CHARLES FRANCIS McNALLY
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 www.heathfuneralchapel.com
Published by The Ledger from Nov. 29 to Nov. 30, 2020.