Scan_20150808 (7)
Charles T Winfrey
  • 69 years old
  • Date of birth: Jul 17, 1946
  • Place of birth:
    Missouri, United States
  • Date of passing: Aug 4, 2015
  • Place of passing:
    Columbia, Missouri, United States
When in Duluth in December...... You too can walk on water.

Thank you for taking the time to visit this memorial to Charlie (dad).  Please share stories, memories and photos you have to help us honor him and the extraordinary life he led.  

Fay, Tara & Katie  

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Janine Perry on 7th August 2016

"How much must you have talked God's ear off to get Him to perform a miracle for Katie and Bill;  I'm sure that it happened on August 4 was your idea!"

This tribute was added by Tom and Sheila Barrett on 4th August 2016

"August 4  Coast Guard biirthday, totally fitting anniversary to remember Charlie"

This tribute was added by joe amato on 19th July 2016

"Fay, Katie, Tara- Susan and I send our love and hopes that the pain has eased and you can enjoy the good memories of that most remarkable (albeit crazed) person that was Charlie. Never be another like him....Joe"

This tribute was added by LaVerne Kern on 18th July 2016

"Charlie God Speed on your 70th Birthday!"

This tribute was added by Ellen Dudley on 18th July 2016

"Charlie's birthday was yesterday and I'm a day late. But as Charlie knew. I was (and am) almost always a day late. In the nearly a year that Charlie has been gone what I have missed most are the 2am phone calls. Those middle-of-the-night calls were not bad news but more often than not a cause for a good laugh. I always went back to sleep with a chuckle. I met Charlie in 1970 when he married my favorite cousin, Fay. It was a case of the family being increased by one.. and then two more. Tara's birthday was just days away from my daughter Laura's and then little Bugs came along. And that was funny because in the year after her birth Laura was called Bugs. A lifetime's worth of connections!
I do miss Charlie, we all do. He was an extraordinary, generous, terrific guy and I wish him a Happy Day. We were all lucky to have known him and as long as we do this, he is with us."

This tribute was added by Stephen Bostwick on 4th November 2015

"I received my Retiree Newsletter today and discovered Charlie's name in the Taps. I was totally surprised and saddened to read his name.  Charlie was the first person I served under at HQ when I came back into the Coast Guard.  What a good time to serve with Charlie Winfrey and Joe Amato , what a couple of professional goof balls.  Charlie even let me drive his most prized white Checker to the Airport to pick up my wife.  Later on in my Coast Guard career I was stationed at Support Center, Alameda and who'd I run into...You got it, Charlie Winfrey who happened to be stationed at Pac Area... Great Man and he has a Great Wife.  I'm sorry for your loss Fay! He will be greatly missed."

This tribute was added by larry mizell on 12th August 2015

"Charlie was one of a kind and the mere mention of his name always brought a smile to my face.  He's one of the most memorable friends I've ever had the pleasure of knowing and he will be greatly missed. It was only for Charlie that I would go to great lengths when on travel  to haul back boxes and boxes of Junior 's Cheesecakes from NYC, some kind of mayonnaise from new England, and live lobsters from Maine. The memories from trips with Charlie to Mardi Gras are endless - at least from what I can remember with the brain cells I have left after all those parades and parties.  At the parades, we affectionately referred to Charlie as a "bottom feeder"  since he would always end up with the best stuff that he snagged from the ground while the rest of us were fumbling them away topside. I can visualize Charlie right now with that mischievous grin on his face, a Budweiser in his hand, and scheming for his next great adventure.  He loved his family and he loved life - and I'm thankful for all the great adventures we shared.  To Fay, Tara, and Katie, my thoughts are with you."

This tribute was added by suzanne bromley on 11th August 2015

"2:00am in the morning the phone would ring.  "Hey Brit, what you up to?"  "Jeez Charlie I'm sleeping like any other normal human being".  "Do you remember when Sam and I were on the Exxon Valdez?"  
I'm going to miss him.  Love you Charlie xxx"

This tribute was added by Patricia Pemberton on 11th August 2015

"Dear Faye, Tara, and Katie,  
I was saddened to hear of Charlie's passing.  I always enjoyed his happy spirit and his exuberant affection for his family.  May your cherished memories bring you some peace and comfort."

This tribute was added by Michael Midyett on 11th August 2015

"To Fay, Tara & Katie,
I first met Charlie at my first Boy Scout meeting in Carrollton, MO.  We were both about 11 or 12 years old.  In fact our birth days are only 3 days apart.  We were close friends all through High School and had many adventures together that are too numerous to list here.  After High School as we went our separate ways we occasionally made contact and regaled about our exploits from our youth. I am deeply saddened and will miss my friend."

This tribute was added by Tom and Sheila Barrett on 11th August 2015

"Dear Faye, Tara. And Katie: We were so saddened by this news. Charlie was a great shipmate on CHASE, a great friend to us and so many others on Kodiak and someone who loved being a sailor. You are each in our thoughts and prayers."

This tribute was added by Judy Hohn on 10th August 2015

"Fay, Tara, and Kate,
So sorry to hear about Charlie.  I have always loved his stories.  Before his father died, he always stopped by to see my parents, Gerald and Wilhelmina Fecher, his aunt and uncle.  I was able to keep up with the events of his life through them.  I grew up with him and am so glad to read here that he had a wonderful life.  He provided a great service to this world."

This tribute was added by jane squires on 10th August 2015

"Dear Faye: I am so saddened to hear of the loss of Charlie.  I remember him from
Kodak.  Always happy and wanting to help with whatever.  He made a bunch of cassette tapes for Fred (yes I said cassette ) of the Prairie Home Companion, and Fred loved those tapes.  I was so happy when Suzanne got us back in touch.  Having gone through my own loss all I can say is that it takes time.  You will be in my prayers tonight"

This tribute was added by john work byczek on 10th August 2015

"My dear friend Charlie took me under his wing on my first assignment aboard ship. His mentoring and friendship created a strong bond between us that lasted all these years. I'll always remember the countless reenactments of our fabled run out the Edsel leg in GTMO. Charlie was the big Brother I never had. Always there, always ready to help. I will miss you brother.   God bless you and keep you in his care."

This tribute was added by Janine Perry on 10th August 2015

"The Winfrey Family has been a part of my life for 25 years; each member is a relationship that is as individual as is the person.  Fay and Mr. Winfrey were there when I was going through a particularly low point of my life's journey.  It was nothing for them to head to the train station and pick me up.  They wrapped me in a cocoon of welcoming that didn't ask questions;  they didn't need to, they were just there.  Fay, doing as she always does, providing a sense of family and normalcy that I am sure she established those many years as a partner to a man dedicated to his country; and Mr. Winfrey, regaling me with his stories of sea adventures and (sometimes) dangers.  He had such extensive knowledge and experiences that I once told Tara that he was such an interesting man, he made subjects I really wouldn't normally be interested in, interesting.   He found out of my obsession with chocolate, and trudged up to the corner gas station and brought me back probably $25 worth of candy bars.  Something that may sound minor, but it meant a lot to me.
Yes, I' 've watched Katie grow from a tween to a wife and mother, and Tara become an accomplished, loving and supportive wife and amazing friend (how proud was your dad when you got your degree?!!).   THEY are the legacy.
I am reminded of a lyric:
"If you're lucky you'll find something that reflects you
Helps you feel your life protects you
Cradles you and connects you to everything
The river takes us Home at last;
The Hudson, it holds the life."

Safe voyage, Sir."

This tribute was added by Richard Lilleston on 10th August 2015

"My thoughts and prayers are with you! Always looked forward to Charlie stories from my mom and dad! Charlie was always somewhere! Take care!

Richard Lilleston"

This tribute was added by Danny Kern on 10th August 2015

"Very sad news. I wish you all the best through this tough time.
It feels like it was just yesterday that I was doing my best to keep the old VW Bug on the road. Best Wishes, Danny Kern"

This tribute was added by Maryanne Waterman on 9th August 2015

"Even though many years have passed since I last spoke to Charlie I just assumed that one day my phone would ring and it would be like the last 30 years were just yesterday. My heart and I am sure I can speak for Sam, Aimee and Sarah will always have a special place for Charlie.  Katie, Fay and Tara please know that you are in our prayers and thoughts and we will always have a special love for a of you. The commune will always be a part of our memories. So many memories for such a brief time, but it didn't take long to make a memory when Charlie's was around."

This tribute was added by Lloyd Avery on 9th August 2015

"Fay, Tara, and Katie,

Thinking of you in these times of sorrow.  There was only one, Charlie!  He will be missed often by many.  Many wonderful times with you all.  Nantucket was outstanding time in our lives and the Cup Races are forever in our memory.  When the phone rang at 3 AM, it was always Charlie calling from a foreign country keeping in touch with us.  Fay, we were on the pier in Boston standing next to Admiral Bowman when Charlie returned from Vietnam on the Chase to greet him.  Lou saved the day!  Hope you finally have a new car and not that Checker Cab.  :)

I have known Charlie from grade school, Boy Scouts, IGA glory days,Coast Guard enlisted and OCS, Woodsong weekends with a gal he married on Nantucket.  Yeah, lots of memories.  

Love ya,  Lloyd Avery"

This tribute was added by Betsy Testagrossa on 9th August 2015

"Dear Fay, Tara and Kate.  I'm so sorry to hear about Charlie.  The last time we spoke was around 3:45 one morning while Tom & I were living in Hawaii.  I was so glad when I heard his voice and realized it wasn't bad news!  I so wish we could have all gotten together.  Charlie would have liked Tom.  We're thinking of you and sending positive thoughts your way.  Love to you all!!"

This tribute was added by bill goodwill on 9th August 2015

"I last spoke with Charlie in late July of this year, he sounded in great spirits and we parted with the words that I was going to come and do a road trip with him to President Harry Truman’s Library in Independence, Missouri, because we both loved history.

When his daughter Katie called me about his passing, it was like someone punched me in the stomach.  I took this news just as hard as losing any of my family, because Charlie and I were family.

While we never got to take this final road trip, I know one thing for sure.  Charlie Winfrey is in heaven doling out charms, presents and favors to people, just as he did here on this mortal plain for more than six decades.  I wrote a much longer tribute to him that I hope his friends will read because it shows what a truly, larger than life person Charlie was and I will miss him until the day I die."

This tribute was added by roger vilsack on 9th August 2015

"I was shocked and deeply saddened upon hearing of Charlie's passing. My heart goes out to Faye and the children. My prayers, too.
I knew Charlie because I did the recruitment advertising for the U.S. Coast Guard from the 1970's through the late 1980's. Charlie was unique among clients. When it was time to make a TV commercial for the USCG, Charlie would come to me and ask" Where do you want to go?" This was unheard of in the ad business. It was always us telling the client here's the idea and we'll shoot it here or there.
As a result of Charlie's unique approach to USCG marketing, he knew that almost anywhere we went to find suitable Coast Guard locations for filming it would always be someplace great: Alaska, Hawaii, Miami, Brooklyn, Maine, Oregon, Great Lakes, New Orleans, to name a few.
Charlie, in addition to being a great client, was also a  great friend. He couldn't do enough for you. Whenever he passed through New York he would make a point of stopping at Junior's Cheesecake in Brooklyn and bring one back for me and my family.
He sent us King Salmon from Alaska and bought me as many Budweisers as I did him.
I will remember him with great fondness and send blessings to him and his family.

Roger Vilsack"

This tribute was added by roger vilsack on 9th August 2015

"I was shocked and deeply saddened upon hearing of Charlie's passing. My heart goes out to Faye and the children. My prayers, too.
I knew Charlie because I did the recruitment advertising for the U.S. Coast Guard from the 1970's through the late 1980's. Charlie was unique among clients. When it was time to make a TV commercial for the USCG, Charlie would come to me and ask" Where do you want to go?" This was unheard of in the ad business. It was always us telling the client here's the idea and we'll shoot it here or there.
As a result of Charlie's unique approach to USCG marketing, he knew that almost anywhere we went to find suitable Coast Guard locations for filming it would always be someplace great: Alaska, Hawaii, Miami, Brooklyn, Maine, Oregon, Great Lakes, New Orleans, to name a few.
Charlie, in addition to being a great client, was also a  great friend. He couldn't do enough for you. Whenever he passed through New York he would make a point of stopping at Junior's Cheesecake in Brooklyn and bring one back for me and my family.
He sent us King Salmon from Alaska and bought me as many Budweisers as I did him.
I will remember him with great fondness and send blessings to him and his family.

Roger Vilsack"

This tribute was added by joe amato on 9th August 2015

"I can't believe Charlie's gone. I always figured he could out-hustle even the Grim Reaper. He and I pulled off some great triumphs for Coast Guard public awareness (not always by the book but oh well) and had a lot of fun doing it. Great shipmate and longtime friend, he'd call every few months just to tell sea stories. Susan and I send condolences to Fay, Katie and Tara. May your sorrow turn to wonderful memories."

This tribute was added by Paul Roberts on 9th August 2015

"Although we knew Charlie only briefly, we know a huge void will be left in the lives of many people, especially Fay, Tara, and Katie.  Our heartfelt love and condolences go out to them."

This tribute was added by Doris Winfrey on 9th August 2015

"Fay, Tara, and Katie,  Ciera and I are so sorry to hear of your loss.  We thank him for his service to our country.  Sending prayers to comfort you and help you move forward."

This tribute was added by Judy Stephens on 8th August 2015

"Fay and girls, I am so very sorry for your loss. Charlie was a friend and classmate. Also a neighbor. I will miss him."

This tribute was added by Leslie Kohler on 8th August 2015

"Gary & I are saddened to learn of Charlie's passing.  We all grew up at Carrollton, MO together. May your memories help to keep you strong.
(Is there a full obituary online somewhere?)

Gary L Kohler                 CHS 1964
Leslie (Bridges) Kohler   CHS 1967"

This tribute was added by Katherine Glotzbach on 8th August 2015

"Thank you for sharing this Barb:

We are truly sorry for your loss! A lifelong friendship developed out of two little girls (Katie and Shelly) meeting in the 3rd grade. Our families enjoyed many wonderful times at the officers club in downtown Cleveland. Charlie sending us smoked salmon from Alaska. Charlie always ready to fix something at grams house. He could fix anything. Charlie truly loved the coast guard and we thank him for his service"

This tribute was added by maryanne smid on 8th August 2015

"Dear Fay, Tara, and Bugs...the news of Charlie's passing is difficult to process, to say the least!  His personality was larger than life, and his Coast Guard legacy is the stuff of legends!  You were a second family to me (and later, Smid!), and Charlie was a tremendous influence in my life, as you know.  Hard to believe the entire direction of my career, and my life, began from a deal struck by the consumate dealmaker, Winfrey, wherein he would order the Cleveland Press if my brother could recommend a babysitter!  The rest, as they say, is history, and what a wondeful history it is!  And Charlie's influence is still felt on a regular basis, each time my family heads to Delia's for pizza and passes Calamo!  The stories and jokes are too endless to recount here.  We shared so many:  Maine lobsters, Senate Dining Room Lunch, after carpool watering stops at CJ Nickels, Blackie's, whirlwind tours of DC before sunrise, the Checker as our wedding limo, complete with the chilled champagne in the back seat, visits to Ma and Mr. P, my first airplane ride to Martha's Vineyard with Fay and the girls, my commissioning, and on and on and on.  I think I could probably write a book!  Please know you are all in  our thoughts and prayers.  I know you take comfort in knowing that no one squeezed more living into every single day than our dear Winfrey.

Love, Maryann and Scott"

This tribute was added by Audrey Wohlgemuth on 8th August 2015

"Didn't know him personally. Thank you for your service..........RIP!!!"

This tribute was added by LaVerne Kern on 8th August 2015

"Dear Fay,  I am so sorry to hear about Charlie's passing, this is certainly not happy news.  Hoping you find comfort in knowing how much his friends and family care.  Sincere sorrow, LaVerne"

This tribute was added by carol kilgore on 8th August 2015

"Best CG shipmate, friend ever. Always tried to keep me straight. I have lost a true Brother. John Kilgore"

This tribute was added by vince patton on 8th August 2015

"I was visibly shaken when I received the notice on Charlie's passing this morning.  He as well as the rest of the Winfrey family are considered part of my extended family as well,  

I weep with sorrow in losing a dear and close friend and wonderful fellow Coast Guard shipmate.  I also weep with a sense of joy in knowing that he has been in my life, and helped in making me a better person.  A mentor and friend, Charlie represented all that is good with the world.  His humorous activities and true love for others will be sorely missed not just by me, and the Winfrey family, but by literally 100s if not 1000s of people who's heart he has touch.

I love you Charlie.  Rest easy.  I envision you driving that old Checker Cab on the roads in Heaven, continuing to pick up people to spread your joy and love.

Vince Patton
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, Retired"

This tribute was added by Mary Myers on 7th August 2015

"Our time in Kodiak, Alaska would not have been the adventure it was without our XO.  Save us some King Crab from Dutch Harbor and make sure the beer is cold!  I want to hear a story about an adventure when you sailed the Bering Strait!"


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This memorial is administered by:

Katherine Glotzbach

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