Carl V. Fitzcharles
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Carl V. Fitzcharles of West Chester Carl V. Fitzcharles, 96, of West Chester, passed away on February 20, 2011 at Pembrooke Nursing Home in West Chester. Born in Bridgeport in 1914, Carl was the son of Effie (nee, Carr) and William L. Fitzcharles, both deceased. He graduated Salutatorian from Brigeport High School in 1933 and graduated from West Chester Teacher's College in 1940. Carl served honorably in the U.S. Army for three and a half years during World War II. As a Lieutenant, he served under the Surgeon General, setting up divisional occupational therapy schools for wounded soldiers and prisoners of war. Carl did his teaching in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District and continued there until his retirement in 1977. He taught geography at the junior high level and eventually taught earth/space sciences at the senior high level. Carl organized a Boy Scout Troop in Unionville in 1940. He established the first high school weather station and archery club. He was also the faculty advisor responsible for the student light and sound stage crew, and often served as Master of Ceremonies at the annual Harvest Queen Pageant. Carl retired after 37 years of teaching at Unionville and as a tribute to him, a tree was planted in his honor at the high school. Carl's lifelong passion for the great outdoors included hunting, fishing and collecting Indian artifacts, which numbered in the thousands. He also collected semi-precious stones which often became jewelry for the family. The artifacts and jewelry have been on display in Pennsylvania and Florida. Carl was a self-taught artist whose paintings were exhibited in Pennsylvania and Florida. His sketches appeared on the cover of Indian Artifacts Magazine along with featured articles. After his retirement in 1981, Carl and his wife of 53 years, Helen (nee Barnshaw), moved to Florida. Carl was predeceased by Helen who passed in 1996 in Florida. He returned to Chester County in 2003, where he continued to enjoy painting, reading, walking and stargazing. He loved spending time with his family and longtime friends, as well as meeting new people and making new friends. He will be missed by all. He is survived by his children, Donna Thompson (Richard) of Downingtown, Carl Fitzcharles (Jill) of Milford, Del., Larry Fitzcharles (Lee) of Buffalo, Wyo., Jack Fitzcharles (Rita) of Quarryville, Linda Neville (Scott) of Pearl River, La. and Jeffrey Fitzcharles of Oldsmar, Fla. He is also survived by eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Relatives and friends are invited to his funeral service 11 a.m. Thursday, February 24, at the Donohue Funeral Home, 43 W. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335, 610-269-3080, where friends may call after 9:30 a.m. Interment, Valley Forge Memorial Gardens, King of Prussia.


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Published in Daily Local News from Feb. 21 to Feb. 22, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
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29 entries
February 15, 2019
Archery Club, weather station, going up to the roof to check rainfall, arrowhead collections, wonderful art. The best teacher ever and a sweet friend.
Chris Barber
Student
October 31, 2011
i just read of mr.fitzcharles's death. i was his student from 1966 - 1970.i loved him dearly. he made earth science so nteresting that we actually looked forward to his class. i was in the archery club, remember fields trips to lenape for arrow heads. to all his family, you had a beautiful dad and i'm sure you are proud of him. a truely great human being.
terrie burke
June 21, 2011
I am in pain to hear about Mr. Fitzcharles passing. I was a student of his before he retired and he was my friend. He did a water color picture of me and I remember looking for arrowheads with him. I had him for archery class, earth and science and light and sound. I helped with the weather station too. He taught my brother and sisters. I visited him when he was in the nursing home about 5 years ago. I told him that he had a tremendous impact on me as an adult. I became an engineer and moved to Chicago but I will always remember him as my most favorite teacher. After my visit, he told me to call him when I reached Chicago to let him know that I was alright he said no matter how late at night. He was a great man, much love to his family. Roger Rayner (Chicago,IL.area)
March 3, 2011
I am so sorry to have just learned of Mr. Fitzcharles' death. What a memorable teacher! I learned so much and admired him a great deal. Diane (Walton) Neyhard
February 24, 2011
Obviously Mr. Fitzcharles touched so many lives. A natural teacher, a kind and generous man. I remember joining Weather Club not so much because I had a great hunger for meteorological knowledge, but because Mr. Fitzcharles would be there. The jokes that made the class groan, the impromptu acts of magic, the wonderful stories that seemed to pop up from nowhere -- there could not have been a more beloved teacher at Unionville High School. Well over 40 years after the fact, the memories are vivid. Sincere condolences to all the family, and in particular my classmate Duke.
Al Wysocki
February 24, 2011
Only 2 days ago, I was sharing memories of Mr. Fitzcharles with a friend. I was lucky to have had him for my teacher at Unionville for both geography in 7th grade and again in my senior year for earth science. I will always remember his classes as the most interesting ones I had. His knowledge was broad and his sense of humor was infectious! There was no one like him and I know he will be missed by his friends and family. My condolences go out to all of you.
Barbara Mayes Pollock
February 24, 2011
I really enjoyed his classes and field trips, one of the good teachers.

From the class of '65
Ed Miller
February 24, 2011
Mr. Fitzcharles truly deserved his legendary status. As a teacher, getting 'off the subject' was his greatest strength. We kids learned far more than just the facts.
Our Boy Scout troop was fortunate to have him as our camp leader for a few years. The evenings' fireside stories held the attention of every last motley one of us. He will be sorely missed.
Kurt Wolter
February 24, 2011
I just heard that Mr. Fitzcharles is gone. I can only smile whenever I think about him. He was such a wonderful teacher. I remember finding gems, and the Weather Club. My deepest sympathy to his family.
Becky (Keefe) Brown
February 24, 2011
Please accept my deepest sympathies.Mr Fitcharles was a wonderful teacher I had him when I was in school back in the day.My thoughts and Prayers are with you all God Bless.
Barbara Leibold
February 24, 2011
Mr. Fitzcharles was a great teacher and a gentlemen. His void cannot be filled. We always looked forward to going to his classes and listening to some of his interesting stories. Our thoughts and prayers go to the family.
Bayard & Gladys Taylor
February 24, 2011
Our family has many pleasant memories of Carl (and Sis). We met Carl and family in the mid-50's when my late husband, Thomas Anderson, began teaching at Unionville. Carl was a warm, talented and hospitable friend; a goldmine of information on so many topics, that there is not enough space to list them all. We considered it a privilege to have known Carl, and I extend my very deepest sympathy to his family.
Gloria (Mrs. Thomas) Anderson
February 23, 2011
We will all miss Fitz, and carry so many wonderful memories of him with us every day. He touched our lives in so many ways. Thank you, dear friend and neighbor and teacher for sharing your life with us.
JoanForssmark Pengilly
February 23, 2011
I knew Mr. Fitzcharles in multiple manners. As a student at UHS (Class of 1964), I knew him as an excellent teacher and mentor. I worked with him in sound and light for the school for 5 years (UHS was grades 6-12). I was a participant in the Weather Club. After graduation, his enthusiasm for natural history helped guide me in my choice of Geology as a major. I knew him as a Scout and later as a Scoutmaster and staff member at Camp Horseshoe. After graduating from college, I started teaching Earth and Space Science in Oxford. Mr. Fitzcharles assisted my development in education by answering questions and providing advice. Additionally let me add that my brother, Bill (deceased), thought Mr. Fitzcharles was the greatest teacher in UHS (Class of 1966). Mr. Fitzcharles, you will be missed and remembered by so many, many students who benefited from your knowledge and advice.

John Atwell Rasmussen '64
Easley, South Carolina
February 23, 2011
Carl was a wonderful friend and neighbor. As a teacher he had a magical quality that made him a superior teacher. I bet after 50 plus years his students can still tell you the name of every world capital, major river and constellation. We will miss you,Carl
Vince and Toni Buckwash
February 23, 2011
I enjoyed his classes. I was amazed by his stories. It was a joy to drive him to our 40th class reunion ('63) in 2003 at Mendenhall Inn. I learned so much during our ride from (Bellingham)West Chester to Mendenhall Inn. He was a blessing in my life!
Barbara Pratt
February 23, 2011
one of the best teachers i ever had. made every class intresting. many of the
things he talked about have come true,
super nice. think about him often. may
he rest in peace
nancy woods
February 22, 2011
Great person, neighbor and teacher.
Tom and Dot (Brown) Herrman
February 22, 2011
What a wonderful teacher. He made everything interesting. I smile everytime I think of him. My sympathy to the entire Fitzcharles family and especially to Donna. You are blessed to have him for so many years. Jerry Tutt - Southlake, Texas
Jerry Tutt
February 22, 2011
Thinking of Mr. Fitzcharles brings a smile to my face...what a wonderful teacher he was...I still collect arrowheads all because of him...My thoughts and prayers are with you all....God Bless
Pamela McErlean
February 22, 2011
Deepest sympathies to the entire Fitzcharles family, especially Donna. Remembering your father fondly. Beckie Williamson Cipolla, Pinellas Park, Florida
February 22, 2011
Kim Foust
February 22, 2011
It was with a heavy heart that I read of Mr. Fitzcharles passing. He was a wonderful person as well as a great teacher and an inspiration to so many students at Unionville. He instilled in me many interests that I still enjoy to this day. My sympathy goes out to his family. He will most certainly be missed by all.
Gwen Gillespie Holcomb
February 22, 2011
My condolences to the Fitzcharles's. Mr. Fitzcharles was an unforgettable teacher at Unionville. He got me interested in the Leni Lenape Native Americans, and Native Americans in general. I taught a unit on them while I was a teacher for 7 years. I forgot it was him who first peaked my interest. He will be missed.
Laurie Brown-Cross
Laurie Cross
February 22, 2011
Remembering Mr Fitzcharles makes me smile. My sympathy to his family. He will certainly be missed.
Peg Thompson
February 22, 2011
Mr. Fitcharles was a great teacher. I remember him well and he was my teacher many years ago. He enjoyed teaching. My condolences to his family. I'm sure he will be well missed. Chip Beane ( Houston area Texas )
February 21, 2011
My condolences to the family of Mr. Fitzcharles. He was an inspiration to me in my life, and a role model to me when I later became a teacher.
Annette Tuzza Higgins
February 21, 2011
My condolences to the family. I remember Carl at Camp Horseshoe displaying his arrowheads and being one of the adult leaders I looked up to, even though I was in a kennett troop at the time (60's and early 70's). He obviously passed on his love and ability to educate to his son Larry, whom one of MY sons had as a teacher. And that son of mine now teaches at Unionville high school, so Carl's touch reached far.
Steve Brun
Tr. 53 B.S.A.
Steve Brun
February 21, 2011
Carl Fitzcharles was the greatest teacher who ever walked the halls of Unionville High School. Sadly, he could not survive in today's restrictive and test-oriented environment. Who else could bring archery equipment to school and teach us to shoot boxes in the air on the soccer field? Who else could let students ascend to the roof of the school and check weather conditions?
I was his "first lieutenant" on the weather station and I have never lost my ability to predict the weather.
Carl was an artist, an outdoorsman and a lover of his family.
We all remember, "Geography is the science that deals with the study of the earth's surface and the way man uses it..... people do what they do mainly because of where they live."
I will always remember and love him.
--Chris Barber
Chris Barber
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