William Charles

William Riley Charles Surrounded by friends Bill passed away at Kaiser Hospital, Marin County Jan 2, 2013 one week after an accident at home. He was born to his mother Ruth and father William Von Waibel in Los Angeles, along with his twin brother, Richard Winship Charles. After his mothers second marriage to Robert Charles the boys were adopted by Mr. Charles and the family moved to Mansfield Ohio.
Bill attended Wittenberg University in Springfield Ohio. He was an active and popular student serving as president of his fraternity and also working as a model for fashion magazines.
He served in World War II in the United States Army in Hawaii. He later lived in Florida and at one time owned and operated an eponymous men's clothing store in Palm Beach. Subsequently he moved to San Fransisco in 1955 where he became a successful Real Estate broker. In 1964 he moved to Sausalito California where he purchased "the Sausalito Sweet Shop Restaurant". After building it up after about 10 years he purchased the historic Fiedler General Store building next door. His intention was to move his place into a new expanded home. In the early eighties he extensively remodeled the building and added a second floor. Upon relocating the restaurant in its new digs he then changed the name to "Winship Restaurant" in honor of his mother (Winship was her maiden name). Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner for many years and famous for its New England clam chowder (that Bill often made himself). The operation was very popular with locals and tourists alike. In 2011 he sold the restaurant after 48 years and retired.
In his lifetime he traveled extensively - often with his brother who had a very successful travel agency and import business in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Bill owned many fine automobiles and was active in the Rolls Royce Owners Club serving at one time as president of the Northern California chapter. In his lifetime he also loved yachting and owned some lovely boats which were always beautifully maintained.
There will be a small private service at Christ Episcopal Church in Sausalito on Friday January 11 at 2 pm.
Bill is survived by his many wonderful friends including J. Gwynne Wilson, MD and Tom Mahoney.
He enriched the lives of many with his quick wit, infectious smile and boundless generosity. He was known to always be intelligent, fair, thoughtful, gentle and kind. He will be missed by many.
A tribute memorial party is to be held at a future date in the parish hall of Christ Church in Sausalito. Those wishing to attend the party should please email Winshipman@yahoo.com or call 415-754-3044 to obtain the details including the date and time.
Donations may be made to the Marin Audubon Society or the .
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 8, 2013