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Don Chalmers, Ford dealer and philanthropist, dies

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ford dealer Don Chalmers, a longtime Albuquerque-area philanthropist who served on more than a dozen community boards, died of cancer Sunday. He was 65.

Chalmers, a former member of the University of New Mexico Board of Regents, owned Ford dealerships in Rio Rancho and Santa Fe. He served on many economic development, community service, healthcare and education boards in the Albuquerque area.

At the time of his death he was a board member on the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of Central New Mexico and the Rio Rancho Community Foundation, among other boards.

Gary Housley, the general manager of Don Chalmers Ford, said Chalmers’ family members are making funeral arrangements and those will be announced in the next few days.

Chalmers previously served on boards for Sandoval Regional Medical Group, University of New Mexico Hospital Clinical Operations and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in central New Mexico.


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Chalmers was a Leadership New Mexico graduate who was scheduled to be honored at the 2014 Leadership New Mexico Annual Award Dinners on May 2.

Don Chalmers Ford recently received the Rust Award For Excellence in Ethical Business Practice for For-Profit Businesses.

“Albuquerque has lost a great man who dedicated himself to our community. He will be greatly missed and it will be up to all of us to carry on in his tradition of selfless community service. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.” Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said in a prepared statement.