Charles Michel

Charlie died peacefully of heart failure on July 19, 2020. He was born in Putnam, Conn., on Aug. 4, 1927, but reared mostly in New York City, where he graduated from McBurney Prep. His college travels, all paid for under government training programs, included Mount Saint Mary’s College, Cornell University and Syracuse University, where he graduated in 1950 with a B.S. degree in accounting. His work career was spent mostly in financial management positions in such large corporations as RCA, Colgate Palmolive and Fairchild Space and Defense Systems. 

He began active duty during World War II one month before VJ Day and spent 28 months trying to earn his wings as a naval aviator, resigning with the rank of Midshipman during flight training. He ascribed his decision to opt out to his belief that he was suffering from what today is called ADD, a potential fatal flaw in someone charged with piloting high speed aircraft. 

He was predeceased by his loving wife, Helga, and is survived by his daughters, Lisa, Suzanne and Heidi; son-in-law Christian Fokine; and grandsons Daniel, Elias and Wyatt Fokine and Charlie Pitcher. Looking back in later years, he cited his 59-year marriage to a highly dynamic super mom as his life’s greatest achievement. His three daughters, however, feel his noblest accomplishment was the caring, guidance, protection and deep love he showed for them clear through to his very last day.

Always an avid reader, his other favorite pastimes included bridge (he described himself as a journeyman player), crossword puzzles, memoir writing and measuring himself against contestants on “Jeopardy.” Although never much of a joiner, he was a charter member of the Cedar Beach Yacht Club (consisting of three extended families and their small watercraft) and the American Contract Bridge League. Mistakenly registered as a Republican, he consistently voted for Democrats and Liberals, reserving his Republican ballot for likely losers in their primaries. An atheist, his bible was The New York Times.

He arranged to have his body donated to Stony Brook Teaching Hospital and per his wishes there will be no public memorial gathering. He suggested that any donations made on his behalf be directed to North Fork Animal Welfare League, Community Action Southold Town, or any charity of the donor’s choosing.

This is a paid notice.