Spiral Internet’s co-owner and CIO (Chief Imagination Officer, as he preferred), Chip Carman, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in May of this year. After a short battle, he succumbed to the aggressive disease on October 31. Chip was the Spiral team member who proclaimed “Yes, let’s build a 100% fiber optic network here.” He will be sorely missed by Spiral and our community for his vision, intelligence and uncanny ability to “see the future”. His obituary appears below.
Earlier this year, Spiral assembled an incredible team of telecommunication and business experts that our community will be hearing more about as we move forward. We are over nine months into a very long grant application process with the California Public Utilities Commission that required us to refute incumbent provider challenges. We have accomplished that, in good part thanks to Chip.
Stay tuned over the next weeks as we update you on the challenges we faced in being funded, and the future of our 100% fiber optic Internet network in western Nevada County. Indeed, our future is bright.
John Paul, CEO, Spiral Internet
December 29, 1948 – October 31, 2013
On the afternoon of Oct. 31, 2013, our community lost Chip Carman after a short six-month battle with esophageal cancer. He was 64.
A celebration of life will be held at Hooper & Weaver Mortuary in Nevada City Saturday, Nov. 16, at 11am followed by a reception.
Chip was born in Galena Park, Texas on December 29, 1948 — his home being in Jacinto City, Texas — but moved to California with his family before he was five years old.
As the founder and manager of the product-testing labs at both “MacUser” and “Macworld” magazines, he brought his unique and thorough analysis to a then-nascent industry. He spearheaded the installation of the first high-speed Intranet connection between the San Francisco and Tokyo “Macworld” offices.
Of note was his position as the webmaster for “Macworld’s” first website development team: a tiny group sequestered in a small room trying to figure out how to use this new way of communication in a then-print-only world. He also traveled around the world offering technical support to the company’s international publications.
Chip continued working with “Macworld” after he moved to Nevada County with John Paul in 1997. Together since 1992, they were married in 2008. John and he partnered to form Spiral Studios, a website development business, which became Spiral Internet after the acquisition of Nevada County Community Network customers in 2006.
As a member of the Nevada County Economic Resource Council’s Telecommunications Committee, he wanted to help bring faster Internet access here. Upon realizing that the telephone company was not going to deliver, it was his notion that Spiral Internet build its own fiber optic network. Chip’s goal was to be around to see that network built, but in the end, he was satisfied knowing that the grant application process with the California Public Utilities Commission had moved past its challenges and was headed toward funding.
After participating in an early Nevada County Community Leadership Institute class, he used his skills to help an alumni organization form. He penned an ongoing technology column (Biz-Tek) for Nevada County Business News in which he offered his unique views in a down-to-earth style. The last column he wrote will appear in the next issue.
On the home front, Chip was a beekeeper for many years, delighted that his avid early interest in biology and botany could be realized in such a sweet way. Although he would never admit it, he was a culinary wizard in the kitchen as anyone can attest who joined Chip and John at their home for one of his dinners. Flavor, color and vibrant ingredients were his potions. As an intrepid geek, he was never without the latest gadget; his iPad always in his hands.
Chip is survived by his husband, John Paul; father Joe Carman; brother, John Carman and sister-in-law Stacey Carman; nephew Jason Carman and step-brothers Matt, Greg and Eric Prochnow. Chip is preceded in death by his mother, Wanda Jean Camden (Kitcher); step-dad Jim Camden and his “wicked” step-mom, Mary Jean Carman.
He will be missed by many for his uncanny ability to envision technology’s big picture and see how it could be used to benefit our community. He will be missed and remembered by his family for his intelligence, creativity, and loving spirit.