NEWPORT NEWS - Charles (Charlie) Gardner Marple died Nov. 23, at Riverside Regional Medical Center from multiple medical issues. He was 90 years young.
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Born the son of a congregational minister in Northbridge, Mass., he was raised in the manse of the Weymouth Congregational Church. Charlie spent the rest of his life rooting for the local teams: Boston Red Sox and Boston Redskins (even when they moved south). He served as a communications technician on Okinawa during WWII. Before deploying to the Pacific in 1944, he met and married his beloved wife, Mary Ethel Magorian. Returning from the war, he finished a degree in mechanical engineering from Tufts in 1948. Hired by NACA/NASA out of college he moved to Hampton Roads and thoroughly enjoyed a career working on instruments that were part of projects ranging from the x15 to the Mars Viking. Charlie was a member of the Hidenwood Presbyterian Church for more than 50 years. During that time he served as an elder, treasurer and audio visual support. He attended Bible studies, men's functions, Lenten suppers and a host of other events. Because of his commitment to being part of and contributing to his community, Charlie was a Little League Coach, Boy Scout Leader, Red Cross 10 Gallon Blood donor, Meals on Wheels driver since 1984, and American Cancer Society driver. He enjoyed supporting plays, musical productions, and, football at Christopher Newport University as well as attending the Virginia Symphony and quietly reveling in our local Peninsula Community Theater. As he retired from NASA in 1984, Charlie announced he was going to finish up the part of his education not offered in engineering school. He proceeded to take a wide variety of Lifelong Learning Classes.
He leaves behind Mary Ethel, his wife of 68 years; his brother, Stanley, Stanley's wife Gladys; sister, Elaine; and innumerable ones of us who were touched by his life and made better for it.
Charles Marple's memorial service will be held at the Hidenwood Presbyterian Church of Newport News on Dec. 8 at 3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, he has requested that donations be made to the Hidenwood Presbyterian Church. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks.
Published in Daily Press from Nov. 26 to Nov. 27, 2012