new partnership for redevelopment as a retail-office complex. Never one to sit idle, even in retirement, he went on to create a successful real estate firm in Middlebury from which he later retired to Vero Beach, Fla., and then, most recently he and Jackie moved to Durham, N.H., to be nearer to family.
Jim Cartmell is remembered with love by his wife of 60 years, Jacqueline; his children Robert, Kate and Peter; and their families that include four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren. He also lives in the loving memories of his sisters, Jane Hartsuff and Kate Campbell and their families, and Jacqueline’s sister Francis Hicks and her family.
Memories of a kind, sharp, giving, funny and eternally optimistic man live on in the hearts of countless others. A family memorial gathering is planned later in the summer at the Ralph Myhre Golf Course in Middlebury, Vt.◊
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