March 17, 1945 ~ December 22, 2020

Born in: Barberton, OH
Resided in: Duluth, GA

On December 22, 2020, fifty-two people in Georgia died of Covid-19. None of them were statistics. Neither was Carl. His STORY began March 17, 1945, in Barberton, Ohio, and continued through his college days at The Ohio State University where he earned undergraduate and masters degrees in Social Work. Carl quickly became skilled in relating to everyone he met, in helping others with relationship challenges, and dispensing straightforward “in your face” advice.

When I asked Carl’s family to respond to “I LOVE CARL BECAUSE. . .” I got responses that could fill a single-spaced, 200 page page book! Below are just a few lines from his immediate family that reveals tender words for Carl’s STORY:

–From daughter, Jessica: I love that you have always let me be who I am and have never put any undue expectations on me. I have always loved sharing my family with you and Susu and watching yours and their delight in one another. I am at peace with our relationship and know that you love me 100%.

–From son, Brent: I love you because you were appropriately involved in my life, recognizing you can’t live life for someone else. You encouraged me to live life on my terms, with consideration for others, but not to simply subscribe to a notion because it is the “norm.” You encouraged me to use my brain to challenge my own thought processes on how I make decisions, draw conclusions, and evolve as a human being.

–From Grandchildren, Ethan (17), Olivia (16), Adam (12), Aaron (9) I love your funny stories. I love how you always bring a blanket and tuck me in when I’m sitting on your couch. I love that you loved teaching us how to cook. I love all the times we went to get donuts and made memories at the Rexall Grill. I love you because you were a great Papa.

Friends have been texting me with their love for Carl, with descriptions that are like the
“illustrations” for Carl’s STORY:

● Carl could be found on a nice evening, sitting on the front lawn in worn chairs, chatting with neighbors, his beloved dog LUCY stretched out at his side. He loved to neighbor, as in a verb that said, “What do you need? Can I bring you some soup?”
● Carl could also be spotted with neighbors or alone in his beautiful garden. He delighted in sharing bulbs and his colorful flowers with those who had green or even clueless thumbs.
● Carl was a regular at Duluth’s Rexall Diner or Family Restaurant, promoting his “radical liberal” ideas with people he knew would not agree with him. He was not a join-an-organization guy but displayed his political beliefs by designing t-shirts (“Protesting Racism Is Patriotic”) and plastering his van with “Impeach Trump” stickers.
● Carl was generous with his family and friends, always ready to help with a project or bring comfort with his homemade wicked peanut brittle!
● Carl was a kind, witty, intelligent man who gave good advice, like WEAR A MASK!

Carl is survived by his wife, Susan; daughter Jessica (Dan) and four grandchildren; son Brent (Erin); older brother, John (Myrtle), and younger brother Dale (Paula.) He is also survived by his best canine friend, Lucy. You can honor Carl’s memory with a donation to your local Food Bank or to Lucy’s former home at the Gwinnett Animal Shelter. Volunteer,
Donate, Support.

Yes, Carl was not a statistic. No one is.

The chronicle of Carl’s life can best be told through his family and friends. I hope anyone reading this will add anecdotes to his life’s story on this memorial site. Thank you for sharing your lives with Carl.

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Guestbook

  1. He was our friend We met at a coffee shop and our conversations were our joy. He was our friend. He visited with us at our home and came to see us in Michigan. He was our friend.He could have controversial opinions but never confrontational
    He valued everyone for who and what they are. He was our friend
    He loved to cook, He loved his family and his dog Lucy. He will be missed by all his friends

    • CandleImageI worked with Carl for 15 years. We taught seminars for divorcing parents at the Gwinnett County courthouse until 2017 when he retired. We always sat together before each morning class in the court cafeteria, he with his coffee and I with my tea, while we talked about our kids, grandkids, latest books we were reading, and of course, politics! He was there for me when I went through some rough times and I hope he would say the same for me. He was a friend, mentor, wise soul, and great encourager. He had a curmudgeonly side to him, but that was just a cover for his sweet spirit. He had a heart of gold, especially when someone approached him in one of our classes who seemed hopeless or in despair. He knew what to say and what was needed to help others heal. If there was one thing I learned from him, it was that we all are loveable, but we have to see ourselves that way to receive that love. I loved him and will miss our talks. Rest In Peace dear friend.

      • CandleImageI wish I knew about Carl’s people skills sooner! He might have helped me with a problem that only gets worse.

  2. Carl will be missed for his honesty, generosity and kindness. Although he is no longer here due to failure of leadership at the very top of our government to deal with the COVID19 health pandemic. Rest in Power Carl, you will not be forgotten.

  3. CandleImageCarl was an amazing human being. I learned a lot from him observing his seminar for divorcing parents. He was very smart and knew how to transmit his message to parents struggling during a divorce process. I heard his “healing” voice and messages. He was an inspiration, my mentor. I will miss his talks, messages, and sense of humor that he shared during our event of the end of year celebration with the group of counselors from Navigating Family Change. Thanks, Carl for everything. I will miss you. I know you are in the Glory of Our Lord.

  4. CandleImageCarl was my uncle through Aunt Susan for the past 30 years. I remember their Zanesville barn wedding and meeting my new cousins Brent and Jessica and our family grew richer for it. Carl spoke his mind, was honest, could cut through the BS and analyze a situation or a person and connect to them. He didn’t need to agree to get along. We will miss Carl and send our virtual hugs to his family.

  5. CandleImageI had the honor of getting to know Carl as the kind and caring man that he was, and genuine person of good will that everyone fortunate enough to meet him knew him to be. While we thought differently about many things in life, I always came away from a conversation with Carl experiencing a smile and a moment with a friend.

  6. CandleImageDuring the years that I worked with Carl I considered him my best friend. We were pioneers together in the education and socialization of teens with mental and emotional disabilities. We spent hours problem solving about our mutual “patients” and more hours just laughing and sharing and enjoying each other’s company. Knowing Carl probably saved my marriage, and the lessons I learned from him certainly enhanced my life. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to know him and to now know his children and beautiful grandchildren. Love you, Carl. See you on the other side!

  7. CandleImageLosing Carl to Covid just breaks my heart. I met him years ago when he became my husband’s breakfast buddy. They shared similar backgrounds, both from Ohio and similar political beliefs. They never ran out of things to talk about.
    He also became my friend. We realized that we both loved plants and flowers. He brought me bulbs and plants for my yard and watched them grow with me, appreciating all my efforts and the beauty they provided.
    We became good friends and shared many laughs and experiences. He had a subtle great sense of humor.
    Carl had great empathy and care for everyone. I saw how he treated others and knew he meant a lot to everyone he became friends with. We all loved him.
    I will miss him and will think of him this Spring when the bulbs and plants he gave to me start to bloom. What a great tribute it will be to him!

  8. My family & I had the fantastic fortune to be Carl’s (& Susan’s) next door neighbor for the past 23 years. We had front row seats to help, kindness, favors, lectures, help, fun, gardening, GUIDANCE, grumpiness (once in a blue moon), house/pet sitting, direct-matter-of-fact perspectives, cooking, SUPPORT, love and of course, more help.

    We learned right away, that Carl had knowledge and experience in many areas and found ourselves leaning on him frequently. Whether it was guidance on home projects, house sitting for us, listening to any of us who would bend his ear out in the yard (Front or backyard) to calm our anxieties or just run an errand, he always selfless and we all gravitated to him as the Uncle we didn’t have.

    Over the years, we developed as closeness that allowed both of us to enter each others houses with a gentle knock and “hey” before entering to share news or ask for something. He always left his backdoor unlocked and always shared that we could come in and borrow anything (who does that these days). From time to time, he came to our kid’s basketball, lacrosse and volleyball games to show support and pass the time. He couldn’t help but care for all of us (and everyone he bumped into). Of course, he had his views on life and shared those if asked or poked but he was never overbearing. He was so comfortable in his own skin and never had to be the center of attention or require anything (an amazing trait of maturity and individuality).

    One of his best traits that I’ve tried to absorb as much as possible was he had strong opinions and convictions but didn’t judge. He would watch me do a home project, offer a suggestion (if I asked) but never judged me based on how I did it. He was there to pick up the pieces when things when wrong and always a pat on the back when things went right. He gave us all space and respected that space but unconditionally was there whenever anything was needed (again without judgement, complaint or criticism). It was just uncanny how he didn’t hover or overmanage yet was always (invisibly) the guy to lend a hand or emotional support when it was needed most. I loved the opportunity to go next door and never be judged regardless of the situation . We sat in his backyard chairs if we both needed a break from yard work drinking a cold beer talking about the meaning of life OR we’d sit in the front yard chairs sipping bourbon where he was usually helping me with the trials/tribulations that life can sometimes challenge us all with. He shared experiences from his own life or from others that he had learned from. We’d talk about his days at Ohio State (definitely educated at a high level – yet not many people were aware of this). Mostly, he was that “Uncle” that could untangle life and breakdown scenarios for others to see a path forward without having to be in your face about offering advice or suggestions. It was almost a jedi-mind trick on how he could help without helping but I know I always left those chairs – heading home – with a bit of relief or a small bounce in my step as I re-entered my world.

    It was great to watch his passion of gardening brighten the backyard next door. Always out there, year after year after year after year working, putzing, clipping, trimming, planting, building and doing whatever was needed in his amazing gardens. People would come over just to walk thru and see his work and the beauty that evolved. Many, many neighbors would receive vegetables or plants even without asking as Carl was constantly delivering items to those all around OR he would just invite you to come in and “pick” whatever and as much as you’d like. I know he enjoyed watching others enjoy/benefit from his passion YET he never needed their compliments or accolades, he did what he did for his own passion.

    He was also creative in the kitchen. Neighbors would often receive one of his “batches” he would make whether it was baking cookies or peanut brittle …etc or making extra chicken noodle soups in the colder months. I frequently wished I could cook like he could as everything he touched in the kitchen seemed to be delicious and he thoroughly enjoyed the art of creating food for himself and others to enjoy.

    There are so many more items I would capture and share like his time with Susan, his love/thoughts for his children, his friends at Rexall, his guidance counselor work with the County and of course his devotion to Paddi and Lucy (his dogs) but I’d be writing for years.

    I know I speak for my entire family when I count my blessing for Carl and Susan being next to us for the past 23 years helping us grow / mold our family (& ourselves). He was right out of the movies when you think of the definition of the perfect neighbor that you want next door. We are thankful beyond belief for them being great support structures and mental relief valves more times than they can count or ever know. My simple words can never come close to capturing the essence of Carl and the impact he made on me.

    Mr. Carl, we will not forget you as a member of our family and an integral part of our lives. You’ve left an indelible mark on me (and I’m sure so many others). I look next door these days and tear up when thinking about no garden, no guidance sessions, no bourbon or great debates on the latest news or challenges in the world AND wonder HOW I fill your void of learning/sharing more about life but then remember to be appreciative and thankful for ALL the time we had with you. I’m very sad (as many people are) that there are no more discussions/debates/projects/breakfasts or moments to enjoy with each other HOWEVER (similar to other impactful people), I will try to carry on your best traits and share them with others in honor of our time together.

    I hope & pray (similar to other families members) that we have the opportunity to meet again in the future and enjoy each other’s company. We were truly blessed to land next to you.

    Until then, Love you and Thank you for EVERYTHING.

    – The Eckards

  9. CandleImageAt first, Carl was the husband of my friend Susan. When we opened Corley ES, I hired him as our head custodian. With his cleaning skills and counseling background, he made his rounds mopping up the building, the children, the staff and, now and then, the principal. We share the same birthdate and in the last several years, the three of us would meet for brunch in March to celebrate and catch up. I’ll miss the brunches- I’ll miss my friend- and I’ll have a green beer in his memory every March 17 which I think he’d like.

  10. Susan, Jessica .Dan and Smith Grandchildren, Brent and Erin,

    Sending passion and comfort in this time of loss of your father. May the Lord hold you in his beautiful hands
    and give you comfort, peace and strength. As your Grandfather would say, “life is not made to be easy, but this to, is a part of living life, a time to go home with the Lord.” Be comforted, rely on your faith. Sending my thoughts and prayers to all of you. You are loved. I know you father loved each of you dearly.
    With much Love,
    Aunt Linda

  11. CandleImageI met Carl and Susan in 1988 and what an experience we have enjoyed over the years. They picked up my sister for a family funeral and neither knew each other and Carl held up the sign for her to recognize them at the top of the airport escalator and the adventure began. We spent large and small dinners, holidays, vacations, birthdays, weddings, funerals and just time together over the past 32 years. I always said that if I was in trouble and could not contact a family member, Carl would be the one that I called and I knew that he would have dropped whatever he was doing and come to my aid. I miss my friend, Carl, and wish him peace.

  12. I will miss my friend Carl so much. I first met Carl at the Rexall Grill in Duluth and this started our friendship. He would come in with his newspaper or his Atlantic Magazine. Carl didn’t mind eating alone, but when Pam, Sharlie, Larry myself and Carl all became friends we ate together.

    A lot of the patrons at the Grill were not of the same political persuasion as we were and we were definitely in the minority but they always respected us. And Carl never thought anything about wearing his political tee shirts in the Grill.

    Carl has brought us plants and even planted them in our yard for us. He would show up with soup when we weren’t feeling well. His banana bread and peanut brittle were amazing. At Christmas he would bake a multitude of goodies and bring them to the Grill to share with everyone. Everyone would look forward to Carl’s cooking at Christmas. He would even bring containers for people to carry some goodies home with them. The girls who worked at the Grill loved him and there was more than one person there who he helped out.

    Pam and I worked in Buffalo, New York for a week in the summers in a reading ministry conducted by our church. Carl has given us money to help with materials to teach the kids. He was generous and when he saw a need he helped to meet it.

    My best memories are of Carl coming to our house on summer mornings and bringing breakfast burritos from McDonalds. We would bring out coffee and have our breakfast on the porch. We talked politics, school stuff, sometimes religion and just anything that interested us.

    Carl was one of the kindest and most giving people I have ever known. I got to talk to him the night before he went into the hospital. I thank God that I got that opportunity. I thank God for Carl’s friendship. Carl. I will miss you so much.

  13. CandleImageI didn’t know Carl but I know Susan and because of her I know Carl was a great human. She wouldn’t put up with less. Sending my love and condolences to all of the people who knew and loved Carl.

  14. Susan was my 6th grade science teacher, I met Carl for the first time when her and I reconnected about 6 years ago. They used to come sit in my section when I worked at Marlows Tavern, Carl always with his newspaper in hand. We would catch up on life and talk politics – he made sure I had a good supply of “Impeach Trump” stickers and tshirts. I only knew Carl for a short time but he made an impact on me and I know he will be deeply missed. When I drop my ballot off at the box this weekend I will do it with Carl in mind. Sending love to his family and friends.

  15. CandleImageOver the past six years, I was a regular at Susan and Carl’s house and I always felt so welcome there. I would seldom leave empty handed since Carl would insist that I take home some of his homemade soup or fresh veggies from his garden. His van, plastered with Impeach Trump stickers, was always at the ready if my daughter or I needed something moved. And when I bought my house, he showed up to hack away the overgrown bushes that obscured the rotting mailbox and replace it with a new one.
    Carl was happy to work behind the scenes, hauling supplies to Democratic Party events and cleaning up unnoticed afterward while others socialized. He often thanked me for being Susan’s protest buddy and plus one for fancy events. Although he attended those occasionally, he preferred staying home and working in the garden with Lucy never far from his side. Susan would entice people to fundraisers at their house with the promise of Carl’s yummy oatmeal cookies- savored by the likes of (now Congresswoman) Carolyn Bordeaux, Sarah Riggs Amico, and (should be Governor) Stacey Abrams.
    Carl had a wonderful, wry sense of humor and usually came across as a no-nonsense, cut to the chase kind of guy. But he was more than that, as evidenced by his garden which was an explosion of fanciful creativity.
    Carl was taken from us too soon in a pandemic that should not have become a national tragedy. His life touched so many people and he will be missed.

  16. When you’ve known a person for over 30 years, played tennis, racquetball, golf, and ping pong together hundreds of times, traveled together, and celebrated each of the other’s significant birthdays, you will have many stories, especially when the person was Carl Clymer, as others have written here. But one that describes not just Carl, but the perspective people close to him had about him uniquely stands out. Claire and I attended a small dinner party hosted by Carl and Susan (and one where Carl outdid himself as the chef) perhaps 7 or 8 years ago. As the dining was winding down but the wine continued to flow, I mentioned that I had just taken the Myers-Briggs personality test as part of a corporate management retreat. I asked if anybody else at the table had taken one and, surprisingly, all raised their hands. So, we went around the table sharing our Myers-Briggs personality classifications. The discussion was rowdy and irreverent, with Carl particularly interjecting his caustic humor each time a diner shared their profile. But the tone changed a bit when the time came for Carl to speak. The room got a little quieter. I don’t think any of us who knew Carl well had ever before contemplated that he could possibly fit into some standard personality classification except one created just for him.

    Carl was indeed unique. He was sharing, curious, honest to a fault, fair in his judgement, sometimes brusque, but consistent in his principles and beliefs regardless whether others around him agreed with them or not. He will be dearly missed.

  17. Carl was a generous person. He did so many things for me and for our group of friends. He drove us in his van for hiking trips, so we could all ride together. He made lots of candy and brought candy and baggies to Christmas dinner, so we could take home the treats. He shared his gardening knowledge, so we could improve our yards and also learn new methods. I enjoyed talking to Carl. He was a strong man who had many gifts that he shared easily.
    Rest in peace, friend.

  18. Susan what a beautiful tribute to Carl. I will always remember the wonderful times with the Ceci group at Thanksgiving. Carl taught me to boil potatoes in chicken broth for extra flavor in my mashed potatoes and still doing it 30 years later. I remember our talks in my trailer when he worked at Mason ES.
    While our paths haven’t crossed recently, I’m good friends with some of the Rexall group so still felt his presence when eating goodies like peanut brittle at Carol and Pam’s. You always knew where you stood with Carl and he had a heart of gold. He has left a void in many lives he touched but happiness in so many hearts.

  19. CandleImageOh, Susan!

    I have told many volunteers about how you would bring cookies to a politician’s office for Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s work. I rarely told them that Carl made the cookies, while you took credit for them.

    We will continue to hold the family in the Healing Light.

  20. I always found Carl to be loving, compassionate and really funny. I always enjoyed our interactions. He and Diane Dierks provided our parenting seminars for divorcing parents for Gwinnett courts. He did a most excellent job relating to people, meeting them right where they were. When my Dad passed away for months following that he would ask how I was doing. He knew the right questions; to nudge me along and show love all at the same time. I will continue to pray for his family as I’m sure he was an awesome presence of love and understanding that will be sorely missed.

  21. CandleImageMy Full Condolences Susan to you and everyone in your Family. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. I enjoyed meeting your Husband at the Gwinnett County Democratic Offices and helping him on various projects. Thinking of you all during this very sad time.

    An Irish Blessing
    May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand. “May the wind be always at your back.”

    God Bless
    Jamie Whyte

  22. Carl Clymer was many things to many people. For me Carl was a friend. A friend not in just the broadest terms with which we are all are familiar, but also a special friend in the in terms that existed between the two of us.

    Carl was always quick to help with any project and would simply say, “Tell me what I need to do.” He was there to provide the helping hand whether lugging boxes during our move, or helping to put down new deck boards on our reconstructed deck. However, many times his most important role was that of listener and sounding board, helping make sure the project or task went smoothly.

    Once a year in the Spring, we would make our trek to Goodness Grows Gardens east of Athens. Carl always knew what to buy and his garden illustrated the results of his knowledge. The trip usually included lunch along the way in some roadside Bar-B-Que stand or burger joint. I greatly enjoyed our annual trip and miss the camaraderie of those days.

    From time to time, our get-togethers would include dinner with our wives at one of our favorite restaurants. Part of the dining ritual usually included a drink or two and hors d’oeuvres with spirited conversations beforehand. Inevitably the conversations would tend toward politics and while Carl and I would generally agree on a common political philosophy, we wouldn’t always agree on an individual who represented that philosophy. But that never affected our friendship – it only served to spice it up.

    Carl’s ability to listen was one of his special attributes that sustained him as a friend especially for me. Whether listening to some personal saga or business relationship dilemma, he could always provide a clear path to understanding how the maneuver through whatever was going on. Carl’s approach was direct and honest, but for me he understood that I had a more “squishy” demeanor and he respected that, but would not let me hide behind that. One of the topics we discussed from time-to-time was the concept of religion. Of course, Carl was not an organized religious devotee necessarily – he was clearly more of a humanist. However, he did understand the importance of spirituality and I think he might have even embraced the concept for himself, but always and definitely on his terms.

    I miss all of those times with Carl. Today I raise a toast to our good and special friend, Carl Clymer.

  23. CandleImageI knew Carl through his wife, Susan. She was always outgoing while he worked tirelessly behind the scenes providing delicious goodies and setting up cocktails for the many political events they hosted. He was kind, gentle and proud of his garden. His was indeed a life well-loved and he will certainly be missed. The world is a better place because he was in it. My sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends for the loss of this sweet man.

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