Posted: 06 Jan 2022 17:50 PM
Charles E. White, 90, passed away peacefully on January 3, 2022 at his home in Woodbury. Everyone loved Charlie. He will always be remembered for his joie de vivre, his infectious smile and his warm laugh.
Charlie was born April 1, 1931 to Charles and Johanna White in New York City. He graduated from Naugatuck High School and Ohio State University. After college, he spent a few years in the military before working for General Electric. He taught English at Center School in Litchfield, then took over his father’s ice cream business in Woodbury, which he ran for over 45 years. He was a beloved figure in Woodbury and people knew his store as “Charlie’s”. He has been perfecting his ice cream recipe for many years with many alumni who come to test the taste and give him advice. Even though he liked to create new flavors and name them, his favorite was always vanilla. In 1969 Charlie and his new wife Wendy opened a second store in Newtown, The Ice Cream Shop, where they also raised their two daughters, Leighan and Susan. Charlie enjoyed working in his stores; he enjoyed interacting with all his customers and was interested in the lives of his employees. He was great with the kids and tried to go out and support his employees by watching some of their sporting events or music concerts.
Charlie had a love for travel in his bachelor years, when The Ice Cream Shop was “Gone Fishin ‘”. He traveled to many places including: Hong Kong, India, Greece, Japan, Congo, Namibia, Nairobi, St Thomas, the Alps, Mexico and South Africa where he met his wife, Wendy Morgan. The two also enjoyed traveling and visited places such as Buenos Aires, St. Moritz, Rio, London, Puerto Rico and, more recently, have crossed the country several times in their campervan to visit their daughter in San Diego. Charlie even had a 16mm camera that he used to document all these trips. Charlie made friends everywhere he went and was even named “Mr. Noordam” on a cruise ship trip through the Panama Canal.
Charlie was an avid swimmer his entire life; he and his pals founded the swim team at Naugatuck High School and the YMCA. He continued to swim for Mike Peppe at Ohio State University, where he made many lifelong friends across the country. They had no money at the time, but they stayed together swimming, traveling and working together and their friendships lasted for over 75 years. He spent his teenage years as a lifeguard at Mt Tom and Hammonasset State Beach. Charlie took part in lifeguard competitions and was particularly fond of swimming and windsurfing at Lake Quassapaug and body surfing at the beach. Just a few years ago, at the age of 85, Charlie participated in a half-mile open water swim at Quassapaug Lake. Besides swimming, Charlie loved to ski. He made many trips to the Alps and was a member of the Mohawk Mountain Ski Patrol for many years. He loved teaching people to ski and reveled in the beauty of the sport.
Music was a lifelong passion for Charlie and he started playing the violin at a young age. He also learned the ukulele and the harmonica while playing with his teammates at Ohio State. Charlie played for many years with the Danbury Symphony Orchestra. He just liked to pick up his instruments, improvise and play by ear. Charlie enjoyed singing barber and yesteryear songs with his brother Ed, cousins ââand family. In his last years, he learned to play the piano on his own. Her love for music was passed on to her daughter and granddaughters who all play stringed instruments. He liked to practice with them and pass on his knowledge of music theory to them.
Out of season, Charlie was tinkering in his workshop. He liked to take things apart and put things back together. He loved Jerry-rig and would never throw things away. He knew they would come in handy someday for such a project as shelving in the ice cream shop, setting up his car to haul ice cream and mixing it, or making stairs. Charlie was an innovator and even sourced all of the materials and built the pasteurization and homogenization system that he used in his ice cream shop. Once in his ice cream shop, with his air conditioners overheating, he got out and sprayed them himself without calling anyone. Even in his later years he loved cane chairs and carving wood. He particularly enjoyed taking care of his wood stove.
Charlie was a very cultured person and studied religion and philosophy. He was an independent thinker; no one could influence him. He never rushed into things; he always thought about it and made his own choice. He was never afraid to do anything and didn’t worry about anything. He could sleep so well because he didn’t care. He liked the simple life and found the joy of just being alive.
Charlie was predeceased by his parents; brother, Ed White; and his cousins, Ed and Robert White and Connie Froelick.
Charlie is survived by his loving wife Wendy; her daughter Leighan and her husband Dean Miller, the little dogs Clover and Daisy; her daughter Susan and her husband Luis Vaz; grandchildren Solange, Johanna and Cristiano; sister-in-law Dale White and sons Geoff and Joel; his brother John White and his wife Ellen and their daughters Sue and Kristin; the former wife of his cousin Ed White, Mary Anne, her husband Howie and children Ed and Suzanne; his cousin Robert White’s wife Sally, his son Tyler and his wife Allison; his cousin Jimmy White and his wife Diane; her cousin Pat Vrindten and her children Mary Pat and Jimmy; and the children of his cousin Connie, Mark and Traci.
Charlie’s family would like to especially thank his caregivers, Margarita and Marta, and the Regional Hospice who were so supportive in his last days. They would also like to say a big thank you for all the love and support they have received from their friends and family. It meant more to them, more than it can ever be expressed in words.
A celebration of Charlie’s life will take place at a later date in the spring.
To leave condolences online and for service updates, please visit munsonloveterefuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Charlie’s memory at Regional Hospice, 30 Milestone Road, Danbury CT 06810.