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Charles E. White



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Charles E. White, 90, the best husband and father anyone could ask for, passed away peacefully on January 3, 2022, at his home in Woodbury. Everyone loved Charlie. He will always be remembered for his zest for life, his infectious smile, and hearty laugh.

Charlie was born April 1, 1931, to Charles and Johanna White in New York City. He graduated from Naugatuck High School and The Ohio State University. After college he spent a few years in the army before working for General Electric. He taught English at the Center School in Litchfield and 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 perfected his ice cream recipe over many years with lots of old timers coming in to taste test and giving him tips. Even though he enjoyed creating new flavors and naming them, his favorite still remained 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 loved working in his stores; he loved interacting with all of his customers and took an interest in the lives of his employees. He was great with kids and would try and get out and support his employees by watching some of their athletic events or music concerts.

Charlie had a love for travel in his single years, when The Ice Cream Shop was “Gone Fishin’.” He traveled to many places including: Hong Kong, India, Greece, Japan, The Congo, Namibia, Nairobi, St Thomas, the Alps, cross country to Mexico and South Africa where he met his wife, Wendy Morgan. The two of them also enjoyed traveling and visited such places as Buenos Aires, St Moritz, Rio, London, Puerto Rico, and most recently driving across country many times in their camper van to visit their daughter in San Diego. Charlie even had a 16mm movie camera that he used to document all of this trips. Charlie made friends wherever 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 buddies started the swim team at Naugatuck High School and the YMCA. He went on to swim for Mike Peppe at The Ohio State University, where he made many lifelong friends from all over the country. They didn’t have any money at that time, but they stuck together swimming, traveling, and working together and their friendships lasted over 75 years. He spent his teenage years as a lifeguard at Mt Tom and Hammonasset State Beach. Charlie competed in Masters Swimming Competitions and especially loved to swim and windsurf at Lake Quassapaug and body surf at the beach. Just a few years ago, at the age of 85, Charlie competed in a half mile open water swim at Lake Quassapaug. In addition to swimming, Charlie loved to ski. He took many trips to the Alps and was a member of the Ski Patrol at Mohawk Mountain for many years. He loved to teach people to ski and took joy in the beauty of the sport.

Music was a lifetime passion of Charlie’s and he started playing the violin at a young age. He also picked up the ukulele and harmonica while jamming with his teammates at Ohio State. Charlie played many years with the Danbury Symphony Orchestra. He loved to just pick up his instruments, improvise, and play by ear. Charlie loved to sing barbershop and old time songs with his brother Ed, cousins, and family. In his later years he taught himself to play the piano. His love for music was passed down to his daughter and granddaughters who all play string instruments. He loved practicing with them and passing on his knowledge of music theory.

In the off season, Charlie could be found tinkering in his workshop. He loved to take things apart and put them back together. He loved to Jerry-rig and would never throw things away. He knew that they would come in handy one day for a project such as shelves in the ice cream shop, setting up his car to transport ice cream and mix, or make stairs. Charlie was an innovator and even sourced all the materials and built the pasteurizing and homogenizing system he used in his Ice Cream Shop. One time in his Ice Cream Shop when his air conditioners were overheating, he went outside and hosed them down himself without calling someone. He even in his later years enjoyed caning chairs and wood whittling. He especially enjoyed tending to his wood stove.

Charlie was a very well read person, and studied religion and philosophy. He was an independent thinker; no one could influence him. He never rushed into things; he always thought it out and made his own choice. He was never afraid to do anything and never worried about anything. He could sleep so well because he didn’t worry. He loved the simple life and found joy in just being alive.

Charlie was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Ed White; and his cousins, Ed and Robert White and Connie Froelick.

Charlie is survived by his loving wife Wendy; daughter Leighan and husband Dean Miller, granddogs Clover and Daisy; daughter Susan and husband Luis Vaz; grandchildren Solange, Johanna, and Cristiano; sister-in-law Dale White and her sons Geoff and Joel; his brother John White and his wife Ellen and daughters Sue and Kristin; his cousin Ed White’s former wife Mary Anne, her husband Howie and her children Ed and Suzanne; his cousin Robert White’s wife Sally, her son Tyler and his wife Allison; his cousin Jimmy White and his wife Diane; his cousin Pat Vrindten and her children Mary Pat and Jimmy; and his cousin Connie’s children Mark and Traci.

Charlie’s family would like to extend a special thanks to his caregivers, Margarita and Marta, and for Regional Hospice who were a big support in his final days. They would also like to say a big thank you for all the love and support that they have received from friends and family. This has meant more to them, more than can ever be expressed in words.

A celebration of Charlie’s life will be held at a later date in the spring.

To leave an online condolence and for service updates, please visit munsonloveterefuneralhome.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Charlie’s memory to Regional Hospice, 30 Milestone Road, Danbury CT 06810.

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