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Charles Carr leaves legacy of humor in philosophy department

Published: Monday, January 27, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 11:01

Charles Carr

Courtesy of Rebecca Carr

Charles Carr enjoyed playing trivia on cruise ships, along with his passion of reading and writing. Carr taught at ASU for 37 years.

Charles Carr 2

Courtesy of Rebecca Carr

Though quiet and dry-witted, Charles Carr, emeritus professor of philosophy, was a kind man who loved to read and excelled at winning trivia contests on cruises with his wife Rebecca.

“He loved his little cruise ship (prizes),” Rebecca said.

In addition to trivia, Carr had a great passion for reading and writing. He published his book “Two One Pony: An American Soldier’s Year in Vietnam” in 2011 and began a second novel about university life after he retired from A-State in 2012. Along with his writing and reading, Carr loved attending ASU sports, from basketball to volleyball, with his wife.

“He was a very honorable man,” Rebecca said, adding her husband always strived to do the right thing. “He really wanted both faculty and students to be treated fairly.”

Rebecca said she thought of her husband as a gentle man. The couple would have been married 39 years in March. “I thought he was pretty terrific,” she said.

It was his quiet yet great sense of humor that Carr’s friends and coworkers remember him by. Eric Cave, professor of philosophy, said several funny notes and Post-Its would pop up around the halls of the department with no authorship claimed. Yet Carr’s personality was evident through the writing. He also spent time creating “Arkansaw Greetin’ Cards” sold in the Edge Coffee House, including a birthday card reading, “Happy birthday Aunt Mom!”

His joking never prevented him from running the department smoothly, however. Carr attended every meeting with the Philosophy Club and orchestrated things in a way that was incredibly low friction, Cave said. He added how Carr helped professors get extra courses and made sure they were taken care of.

“He was an incredibly generous person and never wanted any thanks for it,” Cave said. “He would bend over backwards for anybody.”

Cave met Carr in 1995 and said the department chair was a good colleague and always gave time for critiques, and even became very involved with guest speakers, taking the time to question their material and converse with them.

“He was a fantastic mentor,” Cave said. “He gave so much of his time and is going to be sorely missed.”

Carr taught for 37 years at ASU beginning in 1975, and was the chair of the English and philosophy department for 30 years from 1979-2009. According to the obituary released by Emerson Funeral Home, Carr was the only philosophy professor at ASU in 1979, and his proudest achievement was building up the philosophy program.

Carr received his B.A. from Colorado State University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from University of Arizona. He moved to Jonesboro from Tuscson, Ariz. and lived here for 38 years. Carr died Dec. 6 at the age of 68. He is survived by his wife Rebecca Carr, two sisters and a brother.

According to an ASU press release, Carr’s family wishes for those wanting to make memorials to consider donating to the ASU Philosophy Charles Carr Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1990, State University, AR, 72467, or to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

 

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