Charles “Chuck” Frank Zarter, Esq., Age :78
Jun 23,1942---Aug 31,2020


Charles “Chuck” Frank Zarter, 78, of Shawnee, KS, passed away peacefully August 31, 2020, at Kansas City Hospice House, Kansas City, MO. His passing followed a long and valiant, 23-year struggle against the ravages of cancer treatment that saved, but challenged his life.  Chuck was born June 23, 1942, to Carl F. and Evelyn Longren Zarter in Leavenworth, KS. Described by his fellow Immaculata High School classmates as “thoroughly well liked” and “having a twinkle in his eye,” he participated in basketball (his calling), football, and track. He also served as Student Council President, graduating in 1960.  He subsequently attended and played basketball at St. Benedict’s College (now Benedictine) in Atchison, KS, graduating in 1964, and he received his Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1967.  At KU, he was active in the Student Bar Association. He also began his life-long and fervent support of KU athletics, especially his beloved Kansas Jayhawk basketball teams.


Chuck started his professional career in the legal department at Kansas City’s Business Men’s Assurance Company, where he oversaw various real estate acquisitions in California, Texas, and Louisiana. He then joined a real estate investment partnership as Service Broker for the establishment and expansion of Electronic Realty Associates franchise development in the greater Kansas City area. After approximately a decade, he returned to the private practice of law until health issues forced his retirement in 2009.


A veteran trickster, Chuck was loved by everyone and known especially for his somewhat warped (his children would say) and off-the-wall sense of humor. During his law school days, he was party with others to the attempted “kidnapping” of a fellow law student with a perfect law school attendance record. This student was ultimately handcuffed to the statue of Jimmy Green in front of the old law school building on Jayhawk Boulevard. In the end, however, the professor simply presented his lecture to the entire class on the front steps, thereby saving the day. Incredibly, a photo of the event was captured by the Associated Press and distributed world-wide.


As a father, he was adored, not only by his sons, but by his entire neighborhood of kids. He was the dad who played dodge ball and basketball with them in the driveway after work and on weekends (not to mention overseeing the watermelon seed-spitting contests).  As a husband, he never gave up on his wife, always there for her and always strong, loving, patient, and caring. Together with her sons, he was the joy of her life.


Chuck’s greatest attribute, however, was his ability to face his fears, think outside the box, and never, ever give up.  As a young man, he was afraid of heights; his solution? He took glider plane lessons and learned to snow ski, the latter of which would become a passion and the genesis of many happy family memories as he and his wife married and raised two sons. His positivity remained with him until his last breath. Diagnosed in 1997 with cancer that included an inoperable brain tumor, the experimental procedure meant to extend his life opened the door to the loss of his profession, his ability to walk, and his ability to easily communicate.  Still, when many might have considered life no longer worth the struggle, Chuck cherished every moment, his strong faith and his will to survive supporting him, always believing in the hope for tomorrow.


Chuck is survived by his wife, Carolyn Eymann Zarter, of the home; two sons, C. Ryan Zarter, Ph.D, Leadville, CO, and Darren C. Zarter, Lenexa, KS; his sister, Marilyn Zarter Wallace, Wichita, KS; his nephew, Troy (Anne) Wallace and son Landon, Aurora, CO; his niece, Stacy (C.J.) Bastian and children, Katie and Jack, Skidmore, TX; and his cousins, Paul (Mary) Longren, DeSoto, KS, and Carl Longren, Mission, KS.


A private memorial service will be held at Combs Chapel, Country Club Christian Church, on October 3, 2020. Contributions may be made in Chuck’s memory to Kansas City Hospice House (, to the University of Kansas School of Law, or to a charity of your choosing.



Lynette Berg Robe Sep 04 ,2020

College friend of Carolyn’s ,Los Angeles ,California

Carolyn has always been a cherished friend. I did not know Chuck well, only having met him a few times, but I know what a wonderful man he must have been because she loved him. This obituary is such a loving tribute to him. What a great spirit he had! I send my love and condolences to Carolyn and their sons and families. I pray that you will find comfort. In sympathy, Lyne

Barbara Mize McLenon Sep 04 ,2020

My sincere condolences to Carolyn and her sons. The short time I knew Chuck in KC he was the kindest person and a true gentleman. I am so sorry, but know he had a tough struggle.

Susy Hammons Sep 05 ,2020

Sorority Sister ,Pittsburg ,Kansas

Dear Carolyn,. What a beautiful story of a beautiful life. I wish I had known Chuck through those years. He sounds bigger than life. I remember a big smile and great energy. You have been a rock for him and your sons. Much love to you all.

Judith Koch Wenzlaff Sep 07 ,2020

High school friend to Carolyn ,Lakeway ,Texas

Very sorry for your loss. Prayers to the family. Did not know him but he sounds like an awesome person. 🙏🏻🙏🏻

Robert J Ferkenhoff Sep 08 ,2020

College friend ,Nokomis ,Florida

Dear Carolyn, Ryan and Darren: Keeping all of you in thoughts and prayers during this time of loss. Chuck, Bo Fraser, Mike Leinen and I were 1st floor roommates at 601 Riley in Atchison KS our junior and senior years at Benedict's. Special times and special memories. My best to all of you. Bob

Dana Schroeder & David Gill Sep 08 ,2020

Old friends ,Osprey ,Florida

So sorry to hear of Chuck's passing. Our condolences to the family.

Pat Knight Sep 11 ,2020

My husband was a classmate at immaculata ,Des Moines ,Iowa

My husband , Joe Knight was a classmate at Immaculata. What a beautiful obituary. I’m sure I met chuck at one of the class reunions. Joe passed in April 2011. My thoughts and prays are with uou

Nick Williams Sep 11 ,2020

Classmate and Friend ,Livermore ,California

My memories of the early days in Leavenworth, Kansas always revolve around the good times I had with one of my very best friends, Chuck Zarter. We both attended St. Joseph grade school and Immaculata High School together, enjoying every sports class that was offered. Between the two of us, he was the smart one, always offering his assistance with class help and guidance. He was the school friend everyone hoped to have.