BANGOR – Charles W. Rich, 96, died quietly on December 25, 2013, after a brief illness. He was born on July 23, 1917, in Fort Fairfield, the youngest of three sons born to Luther R. and Ruby M. (Johnston) Rich.
Charlie a graduate of Fort Fairfield High School, where he was a standout athlete and class president. After graduation, he worked a variety of jobs in his hometown, including police officer and volunteer firefighter. With the outbreak of World War II, Charlie relocated to Hartford, CT, to contribute to the war effort working for Hamilton Standard manufacturing airplane propellers. After returning home to Fort Fairfield, he apprenticed with a local pharmacist and soon met Ruth Smith of East Machias. Charlie and Ruth were married in 1946, then moved to Bangor in 1947 where they have continuously made their home and raised their three children on Maple Street. Charlie worked in Bangor drug stores and in pharmaceutical sales before becoming the pharmacist at Tayor Osteopathic Hospital. After retirement Charlie maintained his hospital connections by volunteering at St. Joseph Hospital for 23 years, where his loving compassionate nature earned him the Mary Angela Service Award in 2007. He was a proud member of Anah Shriners and St. Andrews Lodge #83, A.F. & A.M., of Bangor and active as Lay Leader at First United Methodist Church in Bangor for many years. Charlie had many interests over the years. He enjoyed gardening, painting, playing dartball with the guys from the church, and he was a die-hard Red Sox and Celtics fan. He enjoyed time at camp and grew some of the best potatoes outside of Aroostook County. He loved his family and his dogs deeply. Charlie will be remembered for his kindness, his compassion, his sense of humor and his wonderful contagious smile.
In addition to his parents, Charlie was predeceased by his two brothers, George and Earlon. He is survived by his loving wife, Ruth; and their three adoring children and their families, Cheryl Rich and her dear friend, Cindy Richards, of Durham, Gary Rich and his partner, Heidi Burnham, of Bar Harbor and Karen Rich Coccoluto and her husband, Ralph Coccoluto, of Brunswick; three wonderful grandchildren, Kari (Rich) Ashmont and her husband, Eric, of Scottsdale, AZ, Erin Rich and her husband, Scott, Weisenberg, of Berkeley, CA, and Justin Dufresne, of Freiberg, Germany.
A funeral service will be held 2 p.m., Tuesday, December 31, 2013, at the First United Methodist Church, 703 Essex St., Bangor, with the Dr. Jeffrey Fister officiating. Relative and friends may call from noon until the time of service on Tuesday. The family invites relatives and friends to share conversation and refreshments at the church fellowship hall, following the service. Those who wish to remember Charlie in a special way may make gifts in his memory to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, care of Anah Shrine Center, 586 Main St., Bangor, ME 04401. A service of Brookings-Smith, 133 Center St., Bangor. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.