Caring for Our Neighbors and Our Community        

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Dear Friends of the Bay Harbor Foundation and the Bay Harbor Vintage Car and Boat Festival,

On Friday, August 7th, we lost a dear friend and exhibitor, Carter Crompton. Every year for the last nine years, Carter finished off our Car Parade with a spectacular Grand Finale. Carter considered all of his fellow exhibitors his friends, and the Festival was the highlight of each summer for him and his family. We will miss Carter, and our thoughts are with his family. 

Carter Cromtpon Collage

The world lost a great man on August 7th, when Carter Warrick Crompton died at Ascension Genesys Hospital after a short illness. He was born in Flint, MI and raised in Clio, where he also raised his five rambunctious children. He loved fast cars, beautiful boats and one woman – his wife of 57 years, Audrey.

He received a B.S. from Eastern Michigan University, and taught 6th grade for the Clio School District for 25 years. Countless drawings of race cars and a lot of shoe shining happened in his classroom, in addition to some learning here and there. He loved organizing annual field trips with his 6th graders to their first Detroit Tigers game at the old Tiger Stadium, creating life-long memories for many.

After retiring from teaching in 1985, he joined forces with his son, Carter, Jr., to expand the family business. His entrepreneurial spirit was legendary, and his skills as a salesman were unmatched. He had an incredible work ethic with little tolerance for laziness.

He was a family man through and through. He built dirt bike tracks, elaborate camps and play structures, bought mini-bikes, snowmobiles, sleighs, Raleigh choppers, horses and countless other things that made growing up in the Crompton household both exciting and mildly dangerous. He never missed a game, special occasion, birth or activity for his kids or grandkids. He was kind, generous and loving.

He never met a tractor he didn’t like, and subjected his wife and young children to countless hours watching heavy machinery in a woody station wagon where mayhem and fist fighting would eventually ensue. Luckily, he had the patience of Job even if his children did not.

He was first and foremost a storyteller, which those who were in hour three of any particular story could attest to. He was a consummate napper and a lover of fresh tomatoes, football, traveling and driving. A couple of years ago he went to a meeting in Ohio and decided to drive to Florida because “they were headed in that direction”.

One of his many passions was racing. He purchased his first Can-Am race car, a McLaren M8F in 1978. The Crompton clan would load up the race car and trailer it behind a baby blue motorhome with “Romper Room” painted on the side and “Our Swift Chalet” along with our home address painted on the back. Some of the best family memories were created racing at Elkhart Lake, Mossport and Mid-Atlanta.

In 2010 he decided to enter his Grand Craft boat and a vintage midget race car in the Bay Harbor Vintage Car and Boat Festival in northern Michigan. He won the “People’s Choice Award”, which sparked an annual presentation that included race cars, renowned drivers, elaborate displays and his entire family and many friends dressed in period appropriate clothing. He won multiple People’s Choice Awards, the Judges’ Merit Award, the Bay Harbor Award of Excellence, and the Governor’s Award at Bay Harbor. In 2014, the Bay Harbor Foundation bestowed him with his favorite honor of all, naming him the Grand Marshal.

In addition to Bay Harbor, he proudly showed several cars from his collection at the Amelia Island Concours, the Classic Car Show in Pomona, California, the Meadowbrook Concours d’Elegance and the Fire and Ice Show among others.

He was preceded in death by his beloved parents, Edwin and Kathryn Crompton. He is survived by his brother, David (Joanne) Crompton, his loving wife, Audrey, and five children to whom he was a hero - Katie Birmingham, Carter (Jennifer) Crompton, Jr., Susan (Brian) Berryman, Amy (Bob) Morton and Allison (Doug) Smith. He was the proud grandpa of Emily (Brandon), Kyle, Carter III, Seth, Parker, Brooks, Reese, Alexis, Logan, Savannah, Mason, Chase and Jacob and great grandpa to Brinley.

We would like to thank the doctors and nurses on the third floor of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Ascension Genesys Hospital in Grand Blanc for their tireless efforts and compassionate care of a much loved man.

Memorial donations in Carter’s name may be made to the Bay Harbor Foundation at 750 Bay Harbor Drive, Bay Harbor, Michigan 49770.

The family will accept visitors and celebrate a life well lived at O’Guinn’s Funeral Home in Clio, MI on Thursday, August 13 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1-8 p.m.

O'Guinn Family Funeral Home, Clio Chapel