Charles Carpenter Tillinghast III
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1936 - 2015
Charles Carpenter Tillinghast III, 78, passed away November 5, 2015 in Bellevue, ID of natural causes. The son of the late Charles C. and Lisette Micoleau Tillinghast, Charlie was born in New York City, on Nov. 16, 1936 and raised in Bronxville, NY. He attended the Horace Mann School in New York City, where his grandfather was headmaster, from which he graduated in 1954. Charlie earned a mechanical engineering degree from Lehigh University in 1958, where he was Student Body President.

After college, Charlie served in the US Army infantry, eventually reaching the rank of captain in the Army Reserves; and worked for the Lehigh University development office in Bethlehem, PA. Later, he attended the Harvard Business School, graduating with an MBA in 1963.

Charlie moved to Boise, ID in 1963, where he began a 10-year career with the Boise Cascade Corporation. Appointed Vice President in 1967 at age 30, Charlie launched the office products division and oversaw a number of other divisions at a time of the corporation's rapid growth. He was also a co-owner of Robinson Bar Ranch, then a guest ranch located near Sunbeam, ID.

In 1973, Charlie led Boise Cascade's divestiture of CRM, based in Del Mar, CA, but chose to remain as president of the company, which published textbooks, educational films, and magazines, including Psychology Today.

CRM started Charlie's career in the publishing industry, serving under CRM's new owner, Ziff Davis; founding his own children's book publishing company, Oak Tree Publications in 1975; and starting Advanced Marketing Services (AMS) in 1982, each based in San Diego. With two co-founders, Charlie grew AMS from a self-funded start-up to the nation's 4th largest book distributor and a high volume publisher of specialty and coffee table books. Charlie resided in La Jolla, CA for 32 years where he served on the library board of the University of California – San Diego (UCSD).

Charlie retired from executive management duties at AMS in 1996 and returned to Idaho, where he had a home in Sun Valley. In retirement, Charlie was active in the alumni associations of his alma maters, including Partners of '63, a fund created with business school classmates in conjunction with the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Harvard Business School to improve the management of education. Charlie also volunteered at St. Luke's Wood River Hospital, enjoyed raising Golden Retrievers, and was a member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Ketchum, ID.

Charlie is survived by his wife of 41 years, Cynthia Branch Tillinghast; three children from a previous marriage -- a daughter, Avery D. Tillinghast of Martinez, CA; two sons, Charles W. Tillinghast (Camille) of Woodinville, WA and David C. Tillinghast of Butte, MT; a step-son, Scott B. Davidson (Terri) of Lafayette, CO; three sisters, Elizabeth Nadeau, Jane Roberts and Anne Tillinghast, all of Little Compton, RI; an uncle, David R. Tillinghast of New York City; and 8 grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, Mrs. Tillinghast requests that donations be made to the American Diabetes Association.

Services pending.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in New York Times from Nov. 9 to Nov. 10, 2015.
Memories & Condolences
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27 entries
November 4, 2020
Charlie will always be remembered for his intuitive nature and incredible intelligence both professionally and personally. Truly an honor to have worked with him.
Lynn Dawson
July 31, 2016
Dear Cindy, Charlie, David, Avery, Scott and family

Kind, smart, and giving a kid a sense of possibility and responsibility are just some of the many memories I have of your husband, dad, step-Dad.
How fortunate we are to have them as our longtime family friends and neightbors in la Jolla for all these years since the very early 70s.
So many memories from Fourth of July parties at windansea beach, mammoth trips, thanksgivings in the Pacific Northwest Skamania lodge to trips to them coming to my bishops volleyball games and being there for us when my brother Scott died. I could always hear the laughter coming from downstairs as they and my parents so enjoyed a visit pre going out to dinner, one of so many.
And how CHARLES and Cindy gave me a job to take care of Shadow, Honeybear, and Cinammon (and cat) when they would go away I got older even house sitting. Charles took time to talk to me about Brown and Harvard as I explored colleges. Their gift of the wonderful informative coffee table book Africa when I graduated and got a Watson to go to Africa was thoughtful and a vote of confidence I could do it. He was supportive and had a way of giving a kid a sense of being important and well of not just being a kid, but a capable thinker with possibility and capablities.

My parents felt so lucky to have them as neighbors and dear friends.
We did too.. We always knew we could call on them and indeed I did when I set the marshmallows on fire in the toaster oven when the folks were out. Always kind and there for us.

I always said if only one day I could be as lucky as my folks to have a neighbor who became a best friend. I know my parents miss him as do we all. Thanks so much CHARLES and to your family for sharing you with the world. I imagine your legacy, the gifts of values (so fitting you published the value tales, a favorite childhood series) and friendship , live on in these loves u have touched.

I write this from sun valley today and been thinking of u all. Cindy will reach out soon when back in seattle area
Heartfelt condolences to u all
Nohl Martin
February 15, 2016
I have such nice memories of Charlie. The personal tone he set at AMS was quite special and really typified many things that most of us appreciate about our industry. Flying out from Philadelphia twice a year it was always so darn exciting to walk into the building and feel the strong and creative culture Charlie had created. Working with his amazing team was a collaboration, not at all a sales call, and it was fun!

Many of us on the publishing side experienced these meetings as "idea" meetings where new projects were conceived and created right there sitting at a the table. It takes a very special culture and a great leader to want to make that happen.

My favorite memories were the dinners we had. London, BEA, Frankfurt. These were some special evenings that I will always remember fondly.

Charlie it was an honor to know you.

My best wishes to Cindy and your family.

Buz Teacher
Buz Teacher
January 5, 2016
The publishing industry in the last 25 years has been materially affected by Charlie and his business acumen, insights and publishing vision. Charlie was a visionary leader and founder of Advanced Marketing Services in the USA in 1982 (later purchased by Baker and Taylor and again by Readerlink in 2015). This book distribution, publishing and product development company has been a game changer in the global marketplace. It has global buying power, it uses proprietary software developed by Charlie and his colleagues to forecast/replenish and model what publishers should print of bestsellers for national accounts.Its product development team is internationally respected and works closely with key retailers innovating products for the marketplace. Its distribution teams and their "just-in-time" distribution for major retail accounts in USA, Canada, England, Australia and Mexico are best in class. Charlie innovated numerous improvements in how to go to market with interesting and great products and taught his teams financial discipline. As a Publisher, Charlie inspired a core team that still works in the business and carries on his legacy under the imprints of Thunder Bay, Silver Dolphin and Portable Press. Thousands of people over the last 30 years- in the publishing and transportation industries have their jobs due to this man. Charlie created businesses many people benefit from. We will all miss him, especially our special talks- keeping in touch with key staff and sharing our latest accomplishments. We all respected and loved this man. We will continue to teach Charlie's lessons to our newer team members. Thank you Charlie for being you. You are now our Guardian Angel. Sydney and the San Diego and Indianapolis team.
Sydney Stanley
November 18, 2015
Charlie was a great leader and a great man. Condolences and best regards to the Tillinghast family.
Brad Nolte
November 13, 2015
Charlie was a fair, kind, smart and wonderful man. He gave me SO much opportunity at AMS, where I worked with him (and Cindy directly :-) for 10 years. I'll never forget him for that, and his strong leadership. Warm wishes to Cindy (hug).
James Penfield
November 13, 2015
The passing of a legend?... I think not!
Early on in my career with AMS I learned that one did not try to follow in Charlie's footsteps... you were expected to walk beside him as a partner. From this I came to know that while there were three founding partners (AMS), virtually all associates were treated as partners and expected to perform accordingly. I firmly believe this culture was Charlie in action and as a result I have endeavored to treat others 'as partners' in my life. Thank you Charlie for the opportunities given and the lessons provided. The 'legend' lives on... in all of us fortunate to have known you.
Thom Leettola
November 13, 2015
Charlie to me was one of the great visionaries, and true leaders in the publishing industry during my career. He changed our world. It was my honor to work with and for him. He was a true gentleman, which is the highest compliment that I could pay to any man. He will be missed.
Rich Freese
November 13, 2015
Charlie was a kind and generous leader while I was at AMS. He impacted my career and holds a special place in my memories. My sincere sympathies are with Cindy and the family at this time of loss. My hope is that you can find reassurances in the loving memories of Charlie and kindness of friends to help you through this difficult time. Blessings and prayers to the family.
Debbie Felt
November 13, 2015
Dear Cindy and friends of Charlie,

Charlie was one of the most thoughtful, insightful, and generous people I have met. It was a privilege to serve on the Board of Advanced Marketing Services for years and be able to share some of his incredible knowledge and expertise. I will always be thankful to Charlie for teaching me how to be strong with kindness.

Lynn Sembler Dawson
November 12, 2015
I have very fond memories of Charlie... and his whole crew that he & partners built at AMS ~ his strength, kindness and guidelines helped me to be the buyer I'm today!
Sending my condolences to Cindy and Charles'family
Pennie Clark Ianniciello
November 12, 2015
Hi Cindy and Family,
My condolences to all of you for your loss.
Charlie will be missed by all who knew and worked with him. Charlie and I worked together for more than 20 years, he was my friend and mentor. He was always the calm voice of reason in the room, no matter what the situation. I will miss him greatly.
Loren Paulsen
Loren Paulsen
November 11, 2015
As a Horace Mann graduate in the mid 1950s I rarely crossed paths with Charlie but I remember his grandfather very well. He was the most regal man I have met. Our sympathy to Charie's family
Richard Stuart
November 11, 2015
My wife Cynthia Lasky, and myself send our deepest condolences to you Cindy, and your family.

Jack St.Mary and Cynthia Lasky
Jack St.Mary
November 10, 2015
My Partner and Friend Charlie
Loren Paulsen
November 10, 2015
Part of the audience at Charlie's retirement celebration
Loren Paulsen
November 10, 2015
Cindy & Charlie at 2004 10 Year Dinner
Loren Paulsen
November 10, 2015
Charlie & Cindy at 2003 10 Year Dinner
Loren Paulsen
November 10, 2015
What a sad day. Such fond memories of meeting Cindy and Charlie for the first time in 1983 at the PACE corporate offices in Denver. Then in 1996 I was blessed to have been offered a job to work for them in San Diego. Charlie's life accomplishments are truly remarkable. My heart goes out to Cindy and his family.

With fond memories,
Lori Adami
November 10, 2015
Charlie's retirement from AMS
Loren Paulsen
November 10, 2015
So sorry for your loss, Cindy, he was a great man. Great person to know.
Sandra Coker
November 10, 2015
Charlie and Cindy were always very supportive and a lot of fun to work with. I have very fond memories from those days.
Mike Epps
November 10, 2015
JoAnn and Ken Padgett wish to express their deepest condolences to Cindy and the rest of the family. We always loved Charlie and are very grateful for all that the Tillinghasts have done for us over the years.
Ken & JoAnn Padgett
November 10, 2015
He always treated myself and the book business with the utmost respect, congenial spirit, and partnership. I cherish our meetings and off hour gatherings. Charlie made you feel better and that you mattered. He was the definition of a gentleman and a delight to be around.

Jack St MaryBDD / Random House
Jack St Mary
November 10, 2015
Charlie and Family,
Sorry to hear of the loss of your Father. You are in our thoughts.
Jim Rose
November 10, 2015
As a former AMS employee of 17 years, Charlie's leadership was solid and the company thrived when he was at the helm. He was a kind man. Kind wishes for the family
Philip Bartlett
November 9, 2015
My condolences for your loss. May the memories cherished through the years bring you comfort. (James 4 :8)
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