DOERSAM - Charles Henry, III, a year-round resident of a rustic stretch of Fire Island, passed away the evening of September 16 while running errands near Babylon, NY. The cause was heart failure. Chuck, age 56, was an island fixture, an unfailingly good humored figure who lived contentedly apart from the conventions and constraints of life on the mainland. He was a builder by occupation, but he devoted much of his energies to photographing the barren winter beach, surfcasting for striped bass and bluefish, raising bees and doing favors for neighbors whose homes were imperiled by storms or floods. An economics major in college, he nonetheless mastered an exhaustive range of skills, from reposting beach homes to fine woodworking. Though he spent thirty-four winters on Fire Island, he was by no means reclusive. He hosted streams of offseason guests at the bay-front house his family built, and he threw New Year's Eve gatherings beside th homemade wood stove that was his only source of heat. Chuck graduated from Waldorf High School, in Garden City, NY in 1975, and from Connecticut College in 1979 where he he was rarely seen without his camera. As a volunteer fire fighter for more than thirty years, he belonged to a small corps who responded to alarms under difficult conditions during the off-season months. He leaves behind his wife, Jeanne Ellis and her 12-year-old son Sam. He is also survived by his mother Cynthia Doersam of Raleigh, NC; his father, Charles H. Doersam, Jr. of Old Lyme, CT; his brother Dean Doersam of Deep River, CT and sister Donna Doersam of Paso Robles, CA.
Published in Newsday on Sept. 25, 2013