1925 - 2020
Heath Funeral Chapel & Crematory
328 South Ingraham Avenue
Lakeland, FL
February 18, 1925 - November 25, 2020

LAKELAND - Our family is sad to announce the passing of our father, Charles McNally. He was the oldest living McNally, ever, and fortunately lived a wonderful life.
Born in Hempstead, New York, Charles was one of seven boys. His was a happy youth playing baseball with his brothers in an empty lot. It was during one of those games when he was 13 that he met our mother, Betty Louise Geiger when she was 11. To say it was love at first sight is an understatement. Nine years later they were married, a marriage that lasted 74 years.
At seventeen Charles joined the Navy to serve in World War II; he trained as a radio technician. He eventually shipped out on a Landing Craft Support ship (LCS 8) and was deployed to the Philippines where he earned two silver stars for his involvement in two major battles. He was horrified by the war and never spoke about it until he was in his 90's when we visited Normandy and he was celebrated for his service in the Pacific theater. He was a very proud American.
Charles attended Hofstra University on the GI bill and received his master's degree in education at Columbia University. His avocation was teaching math. He loved every minute of the time he spent in the classroom. He eventually become an administrator at Manhasset High School but missed the positive interaction he had with so many students, many of whom continued to stay in touch for years. He was equally admired and beloved by his colleagues at Manhasset.
Our father instilled in us a love of travel. We can still hear him say, 'Observe girls, observe!' on our many trips both national and international. He was also a pioneer conservationist long before conservation became popular, railing against our use of too many paper towels. He was erudite, reading 'Scientific American' for pleasure. Well into his 90's he read whatever he could get his hands on as long as it was non-fiction. For every occasion he wrote poems to us and our mother would illustrate them. They were a fabulous duo.
Charles was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 74 years, Betty, his mother, Ada Remmert McNally, his father, Ernest J. McNally and five of his brothers. His survivors include his daughters Karen McNally Kovach (Gap), Nancy Wagner, and Susan Brakeley (Hap) as well as seven grandchildren, nine (soon to be ten) great-grandchildren and a younger brother, William R. McNally (Jeanie).
We were so blessed to have a father that loved our family so deeply. We hope that he is playing golf with his brothers and enjoying a Manhattan with mom on the 19th hole!
In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation to Good Shepherd Hospice in Lakeland.
Condolences may be sent to the family at

Published by The Ledger from Nov. 29 to Nov. 30, 2020.
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12 Entries
Jane Shapiro
December 14, 2020
Jane Riley
December 12, 2020
So sad to hear. Fond memories of a kind and involved principal at MHS. A man we all looked up to. Amazing to learn his history. Wishing all who loved him Peace.
Ann Morris Barrett
December 10, 2020
All flags in the Manhasset School District will be flown at half-staff, tomorrow, December 11th in his honor. (per the instruction of the current MHS principal.)
Suzanne Mills
December 10, 2020
He was a wonderful person and teacher. I struggled with math and confess I didn't particularly like it until I had Mr. McNally for geometry. Not only did he make it fun, he gave me the tools to learn by teaching. If I didn't understand a problem, he had me explain it to another student, and suddenly it made sense. By teaching I was taught. He was fabulous.
Linda Bailey Salisbury
December 10, 2020
Mr. McNally was a fine person. I was a thorn in his side during my senior year of high school, his last year before retiring as principal of MHS. The last thing he must have wanted was to deal with me yet he did so with kindness and empathy. Even back then, I appreciated it, recognized what a good soul he was and genuinely liked him. It's very nice to hear he lived a long, fulfilling life.
Robert Reimann
December 10, 2020
Ruth Harris
December 9, 2020
I remember Mr. McNally very fondly from Manhasset High School. He was the principal during my years there. (I graduated in 1982.) He always went out of his way to say hello to me or offer me words of happiness and encouragement. He was a very, very kind man, and I will say a prayer that his soul makes it to his next journey.
Suzanne O'Leary Mills
December 9, 2020
Nothing but fond memories of my time in high school with Mr. McNally at the helm of MHS. He was a great guy.
Condolences to all his family.
Theresa Nolan Hauser
December 9, 2020
He was the best teacher I ever had. Gave me a well earned A in his class. Wonderful memories,
Pamela Sherwood Whatley
December 9, 2020
great math teacher, plain geometry and trigonometrics he taught me. Well respected by all. May he rest in peace that he deserved .
carl buhr
December 9, 2020
My love and prayers to you and your sisters, because of your sweet parents. May The Lord bring you His peace, and give you His hope!
Michael McCurdy
November 30, 2020
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