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Race track legend Charles W. (Charlie) Camac, 78, died peacefully at his home in Williston May 25, 2013.
He was born at home May 11, 1935 in Wilmington, Del, to?Esther I. Downs Camac and Charles Munson Camac and attended Krebs School and Conrad High School, graduating in 1953.
He played semi-pro football with the Delware Clippers 1955-57. After that he began at the racetrack with his Uncle Joe and with his father until he was 18, when he became an assistant starter under George Palmer.
While he raised three boys, he worked many East coast tracks and became the first person to start races at the age of 30.
He moved his family to Florida and started all the South Florida meets–Hialeah, Tropical, Gulfstream and Calder. He was instrumental in discontinuing the use of ear tongs as a means of controlling horses in the gate.
During that time he volunteered in and became president of the Optimist Club, where he was involved for 15 years.
He was a member of SAG for his appearances in ""The Champ"" and ""Let It Ride"".
He became Steward at Florida tracks and eventually retired to Williston in 2008, where he continued his work with horsemen and thoroughbreds by traveling farm to farm issuing gate cards when needed.
He is survived by his wife, Lisa Rowe Camac; Amanda Rowe Fowler; son Christopher T. (Toni Lynn) of Levittown, N.Y.; sister, E. Eileen (Gene); daughter-in-law, Mary Camac; five grandchildren, Christopher, Chelsea, Tyler, Lauren and Emily; brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother; his sister, Judith B. Gregory and his sons, Charles, Charles A. (Andy) and Curt R.
A?memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. June 13 at Calder Race Course and 3 p.m. June 15 at Ocala Breeder Sales, Ocala.
Donations in his name may be made to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation or St. Mary's Hospital Foundation, 56 Franklkin St., Waterbury, CT 06707 and www.StMHFoundation.org or call Harriet at 203-709-6391.
Langford-Rogers Memorial Funeral Home
1301 N. Young Blvd.
Chiefland, FL 32626
Published in Williston Pioneer on June 13, 2013