Durango resident Gerford "Red" Chester Carver, 82, died on Jan. 2 | SkyHiNews.com

Durango resident Gerford "Red" Chester Carver, 82, died on Jan. 2

Durango resident Gerford “Red” Chester Carver, 82, died at Mercy Medical Center on Jan. 2, 2012. The cause of death was complications from esophageal cancer. 

The eldest of three children, Red was born to Gertrude and Chester Carver on July 11, 1929, in Battle Creek, Mich. Due to his farm boy ethics and brilliant mind, he completed engineering school at Michigan Tech University in three years. He then completed his master’s degree in automotive engineering at the Chrysler Institute. As a distinguished member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Red designed innovative truck frames that contribute to vehicle safety to this day, including the largest selling truck model, the Ford F-series pickup frame.

He served as a sergeant in the Army during the Korean War from 1950 to 1952. He married his beloved wife of 50 years, Eleanor Ann Dunne Carver of Detroit, Mich., in 1955. Settling in Whitefish Bay, Wis., together with their six children, Red and Eleanor kindled a love of nature and respect for others. As a ski instructor, part of his lesson was an on-slope lunch break of apples and sharp cheddar cheese.

Red and Eleanor assisted their sons Bill and Jim Carver with the opening of Carvers Bakery Cafe in Winter Park in 1983. Red and Eleanor moved to Durango in 1996 to enjoy outdoor adventures.

Once widowed, Red met and fell in love with Betty Annis of Albuquerque, N.M. Red and Betty treasured their time together, walking their dog Tippy, and keeping an eye on the local wildlife. With Betty’s energetic love of life, she even got Red to travel again.

Preceding him in death was a son, John Robert Carver, in 1987 and Eleanor “Ma El” Carver in 2006. He is survived by his partner, Betty Annis of Durango; son Jim Carver and his wife Lori Carver of Durango, son Bill Carver of Durango; daughter Sara Carver and husband Doug Parmentier of Durango, daughter Meg Carver of Yellow Springs, Ohio, and daughter Beth Kramer and husband Jack Kramer of Littleton; sister Vernabelle Carver of Durango; daughter-in-law Charmaine Carver Morgan; 14 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. 

A celebration of life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, at the Durango Discovery Museum, 1333 Camino Del Rio. Children are encouraged to attend. Memorial contributions may be made to the Durango Discovery Museum. E-mail blessings may be sent to http://www.hoodmortuary.com.

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