FREDON - Charles J. Fletcher, 88, died Wednesday, April 20, 2011, at Saint Clare's Hospital, in Sussex. Mr. Fletcher, son of the late Horace and Florence (Romyns) Fletcher was born in Franklin on Dec. 21, 1922. He had resided in Sparta for 37 years before moving to Fredon 13 years ago.
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Mr. Fletcher was a retired Lt. Commander with the U.S. Navy, serving in both World War II and Korea. He was a member of the Sgt. Francis M. Glynn American Legion Post No. 132 of Franklin.
Mr. Fletcher was chairman & CEO of Technology General Corp. of Franklin. He was the project engineer for Thikol Reaction Motors of Denville for the X-15 Rocket Engine. In 1959, he started Fletch-Aire Corp. of Newton, which designed the first variable speed control for electric motors. In 1962, he formed Aerosystems Technology Corp., in Franklin, with other subsidiaries and acquisitions such as Metaltec Corp., Whippany Electronics, Eclipse Systems and Clawson Machine. Later, in 1982, Transbanc International Investors Corp. was formed, which included various land and building acquisitions in Sussex County.
Mr. Fletcher is also known for being the original inventor of the Hovercraft. Over the years, he had established 18 different patents in aeronautics and manufacturing.
Mr. Fletcher was inducted into the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame in 1986 and the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame at the N.J. Institute of Technology in 1988.
He was past president of the Sparta Kiwanis and past president of the Newton Country Club. Mr. Fletcher was also a devout Catholic.
Mr. Fletcher is survived by his wife of 60 years, Helen (Swetz) Fletcher and his sons, Jeffrey Fletcher and his wife, Judi, of Palm City, Fla., and Mark Fletcher and his wife, Denise, of Ringwood; granddaughter, Haley; brothers, Raymond Fletcher, of Florida, and Robert Fletcher, of Georgia, as well as several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 26, 2011, from F. John Ramsey Funeral Home, 1 Main St., Franklin, to Immaculate Conception R.C. Church, Franklin, for a 9:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial. Entombment will follow at Immaculate Conception Cemetery Mausoleum. Friends may call at the funeral home from 2 to 4 and 7-9 p.m. Monday. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Camp Auxilium of Newton c/o Sr. Mary Rinaldi 659 Belmont Ave. North Haledon, NJ 07805-2397.
Published in The New Jersey Herald on Apr. 22, 2011