Charles Ellis Clement, 89, passed away Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Brunswick. He was born on April 27, 1928, in the small town of Smithland, Ky.
As a young man, he went by “Bud,” though his nickname later became Chuck and eventually all who knew him just called him Charlie. He grew up in Kentucky on a small family farm and during summers in high school he worked on a paddlewheel riverboat, The Jason, traveling up and down the Ohio River. Charlie joined the Marines right out of high school, following his older brother Ben, who was killed in action during the Battle of Okinawa in WWII. Charlie went through Marine boot camp on Parris Island and was later stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. After the service, he went on to study accounting and finance at the University of Denver and graduated in 1952. Charlie met Dorotha (Dee) Atteberry on a blind date while living in Denver.
Charlie began a long career in financial management with General Electric Corp. that would take him and his family from Portland, Ore., to Cleveland, Ohio, to Syosset, N.Y., and Cherry Hill, N.J. Along the way, Charlie and Dee raised their three kids, putting them through college and launching each out into the world.
After over 20 years with GE, and a number of years with RCA outside of Pittsburgh, Pa., Charlie took over ownership of the struggling small business Mathews Marble Co. in Bridgeville, Pa. When Charlie bought the business it was located in an antiquated facility and near bankruptcy. After some lean years, Charlie turned the business around and eventually moved it to a new facility with modern equipment. After selling the business and retiring, Charlie began traveling to Florida during winters for the sun and the golf. Charlie was an avid golfer and loved to play.
Charlie greeted everyone with a smile, and immediately made friends with all who crossed his path. His Southern roots and upbringing stayed with him all his life — he was friendly, polite and charming to all. If you ever asked Charlie for advice, his consistent reply was “do the right thing and don’t burn any bridges.” He had a quiet, unassuming disposition; he was easy to be with. He had a knack for becoming the most liked guy in the room, wherever he went. Up until the very end, even when he could hardly speak, his presence still compelled people to light up and greet him with a big “Hello Charlie!” He will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his three children, Jayne Clement of Los Angeles, Calif., Mark Clement and his wife, Sheila of Southlake, Texas, and Kimberly Clement Heist and her husband, Jerry, of Bar Harbor. His four grandchildren Haley Heist of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Riley Heist of Bar Harbor, Caroline Clement and Griffin Clement of Southlake, Texas.
Charlie was predeceased by his parents, Benjamin Harvey Clement and Pearl Clement, and his sisters Mary Young, Lois Clement, Alberta Neathery; and his brothers Harry Clement and Benjamin Clement.
A private memorial service and dinner was held in Bar Harbor Friday, June 30. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the National Aphasia Association (www.aphasia.org). Arrangements are under the direction and care of Brackett Funeral Home, Brunswick.