Charles E. Whitney, of Palm Coast, Florida passed peacefully on Monday, October 26, 2020. Charles was 76. Charles was born on October 12, 1944, in Indianapolis, Indiana, the son of Robert and Lena (Griffin) Whitney.
Charles was a devoted, loving husband to his wife, Elizabeth (Mayer) Whitney. His two children, Dawn Marie Whitney Fregosa and William Robert Whitney were his life and his legacy. His grandchildren, Laurel Rain Vilencia, Karolyn Elizabeth Whitney, and Richard Charles Anthony Fregosa III (Tres’) were Papa’s pride—always and forever.
Charles was a United States Air Force veteran, serving his beloved country as a true patriot from 1964-1968. He served in Southeast Asia with the 1st Mob from 1966-1968 with the motto “First in, last out”, ultimately causing his disabilities due to chemical exposure during his tour of duty in Vietnam.
Charles was a field engineer for IBM at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, installing IBM computers and Purdue’s computer laboratories until 1972. Chuck also served IBM at Fairfield Manufacturing in Lafayette, when in 1972 he left IBM to join the Fairfield Manufacturing maintenance team. Chuck had a growing family and had the vision to be a part of a company where he made life-long friends in a community offering the best for himself and his family. In 1983 Charles retired from Fairfield to become the first Maintenance Supervisor of the new Caterpillar Large Engine Plant in Lafayette, Indiana. After continuing his education with a mechanical and electrical engineering degree, Charles retired from Caterpillar’s Large Engine Plant in 2004, as a Senior Design Engineer. Chuck was a brilliant engineer and a precise mathematician.
Charles was instrumental in the founding of the Tippecanoe Soccer Association for boys and girls in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. He was a volunteer with Sagamore Boy Scouts, Sycamore Girl Scout Council, Sycamore Girl Scout Camp, caregiver for his mother, Lena and his mother-in-law, Margaret (Farro) Mayer, golfer, hunter, pool player, swimmer, boater, chess, cribbage and card playing enthusiast, Lafayette Catholic School supporter, devoted friend to his Indianapolis childhood friends, Dayton Flyer parent, Purdue sports and Indianapolis Colts fan. Charles was a member of the American Legion for 47 years, a member of the VFW, and of the Vietnam Veterans of America. Chuck always was joking, and playing pranks on his friends and loved ones. Chuck loved to travel for his employer, with his family and friends, always making the trip an adventure.
Liz’s mother, Margaret, lived with Chuck and Liz. They enjoyed the warmth and sunshine of Florida, family, new and old friends, the beagles, golf, the beach, shelling, and absorbing the love of family in their Palm Coast home.
Charles, always with a beagle at his side, is survived by his wife, Liz, of 52 years; daughter Dawn Marie Whitney Fregosa, son-in-law, Richard A. Fregosa Jr., grandson, Richard Charles Anthony Fregosa III, granddaughter, Laurel Rain Vilencia; son, William Robert Whitney, granddaughter, Karolyn Elizabeth Whitney, sister-in-law, Judy (Green) Whitney, Nephew Michael Whitney and sons, Niece Laura (Whitney) Beal and sons, Nieces Diana Fugate (Jay) and her sister, Angela and family. Charles was the “Whitney branch” of the 46 Mayer family survivors who dearly love their “Indianapolis” friend, brother, uncle and great uncle, Chuck. Also surviving are three godchildren: Benjamin Rushing, Kaytlan (Crow) Ruben, Andrew Grupe; and many lifelong friendships throughout Indiana, Illinois, Florida, and California.
Charles was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Lena, his older brothers Robert and Merle. His dear friend and father-in-law, Louis J. Mayer Sr. and mother-in-law, Margaret Mayer, sister-in-law Margaret Mary Hoff, dear friend and brother-in-law Ronald Kramer, nephews: Jacob Mayer, Ethan and Zachary Hoff, Carter Givens, Gabriel Rushing and, goddaughter, Abigail Crow.
As a disabled Vietnam veteran, Charles lived at the Clyde E. Lassen Florida VA Nursing Home in St. Augustine, Florida since August 2015, where Liz spent five to six days a week with “her man”.
A celebration of Charles’ life will be held at 3 p.m., Wednesday, December 30th at Lohman Funeral Home at 220 Palm Coast Parkway SW, Palm Coast, Florida 32137. Inurnment will be in Jacksonville National Cemetery on February 15, 2021. Arrangements are under the direction and care of Lohman Funeral Home, Palm Coast, Florida (386)449-1100.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a monetary donation in Charles’ honor to Community Hospice at 200 Health Care Blvd., St. Augustine, Florida; Lafayette Catholic Schools, Gateway Girl Scout Council, Jacksonville, Florida; American Legion Post 115 – Palm Coast, Florida, Vietnam Veterans of America, a local Humane Society, or a charity of your choice. If you have photos or memories you’d like to share with the family, we ask that you submit them to be included in our digital memorial of this great man’s life at www.CharlesEWhitney.com