To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to weep and a time to laugh. A time to receive and a time to give. Every man should enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God.—Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
God ushered Carl Eugene Chancellor into this world on March 1, 1929, and called him home on April 28, 2023. The span of time between those 94 years —life—was filled with joy and happiness, tears, and laughter, along with challenges but also so many more victories.
A Time To Grow
Carl, born in Cleveland, Ohio was lovingly raised by his mother Helen Leonard Summons and stepfather James Henry Summons along with his grandparents Samuel Leonard and Charlotte “Grandma Ella” Leonard—all who preceded him in death, including his older brother Robert Chancellor.
Growing up on the city’s eastside he worshiped and was baptized at Bethany Baptist Church and attended Cleveland Public Schools, where he formed lifetime friendships. In 1947 he graduated from East Technical High School, where in addition to studying electrical engineering, he ran track and was a three-year letterman.
He went on to the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio where at the time blacks couldn’t join campus organizations or reside on campus. But it was also there that he met the love of his life, a dance and physical education major, Joyce Marshall in 1948. Carl graduated from Ohio State in 1951. A year later the couple married upon Joyce’s graduation on June 8, 1952. They would have celebrated 71 years of marriage in June. To their union were born four children, Carl Clifton, Bruce Edward, Steven Eugene, and Yvette, who are blessed with a lifetime of memories “and stories” to sustain them.
A Time To Build
Back in Cleveland, Carl began working for the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI) as a garage helper in 1952 a year after he and five other black hopefuls entered Western Reserve University law school. After graduating from law school in 1954 he transferred to CEI’s legal department. Through hard work and diligence, he moved up the corporate ladder eventually handling all the company’s litigation and legal matters, eventually retiring after 35 years as CEI’s secretary and general counsel.
It was also during these years that Carl followed the wisdom and examples of his mother and grandfather who were political activists who stood up against injustice and refused to let race determine their direction. He helped to write CEI’s affirmative action policy and recruited many blacks to the company. He was a life member of the NAACP as well as Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Carl was co-founder of the Southeast Association of Fathers for Education (SAFE) that worked to improve schools and education in the Mt. Pleasant and Lee-Harvard neighborhoods in the 1960s. On August 28,1963, he attended the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Carl served in various capacities as a board member of Karamu, Golden Age Center Association, Police Athletic League, Boys Club of Cleveland, the Lloyd O. Brown Law Scholarship Fund, the Neighborhood Centers Association, and Family Services Association of Cleveland.
He was also a member of Leadership Cleveland, Alpha Housing Inc., Ambassadors Club, Norman Minor Bar Association, the Bratenahl One Condominium Association, the Visiting Committee of the Case Western Reserve Law School, and the Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, American and National Bar Associations.
In 1969, Carl received a Certificate of Appreciation from Vice President Humphrey’s Plans for Progress serving as a motivational speaker at several predominately black colleges and high schools in Ohio, Florida and North Carolina; and a Meritorious Service Award from the Cleveland Bar Association in 1972 for various association committee assignments and chairmanships.
A Time To Laugh
Carl had a passion for travel, visiting dozens of countries and exotic locales across the globe with Joyce and a cadre of friends, many of whom were “chosen family,” including the Burks and Browns. He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren. He was an avid reader and crossword puzzler, who also enjoyed cooking, fishing, playing golf, and a good glass of scotch.
Carl leaves to mourn his loving wife of 70 years Joyce Chancellor; sons Carl Clifton (Cristal), Bruce Edward (Cathie), Steven Eugene (Millicent); daughter, Yvette Green (Christopher); grandchildren, Alexis Chancellor (Otis Morris), Kyle Chancellor, Tyler Chancellor, Ingrid Chancellor, Constance Chancellor, Kendall Chancellor, Marquette Williams (Deziree), Christian Green (Pavla), Cortland Akine and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
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