Monday, August 8, 2011


Charlie left Wilmington, NC in the middle of the night on Friday, July 29 and drove through the night so that he could be home by daybreak.  There were shrubs and trees in his yard that needed trimming.  His Facebook post at 6:30AM that morning said "Lots to do!"
Some time around noon, right in the middle of his tree trimming, his heart stopped.  By the time neighbors arrived and began CPR, he had been without oxygen for a while - too long, in fact.  On Sunday evening, with his wife and her sister singing him to sleep, he went to Heaven.
I'm quite sure they were glad to see him.  He spent his whole life pointing folks to Heaven.  With every song he sang, every one he wrote, the message was clear.  He was incredibly gifted, and he gifted all of us with his life, his big hugs, his even bigger laugh, and his love.

We were honored to play and sing with him as part of his music ministry for more than 25 years.  During that time, we raised our children together and took whatever life sent our way.  The turn that life took this past weekend broke our hearts.

 Charlie loved Christmas.  His decorations were up and running on October 1 of every year - with all of us ragging him constantly to no avail.  My daughter called me the day after he died and said "I know how I'm going to honor Charlie.  My tree is going up on October 1."  We put it on Facebook, and now half the town is talking about doing the same thing.  I can't wait to see it.

Last year, just before Christmas, I rushed to finish my own decorations in advance of our annual Christmas Eve party.  Looking around the living room, I heard a quiet inner voice say "Well, your house looks great.  What about your heart?"  Naturally, I picked up the phone and called Charlie to say "I have an idea for a song..."  In just a couple of hours, he wrote it, recorded it and had it posted to YouTube.

This is one of hundreds that he wrote during his short 58 years.  His music will continue pointing people to Heaven for as long as there is someone to listen.

Charlie - for all the memories - for all of our grand ideas and big schemes, for all the times we couldn't get through a church service for the tears, for all the times we couldn't get through a church service because something had us laughing when we shouldn't have been, for all the crazy trips with Jill and the kids, all the meals around the table, all the games of Trivial Pursuit (which I always won, btw), for every Christmas Eve (you never missed a single one in 25 years), and for all the songs we meant to write and record and never did - thank you, dear friend.

You blessed us all with your gifts, and now it's your turn to be blessed.  My guess is that there was a mansion waiting for you - decorated to the nines for Christmas.


  1. Beth - I'm sorry to read here about your friend Charlie. Very sad. Sounds like your music ministry was a huge blessing to many.

  2. Beth....a loss for his family and friends, heaven's gain...but you'll all meet again...
    He's waiting for you...


  3. Great tribute, Beth. The people on St. Simons will probably wonder what has gotten into me in October--but I think the mechanical reindeer is going in the front yard. And I think Charlie T. will be cracking up.