Standefer, Charles B.

Entrepenuer in Automotive Business, Founded Standefer Motor Sales

  • Friday, February 3, 2006

Charles B. Standefer, beloved father, wise patriarch and business and civic leader, died on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2006.

He was known for his Christian witness, devotion to his wife and family, innate business sense, absolute integrity, dynamic personality, quick wit and financial skills that included an impressive ability to calculate complex financial transactions in his head. His fairness and generosity as a friend and as an employer will long be remembered.

He was born Oct. 4, 1913, one of seven children of Nola Harp Standefer and Rufus Madison Standefer. A descendant of one of the settling families of the Sequatchie Valley, he was born in Durham, GA, where his father was a supervisor for the Durham Mines. The family moved to Chattanooga’s Kings Point in 1923.

His life was defined by his strong Christian faith. He was a leader in the Baptist church serving as chairman of the board of deacons and superintendent of Sunday school for the old Oakwood Baptist Church, chairman of the board of deacons and chairman of the Building Committee of Chamberlain Avenue Baptist Church and as a member of the board of deacons of Highland Park Baptist Church. He and his late wife were greatly loved and respected Bible teachers and youth leaders. He was a member of First Baptist Church. He attended First Presbyterian Church in his later years and was a committed supporter of Ben Haden’s Changed Lives Ministries.

The patriarch of a large and loving family, he was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Cofer Standefer, and daughter, Judith Standefer Schreeder.

He is survived by his children, Charles A. "Buz" and Barbie Standefer, Karen Standefer and Stephen M. Nicely, Linda Standefer and Edward Y. Chapin IV; son-in-law, James H. Schreeder and wife, Carolyn; ten grandchildren, Alan (Julie) Standefer, Ellen Standefer (Mark) McOmie, Maury (Jennifer) Nicely, Matthew Nicely, Elizabeth Nicely, Betsy Chapin (Brent) Taylor, Ted Chapin and John Chapin, both of Nashville, Laura Schreeder (Jeff) Hubona and Lissa Schreeder (Jack) Capitano, of Charlotte, N.C.; ten great-grandchildren; sister, Pollye Standefer (Mrs. Horace) Mason; brother, Fred W. Standefer, of Laguna Beach, CA; sister-in-law, Edith (Mrs. Leon) Standefer; and nieces and nephews.

He was a leader in local automotive business circles for more than 50 years. His entrepreneurial business career began in the late 1930s with the opening of Standefer Gulf Service Station. He was founder and chairman of Standefer Motor Sales Inc. dba Standefer Nissan, one of the largest import dealerships in the Southeast. Partnering with his son, he was among the first to build an automobile dealership and showroom at Highway 153 and Shallowford Road, now known as the area’s "automobile row."

He was a founding partner of Standefer Investment Company and Heritage Pontiac-GMC-Jeep of Athens, TN. He served his profession as a member of the Chattanooga Automobile Dealers Association, the Tennessee Automobile Dealers Association and the Dealer Advisory Board of Nissan Motor Manufacturing Company.

He was a Scottish Rite Mason, 32nd degree, having served as a master of the Harrison Lodge. He was a member of the Alhambra Shrine, a charter member and past president of the East Chattanooga Lions Club and a member of the Half-Century Club.

His last days were enriched by the loving care of his longtime friend and physician Dr. Yune Gill Jeong, the staff of Memorial Hospital’s 4 South, Dr. Elaina Rodela and the Hospice staff. He deeply appreciated the care of his friends, Wendy Davis, Angela Moore, Anthony Davis and Donna Davis.

Funeral services are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, at the funeral home chapel with Ben Haden and Sister Judy Raley officiating.

The family will receive friends from 2-6 p.m. Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Chattanooga Funeral Home, North Chapel, 5401 Highway 153. Pallbearers will be his grandsons and grandsons-in-law.

Memorial contributions may be made to Changed Lives Ministries, P.O. Box 100, Chattanooga, TN 37415, or to Hospice c/o Memorial Healthcare System Foundation, 2525 DeSales Ave., Chattanooga, TN 37404.

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