February 19, 1933 – August 14, 2017
Charles Walter Roemer, 84, died peacefully on August 14, 2017, in the Quinn Memory Care Center at Holy Cross Village, Notre Dame, Indiana.
Chuck was born in South Bend on February 19, 1933, son of William Francis Roemer and Carmel Luther Roemer. His parents preceded him in death along with brothers William, Thomas, Joseph, James, and Walter (who was born and died in 1935). His younger sister Mary Cecilia Roemer, of South Bend, survives.
In 1925, the Roemers built a house at 422 East Angela Boulevard. It was the family home throughout Chuck’s childhood and young adulthood. His mom taught at St. Joseph Grade School and his dad walked to work at Notre Dame, where he taught philosophy. Chuck attended high school at Campion Jesuit in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. After graduation, he enrolled in the Air Force R.O.T.C program at Notre Dame. His senior year, he fell in love with Denise Becker, who was studying at St. Mary’s College. Chuck graduated and received his Air Force commission in 1953 and they were married on May 14, 1955 at St. Joseph Church in South Bend. Chuck served active duty for two years — including at Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City, North Dakota — and several years in the reserves. He completed his formal education at Notre Dame Law School, graduating in 1958.
Chuck practiced law in South Bend, first with his brother Tom and later with his brother Jim, before Dick Mintz joined him in 1977 to form Roemer and Mintz. Chuck loved practicing law, in part because he loved to help people. He also loved to plan, teach and mentor. While he focused his practice on estate planning, he served his clients as a trusted counselor. In 2001 Roemer and Mintz merged with Barnes & Thornburg, from which Chuck retired as Partner in 2004.
Most important to Chuck were his roles as husband and father. He and Denise had five children, all of whom survive: Mark Roemer of Mishawaka; Greta Roemer Lewis (Jay) of South Bend; Kurt Roemer (Tracy) of Chicago, IL; Karl Roemer (Shelby) of Riverside, CA; and Marta Roemer Brummell (Craig) of South Bend. Poppa Chuck and Oma were blessed with twelve grandchildren, who also survive: Ian, Molly & Sarah Lewis; Elizabeth, Benjamin, Leo & Moira Brummell; Grace Shelby & Margaret Roemer; and Reese, Samantha & Tessa Roemer.
Chuck was wholehearted. He hugged you, whether you thought you wanted a hug or not! He loved singing and leading those around him in song – especially at Adams soccer games and Notre Dame football games, but really it could be any occasion. He loved people and, to his last days, Chuck was kind to everyone, no matter their station in life.
If you knew Chuck, you know that he was passionate about a lot of things, including Denise, the wonder and awe of nature, and sports – especially involving his kids or grandkids (“GOALTIME!”). Chuck was athletic and competitive. He played handball at the YMCA for years, and was a state champion in 1969. For many years, he played tennis with good friends every Monday night, followed by dinner at the University Club. After retirement, he enjoyed weekly golf outings with his friends in the PGL (“Pathetic Golf League”).
Chuck was a servant leader. He helped found the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County and also Leadership South Bend/Mishawaka. Chuck and Denise also were active at St. Joseph Church and helped found its Parish Council and marriage preparation program.
In 1990, Chuck and Denise built a vacation home in New Buffalo, across the street from their dear friends, Fred and Rosemary Crowe. Chuck and Denise loved to welcome family and friends to “Roemers’ Retreat” to make memories together.
Chuck’s family is grateful to the staff of Quinn Memory Care Center, the Center for Hospice Care, and the entire Holy Cross Village Community for their loving care and support.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, August 25th at the Church of Our Lady of Loretto, St. Mary’s College, followed by burial at Cedar Grove Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family the day before, Thursday August 24th, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., at the Gillespie Center, adjacent to Hilton Garden Inn, on the campus of St. Mary’s College.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Chuck’s memory to the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County (cfsjc.org) or Leadership South Bend/Mishawaka (leadershipsbmish.org). McGann Hay is assisting the family with arrangements.
To send condolences to the family log onto: www.McGannHay.com.