- 76 years old
- Date of birth: Jan 31, 1938
- Place of birth:
Gowanda, New York, United States
- Date of passing: May 21, 2014
|Let the memory of Charlie be with us forever, please write your fond memories of him here for his family, friends and colleagues|
Updated - May 31st - Final Arrangements confirmed
Dear Family and Friends,
Our Father, and loving Husband to our Mother Ellie, passed away suddenly on May 21st while traveling through Dallas/Fort Worth airport. He and our Mother were traveling together at the time. Scott, Greg and her Sister Fran all arrived in Dallas within hours on the 21st. With heavy hearts we all returned to Boca Raton a few days later to continue with all the arrangements. He will be particularly missed by his Grandchildren Charlie III, Taylor, Kimberly, Kelsey, Stephanie and Lindsay.
We want to thank everyone for the outpouring of heartfelt support. It has been tremendous and coming from all corners of the globe. Charlie was an international business man who rose to prominence quickly in the beverage industry where he led several companies throughout his long career. His business relationships were almost always friendships and like his friendships, they were deep, sincere and long lasting.
We are having two Memorial Celebrations that will be open to all who knew our father. We know there will be tears, although we want to hear more of the laughter and joy he spread to so many people throughout his life.
The first Memorial Celebration will be in Boca Raton, FL on the 21st of June. The next will be in his beloved hometown of Gowanda, NY on the 2nd of August. Please see details below.
We have created this website to share with Charlie’s family and friends to honor the remarkable life of a great man. Please feel free to post comments, stories or photos. If Charlie touched your life, we hope you will share that so that his Grandchildren will forever know the full measure of this legendary man.
With deepest thanks,
Scott and Greg
Memorial Celebration - Boca Raton
Saturday, June 21st at 3pm
Via Mizner Golf & Country Club
6200 Boca Del Mar Drive
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Memorial Celebration - Gowanda, NY
Saturday, August 2
Schnindler Funeral Home
44 Center St, Gowanda, NY 14070
12:00pm - Visitation
2:00pm - Memorial Celebration
3:00pm - Reception at the Moose Lodge
201 Aldrich Street
Gowanda, NY 14070
Schindler Funeral Home:
In lieu of sending flowers or any other gifts, we would like to request you honor Charlie’s memory with a donation in his name to any, or all, of the following animal rescues. This was his specific desire. Each of these were known personally by Charlie and saving animals was his only indulgence in life. They are small independent charities run by individuals whom Charlie admired and respected.
God Bless you all:
9169 SW 16th Road E.
Boca Raton, FL 33428
Attn: Margaret DeSantis
Tax ID 80-0349570
10393 Canoe Brook
Boca Raton, FL 33498
Attn: Bobbi Miller
Tax ID 20-1174559
A Better Life Rescue
15757 Pines Blvd #309
Pembroke Pines, FL 33029
Attn: Cira Leslie
Tax ID 27-3257599
"It has been two years; however, I still sit here crying my eyes out and missing you so much. I have had to change things in my life. Never how much I loved you, You were my soulmate I will always believe that we were destined to be together.Rest in Peace.
All my love, "Me""
"We miss you still, Chuck!"
"Dearest Ellie, We remember the gift of Chuck's love and as we wrote two years ago," We are so saddened not to be able to give Chuck the bear hug in return for his ever-loving nature; that nature as a catalyst, brought us back together and thanks to a snowstorm showered us with my dear Ellie's and ever-bubbling Fran's love for an extended week to share" and to renew! Need to see you soon - God-willing. Always remembering with all our love, "per cent'anni!" Don and Marie""
"Miss you dear friend. We're taking good care of your beloved Ellie...Judi and your Boca friends"
"It's been just over a year since his passing but I still can't believe he's gone. There are so many times I start crying for no reason. My heart is so heavy and I keep wondering what I could have done to help him that day. I still feel so helpless. My family has been so wonderful and I don't know how I would have coped without them. I love you all.
Goodbye my love, "Me""
"Ellie and Family,
It is hard to believe that a year has gone by since Charli passed.I understand how difficult it is to loose a very good husband and father and grandfather.Im so grateful for knowing both of you all these years and for what you have done for me and others.I wish that you Ellie will be strong and go on with life and enjoy your sons and their families and all of your friends.Forever your friend and your family Ewa"
"Your wonderful friends are a true reflection of what a kind and loving man you are. "Are" because you live in my heart and will always for the gentle giant you are. The kindness of your friends and family showed by so many that donated to the rescue, which you were so devoted on saving those 4 legged furry friends. I was touched by your and Ellie's commitment to the animals that were so less fortunate but made a big difference in their lives and continue to. We will miss you and still think of you as being with us in your radiant spirit. You left your footprint in each of our lives and for that we are so grateful.
"I always remember you, my good friend"
"To Ellie & Family. Thinking of you today on Charlie's first anniversary. We'll raise a glass here tonight for Charlie on the other side of the pond. He was one special man and nothing ever bothered him. It was always a pleasure to meet him or hear his voice on the phone.
You can be proud of him.
Love always...Jonathan & Nicola Duffy, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland"
"Today is the 1 year anniversary of Charlie's passing. Edy Tobias and I will be with Ellie tonite sharing love...and stories...and lifting a glass to say how much we miss our dear friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all family and friends who are missing him too. Judi and Edy"
"I haven't been able to write anything until now; however, through my tears I'm trying to express how much I miss my husband and best friend of over 53 years. He was my everything and the void he left is almost unbearable. Charlie my love for you grew stronger every day; it still does. I say so long with a heavy heart. All my love forever, "Me""
"Remembering Chuck on his birthday which is mine too Such good times we had. Dave & Marilyn Reid"
"My uncle Charlie found joy in simple things, and that is what I remember him for the most. One very special memory I have is of him going to great lengths to keep a gas lamp going in front of his house in Collins. It wasn't hard to fix on the inside, but the fixture was hard to find. He eventually found one though, a special one, one in the shape of a Maple leaf. He was so proud of that fixture. It was a simple but unique touch, something to remind me now of how special he was and how simple things filled his life and brought him joy. He enjoyed his family, loved his career and all the friends he made along the way, and his loss has left a great void. He will be greatly and sadly missed by everyone who knew him in the Gowanda area."
"My heart sank the day I got the news, and it is breaking now. I left AllState Promotions/Sidney Frank Importing Co in 1999. Charlie and I remained such good friends long after I left. My heart goes to Ellie and his family. What a huge loss, but alot of great memories. He was such a kind good person. I always looked forward to our conversations and his Christmas card every year. May you rest in peace my dear sweet friend. You were truly an angel!"
"With heartfelt sympathy to Charlie's love ones. I always looked forward to our conversations at National Sales Meetings. Always made it a point to sit with Charlie at least once for a lunch or breakfast to just shoot the breeze. A true Gentleman I will miss our conversations.
"Who was Charlie Sipple to me? As I look through pictures and read the stories and tributes it is clear to me that he was loved and respected in his professional and personal life. The Charlie Sipple I knew was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, Uncle and friend. He was a man who truly loved his family, who lived life to the fullest and was a loyal and true friend. He also loved the animals... Any pet that entered his home moved into what I called "Sipple Nirvana". Charlie Sipple was a kind, caring, giving and thoughtful man who never asked for anything in return. So who was this man to me... He was known to me as Uncle Chuck. Words can't express how much I will miss you. Rest In Peace dear sweet Uncle.
I Love You,
Your Niece Annette"
We are all missing your smiling presence at our bi-weekly dinners at the Club, but for me the most poignant thing these days is that it really doesn't seem right when I open my email and there are no witty responses, complete with cartoon characters and silly emoticons from you.....
"So long, it's been good to know you dear friend....""
"Ellie and family,
My deepest sympathies go out to you and your family.You and Charlie have been very important to me over the twenty five years we've known each other..Charlie was always a very kind,gentle and generous individual with a heart of gold.He will be sadly missed by not only me but the many people he touched throughout his life.His memory will live on in the hearts of those he touched.Love Ewa and Janusz"
"I was talking with charlie a few days before he passed, he was telling me all about meeting George clooney at one of his company meetings.He was the kind of guy that lived life to the fullest. I was always amazed at all the travel he did and it did not bother him in the least. He was always positive and upbeat. I will Miss him and will be there for ellie and the dogs whenever she needs anything.
"we will miss our buddy and classmate.Chuck was a good man."
"Grampa Charlie has been a huge part of my life, but it's only now that he's gone that I realize how big a hole his absence leaves. So many memories of him have been coming to mind recently - some of my favorites include visiting him, Grama and Maxx in Barrington and making those massive bonfires...his innumerable idiosyncrasies ("horsefly!" and his birthday jokes stand out most)... and having him there for my gradation from Dartmouth. I wish I had spent more time with him and don't know what it'll be like without I him - he was a true gentleman and deeply committed to the people (and animals!) around him. I will miss him deeply and do my best to live on his legacy. Rest in peace, Grampa."
"During 2007-2010 I worked very closely with Mr. Charlie Sipple in the Cayman market. I thought I was passionate about my product Tortuga Rum Cake, well…… let me say that Charlie was so passionate about Jagermeister.......that if you miss spelled it, he made sure you never did it again. He was patient, kind and a man with great integrity. He always believed in Tortuga Rum Company as his Cayman Distributor. He will be missed. I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to the family."
"A real gentleman will be missed by many .Charlie and Ellie attended my mother Tatiana Hamaty’ funeral in south Miami 2011 she was 94 our family and I appreciated their attendance. I met this gentleman by phone and fax then finally met at duty-free shows Orlando .transitioned to cell phones and e mails and Charlie’s visits to the CAYMAN islands he loved it here . Charlie was not only a business associate but a personal friend for many years. After appointing my company Tortuga rum co ltd as distributors for Sidney Frank products my parting comment was Charlie “may the hinges of our business relationship never rust” . He never forgot that statement and reminded me on many occasions. When family and friends of Charlie departs the cemetery you can be assured his name and character that was not buried with him will continue to shine forever. GOD BLESS RIP MY FRIEND . ROBBIE & CARLENE HAMATY"
"“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you.”
― A.A. Milne, Christopher Robin - To Charlie's Family & Friends - I am sorry for your loss. I don't know most of you but I had the honor of meeting Charlie several times through out the years and I am glad for that."
"Chuck and Dick were High School classmates. And later Chuck, Ellie, Dick and I attended Cortland at the same time. In recent years, Chuck had endeared himself to us and the class of 1955 by being a popular figure in Gowanda who could always gather everyone together for times of remembering and celebrating our golden years. He was a great guy, full of compassion who was interested in our lives and kept everyone up to date via email. Our lives our richer for having had him in our lives. To Ellie, Scott, and Greg, thank you for sharing him with us, he will never be forgotten, and our memories will always be special because of his quest for life."
"My deepest sympathy to Charlie's Family. I am very saddened to know we have lost one of the Good Ones. Charlie was always so kind and loving. I always looked forward to catching up with him at our National Sales Meeting. He was always smiling and knew how to make everyone around him smile. I will miss him Dearly. Goodbye my friend..."
"My deepest sympathy to everyone in the Sipple family.
I had the pleasure to know and work with Charlie for many years at the Sidney Frank Imp Co.
All that had the privilege of knowing him will agree that he was the ultimate gentleman a consummate professional and a perfectionist.
We not only worked together but we became friends. Charlie and I have stayed in touch for all the years since my retirement and I’ll miss our calls and e-mails greatly. Many will know that my dad was also a friend of Charlie and Ellie. I know that Charlie, my dad and Sidney are together someplace doing a shot of Jager.
"There are no words to express the sadness I feel for the loss of my friend Charlie. He is a man of compassion and love. I look forward to seeing his bright smile and shiny head in heaven. Our deepest condolences to the Sipple's and all those whose lives were touched by Charlie. I will miss him until then..."
"No se que decir no tengo palabras ,solo decir lo siento por perder tan maravollosa persona que Dios lo tenga en su santo reino, gracias DIOS por permitirme tener la oportundidad de conocer y compartir pocas horas con el cuando hacia su pedicure. LUZ GALLON"
"my heart is broken. My family of 5 cats and I will miss him. He was the kindest man and loved all creatures big and small. My heart goes out to the family and my friend Ellie."
"One of my regrets is not knowing Charlie for longer than I did. The short time I did, was of a generous caring man for everyone and everything. That being said, I am truly blessed to have known him for even a short time. "Our foundation is strengthen by the wonderful people we bring into our hearts and lives." He will be missed but not forgotten nor of his love for the animals. My deepest sympathies for the family especially to you Ellie. Will keep you in my prayers. ALWAYS!
"rest in peace"
"It was my pleasure to know and to work with such a genuine and decent person. Charlie was the true definiton of a gentleman.
God bless you Charlie and my condolences to your family.
"I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to work with Charlie over the past six years. He was one of the most kind and genuine people that I have ever met. To his family, thank you for sharing your memories. What a beautiful way to remember an incredible man. My thoughts and prayers are with you. - Julie Byrne"
"there is very little we can add to all the beautiful well stated memorials about Charlie's too short lived life.
We have only known Charlie and Ellie a few years and sure enjoyed their company. I wished I had known Charlie longer than I did, He was a great guy to be with. Our deepest sympathy to Ellie and Family.
Carl and Alyce Colburn"
"I have known Charlie and Ellie since 1997 and what an honor it has been. Charlie was the nicest, most loving human being that I have ever met. He had such grace about him and he lit up when spoke about Ellie, his children, grandchildren and his pets. He was so proud of each of them and told me many stories of why. But if you knew Charlie he had a way of treating everyone around him like family. But that's only one of the special characteristics Charlie had. He was a great boss and mentor over the years too, which I will forever Cherish. If you needed advice he was there for you no matter where or what he was doing. (Just ask Ellie) :)
Thank you for sharing this wonderful website with us and the photos its a beautiful tribute to him.
He will be missed and I am truly blessed to have called him friend.
Amy and Brian Schroeder"
"Scott- I only knew your Dad by the wonderful stories you told about him & the love & respect you had for him. On behalf of all yourfriends at Fidelity, our thoughts & prayers are with you & your family. Bill"
"To the Sipple Family,
Thank you for sharing Charlie with all of us.
I have only known him a few short years but greatly appreciate the kindness and patience he has shown while teaching me "the ropes".
He will be missed by so many...
"Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our
hearts, and we are never the same."
-- Author unknown"
"I have known Chuck since we were both 7 years old. I had just moved to Gowanda and we shared teachers and classrooms through elementary school and then high school. In 7th grade I got a paper route through Sipple's store so got to know his Dad and Uncle Herb as well as his grandparents there. We both played clarinet in the Gowanda HS band. I remember especially when Chuck broke a leg during football practice in maybe our sophomore or junior year, so he couldn't play on the field, or march with the marching band, but sat in the stands with the band and played marches and stuff in time-outs. Chuck was one of the few guys in Gowanda who kept in touch with me when we moved to the Chicago area in the middle of our junior year. We lost contact for a while, but recently he has been the mainstay for information about high school reunions etc. We'll miss him greatly!"
"Charlie Sipple was one of the Lions of the US liquor Industry who I was fortunate to meet 34 years ago when he worked for Renfield, our US Importer for Carolans Irish Cream.
Charlie and Ellie became firm friends and visited my wife Josephine and I in Ireland .Charlie deeply understood that business is a partnership where both sides must benefit and his wise council helped us lay the ground work for a business that thrives to this day. Integrity ,a total lack of ego [not a common New York trait !], a profound wish to help others, a twinkle in the eye and a love of family these were the the marks of an extraordinary man. Charlie was one of life's givers who enriched the lives of those who entered his orbit. May he rest in God's peace"
"Because many of us had the opportunity to be a part of Charlie's life, my boss, my mentor, my friend. We have been blessed. Many calls of concern, sharing their memories to have known this fine gentleman. They have expressed ways their lives have been touched by his kindness and fairness both professionally and his friendship. The Sidney Frank family is a better place because God placed him on our path. Charlie was there for me through my Dad's death. His caring expressions were a comfort to me during that time. Ellie my thoughts and prayers are certainly with you and your family at this sad time. May God bless."
"As someone who had the good fortune of meeting Mr. Sipple back when I was in 8th grade, I was always struck how he, and Mrs. Sipple, always treated adolescents with respect, generosity, and accountability. While many parents were reluctant to give their children the opportunity to prove their responsibility, the Sipple household was a refreshing change of pace. Whether it was car shows, concerts, sporting events, etc., we were always treated as young adults as opposed to overgrown children. I think the results are obvious, given the great success of their children and grandchildren.
It goes without saying that Mr. Sipple was one of the most revered (and liked) parents in the community, as a constant figure at all sporting events. Knowing how hard he worked in his career, I often wondered where he found the time or energy, but he always did. Beyond this, the Sipples were always the first people to open their homes for post-game celebrations, and truly fostered the sense of community amongst the parents and teammates.
Cheers to a great man, role model, husband, father and grandfather. You'll always be missed, but never forgotten."
"Charlie and I go back some 40 years. It was a friendship to the end
due to Charlie's incredible loyalty to his friends over his lifetime. Over the years our paths had an uncanny way of crossing. On more than one occasion Charlie was there for me when fortunes were low, He was an amazing guy who will not be forgotten. Charlie and his sons and me and my son remain in mutual contact and hopefully one day soon the four of us can get together to share some of our favorite Charlie Sipple stories. For now my prayers are with Ellie, Scott and Greg and the extended Sipple family. My heart is full of sorrow but also with gratitude for having had such a great friend for so long."
"Greg, Scott and Ellie,
I am so sorry for your loss. Charlie was one of the finest and kindest people that I have known. Whether it was in NY (1st round or 2nd) or the hospitality that Charlie and Ellie showed us in Thousand Oaks, Charlie always was warm and welcoming. If it weren't for Charlie, I would not know the best way to make a quick exit from a Rangers game, or how adeptly a Cadi could handle rt. 120. Those are some memories I have carried with me for 40 years (give or take), but the most important thing I recollect, is that he always had a smile, kind words and a sense of humor to share with those around him. A truly fine gentleman.
"So sorry to hear about Chuck. I was so glad to see him about 3 years ago when he came to Arizona. We will all miss him. I was glad to see him keep in touch with us."
"I have been fortunate enough to know Charlie from my days at Kobrand. Having retired to Florida eight years ago I was able to maintain the friendship. My sincerest sympathy goes to Ellie and his family; he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Go with God, Charlie.
"Charlie Sipple was a man I only knew through his kind and generous deeds. He was always available to help others and never asked for any recognition in return. I knew of him from mutual friends and very much respected him and Ellie for their continuing support and kindness to others not as fortunate. God Bless you Charlie , your legacy is a blessing."
"Chuck and Sis have been in my life forever as we grew up in Gowanda.
of course he was a year and a half older so he nerver noticed me as much as I noticed him....But he was always fun. Gowanda is a very small town and everyone knows everyone. The years passed and as I had a liquor store for many years I kept abreast of his activities. then several years ago, He and Don Milligan had us find a place to have a mini r eunion in Lake Wales, Fl. After that first year, Chuck took it over and I think he just loved having everyone get together. I know we will continue, but he surely will be missed. Our sympathy to Ellie and the family. He was such a gentleman !!!! So kind to those in need of help.
David and Marilyn Reid"
"I have known Charlie for more than 20 years and I am proud to call this gentle giant of a man my friend. We met every year at the IAADFS show, originally in Orlando then in Fort Lauderdale and then back in Orlando over the last few years. Only last month in Orlando, we chatted at length about our respective families and I know he was very proud of his wife, children and grandchildren. Only two weeks ago we chatted by phone and he told me that he was very excited with the Casaamigos Tequila, the new addition to the Sidney Frank portfolio. The tequila probably sums Charlie up – he was always surrounded by friends and we will all miss him. Rest in peace, Charlie"
"I had the privilege to work as one of Charlie's angels in Florida with him at SFIC. He was one of a kind and absolutely one of the most amazing men I have ever met. He was my mentor, my work "dad" and most importantly a true friend. His kind, gentle and selfless ways left a positive mark on everyone whose life he touched and I am forever thankful that I was one of those lucky people. Thank you to his family for sharing him with us my heart goes out to all of you!"
"I first met Chuck, later known as Charlie, when was about 18 years old. His huge personality impressed me from the start. I looked up to him as a big brother not only because of height, but because he was 5 years older then me. He gave me some sage advise about dating because I believe at the time I had recently broken up with my 1st. girlfriend. I could see how happy my cousin Elena was. She was definitely in love. It was a pleasure to serve as an usher, along with my cousin Paul, at Elena and Chuck's wedding. Rest in Peace Charlie. You will always be in our hearts."
"For more than 30 years I have known Charlie. It started when I attended Industry conventions and met this huge character who had a dynamic presence and an almost British accent. I was so impressed with his enormous personality. He will be sorely missed and I will remember him always for the advice and guidance he shared with me. Rest in peace Charlie......Ted Thomson"
"I first met Charlie at Sazerac in New Orleans over 20 years ago. I was awe struck by his booming voice, silvery hair and a pair of steely eyes under the dark thick eye brows, reminding me the look of a giant sea eagle. And like an eagle, he took me, a summer intern from China, under his enormous wings, showing the ways to fly in the business world, looking after me in our overseas trips together and giving me advice on how to find the right career path. Living abroad, I have not seen him for the past 10 plus years but he is always on my list of people to visit once I return to the states. Now I would forever miss that reunion. The loss I felt is beyond the words ..."
"I'm at a loss for words.....my heart is heavy as I send my thoughts and prayers out to all who loved him. Charlie was a friend, mentor and sometimes even like a father to me. We started working together in the South Florida market (he as the new DVP for SFIC and me as the new ASPI supervisor) and quickly became good friends. He was there to help me if I had any snags along the way and always had my back. I was disappointed when he decided to step away from the DVP position, but we remained close and I sought his advice on numerous occasions. Charliebear (as I fondly referred to him) was always there with a word of encouragement when I needed one. I was so blessed to have him in my life and I will miss him dearly. I will forever treasure the wonderful memories he leaves behind."
"The desire and the ability to aid a friend when that friend is in need is in my opinion why God gave us life. Charlie Sipple demonstrated that quality to me in more than one occasion in my life, one at a very crucial time. Charlie made a mark on me that I will always carry in his memory. He is in God's hands."
"I can’t remember when I first met Charlie, but I do remember when I first met “Chuck”. He was so tall and handsome with twinkling blue eyes and a deep commanding voice. I remember how happy I was for my dear cousin Elena to have been so lucky to meet such a wonderful guy.
I watched Scott and Greg grow up to become every bit the gentleman their Dad has been. Charlie (Chuck) was always gracious when I went to visit them…from upstate NY to California to Florida…the door was always OPEN and the glass was always FULL.
Here’s a poem that reflects how I feel about Charlie, who will always be Chuck to me!
Little did we know that morning that God would call your name
In life we loved you dearly; in death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone.
For part of us went with you the day God called you home.
You left us peaceful memories; your love is still our guide.
And though we cannot see you, you are always on our side.
Our family chain is broken and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again."
"Together in our youth, separated by life events, it was Chuck who re-united our hearts and brought such joy back to our family at that beautiful breakfast 10 years ago! A few years later at the wedding in Boston, when he said, "We have to make a family reunion!" and, yes, my cousins Vinny, Maria also shared that they laughed with he and Ellie until their sides ached! For Don and me to see the happiness in our Aunt Jo's eyes, when her family was once again "one!" was a gift that we will never forget! Every time Ellie and Fran called or sent flowers, Aunt Jo would call and share that very special moment with me and say, "My heart is whole again!" That feeling of being "whole" has been compounded and has flourished over the past year. We are so saddened not to be able to give Chuck the bear hug in return for his ever-loving nature; that nature as a catalyst, together with a snowstorm showered us with my dear Ellie's and ever-bubbling Fran's love for an extended week to share. A gift of Love! Always remembering with all our love, "per cent'anni!" Don and Marie"
"I worked with Charlie for numerous years at SFIC, and I learned so much from him. He was a Boss but more than that a true friend, we traveled, laughed, worked hard around the SE.
He was a truly genuine person in the spirits business, what you saw was what you got from Charlie. He was a Gem. I will always remember a great weekend with He and Ellie and my wife in Charleston SC. We had Charlie and Ellie jumping from Fort Sumter to Bay St
Ellie and family our prayers and thoughts are with you at this time of need."
"Shared JOY is multipled
Shared sorrow is less...
When we meet again, we will REJOICE"
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
I went closer,
and I did not die.
had his hand in this,
as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,
was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel,
(brave even among lions),
"It's not the weight you carry
but how you carry it -
books, bricks, grief -
it's all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it
when you cannot, and would not,
put it down."
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?
Have you heard
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?
How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe
also troubled -
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
to which there is no reply?
- Mary Oliver
I chose to share this poem because frankly I don't even know how to process all of this, and I think that it says a lot of things I would say/wish I could say/hope I will be able to say in the future. All I'm really able to articulate right now is that the last time I saw my grandpa, I appreciated his company more than I had in a long time. In my years of burgeoning adulthood I hadn't seen him much and had conflicting feelings about my perceptions of how well he and I would get along as adults. But something was different the last time I saw him; maybe he was warmer, maybe I was more open-hearted, but either way I noticed a change in the dynamic that was positive and something I was looking forward to experiencing more of. It's such a hard-to-grasp and deeply saddening thought that I won't be able to, but I'm glad that I at least was able to have a very positive last interaction with him in addition to so many childhood memories. My thoughts are with anyone else grappling with the confusion, genuine shock, and profound sadness that I'm feeling today."
"I met my brother in law, Chuck a/k/a Charlie, in December, 1960! He came to meet "The Italian Family" and was determined to charm "The Family" in order to marry my beautiful sister, Elena. We were charmed and he became the uncontested "Person in Charge" for the next 54 years. He was my mother's, my sister's and my security until my marriage to Philip Taylor.
He took wonderful care of our mother, Ida, after taking wonderful care of his two gorgeous sons, Scott and Greg, and always taking wonderful care of my sister. Once I had my own two gorgeous sons, Charlie became their god father and friend. We just were together this weekend and had the best "Last Supper" at Gervasi Winery in Canton, Ohio. Charlie was at his best. He talked about his time with George Cooney, about his world wide travels, about his hopes for Andrew, Sarah, Jonathan, Elian and Oren and his wishes for his six grandchildren.
Like Oliver Twist we can say without hesitation "Please sir, we want more." Yes, we want more time with him, but we take solace in knowing that he will never be forgotten by so many people."
"“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
- Clarence, It’s a Wonderful Life
Charles E. Sipple was an incredible man, but you all, already know that. A couple of weeks ago, I flew down to Boca Raton and had the honor of getting to meet some of his friends, everyone seemed so grateful to have him in their lives. On that trip, something became very evident other than just the fact the he was a very loved man, and that is that he was so proud of his two sons and his grandchildren. My grandfather was a stubborn man and was very set in his ways but there was nothing he wouldn’t to for a friend. I always found it to be a little astonishing that he would go out of his way for complete, and utter strangers. He has had such a profound affect on my life and I will always have been blessed to been able to have him as a role model in my life. After getting very little sleep last night, I woke up and looked at myself in the mirror, the whites of my eyes were now a reddish color and there were ugly poufy bags under my eyes, yet despite all this the irises were still the same soft blue. They were the same blue as my grandfather’s. I’ve been in somewhat a state of shock since receiving the news of his passing but I have since come to the realization that he is still here with us, I can still pieces of him in my siblings and I, but mostly I see him in my father. The goodness from all of the lives he has touched is still there, and I can honestly say that this world is better place for having him in it. He is already missed by those who loved him.
"My deepest sympathy and prayers for your family during this difficult time. Below is a note that I shared with people who loved and respected Charlie so dearly. Thank you for sharing him with us all of these years.
Our dear friend....
It's been a difficult afternoon, a close and very special man has passed on to a more peaceful place leaving broken hearts and great memories behind him.
Today, the company put out an email that was a great snapshot of the wonderful man and human being Charlie Sipple lived his life as. Every great quality that you seek in a person close to you...he possessed it and lived it. He was such a strong family man and a genuine friend above any other role he held. I'm so proud to have known him...to have him as my mentor and leader through the years, BUT above all....to be blessed to call him my friend. (Those dots are one of his leave behinds). And, while I'm so very sad I won't hear his voice calling my name (I can recall it, exactly how he would say it each time), I will think of how he referred to us as "Charlie's Angels" ......now, he will always be ours!!
I'll miss him so dearly for so many reasons. One, for me, was the way he encouraged me to live....staying true to what's really important in life...the balance I needed to be reminded of from time to time with family always being #1. I know my own sadness, so with that, my heart goes out to Ellie, (he always took that call) as she mourns the days without him...I pray for her.
While I write this with a heavy heart, I find solace in his passing on. I know that he lived every moment doing what he loved, along the side of the people he loved, who loved him just as much. He's shared so many significant milestones of our lives with us, supporting us at every twist.
The last time we were all together, we celebrated with "George" and everyone by drinking from our SE division trophy (which he held near and dear to his heart long after giving us to Michael, still holding us close to him like a protective father). Nevertheless, my last memory we shared was the toast to our new venture with "casamigos" and that is really what he had....a house of friends....always around him.
Can you imagine the stories in heaven?!?
With love and the highest respect.....Cheers to my, our, friend....until next time w see you!
Big hug and kiss to all of you while you remember him in your own special way :)"
"For 35 years Uncle Charlie was a part of my life. Although we never lived in the same town he was always there for me- showing up at all events- graduations, weddings, dedications and four days ago my Installation. My uncle was a family man through and through and for that I give great thanks. He will be missed, but always loved and never forgotten.
"I have known Charlie for over half of my lifetime. Charlie was a loving husband to Ellie, a wonderful father to my husband Scott and great grandfather to our 3 children. He was always such a huge presence and will be missed always. We are all heartbroken to have lost him and appreciate everyones love and concern!
Scott, Susan, Taylor, Kelsey and Lindsay"
Have a suggestion for us?