ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Charles Gruppé 91 years old , born on July 1, 1928 New York, NY and passed away on October 31, 2019. We will remember and celebrate his amazing life. Through his art, his teaching, and his travels he brought so many people together. 
He was always so supportive with his students and always made everyone feel good about their work.
Please use this space to share photos and stories about this man who gave so much and who touched so many.
Posted by Carol Gruppe on July 1, 2020
Today would be Uncle Charlie's 92nd oops, I mean 74th birthday! Oh how angry he was when we celebrated his 90th un-birthday in Italy! I so miss him! Happy birthday, Uncle Charlie! XXX
Posted by Nancy Politsch on July 1, 2020
Happy Birthday Charles. You are dearly missed but I am glad you are avoiding COVID-19. It’s a mess and we have to teach all of our classes virtually.  The classes are popular so we are doing ok.  Enjoy heaven. Send us a sign. Love you. Nancy
Posted by Nancy Politsch on January 24, 2020
On 1/11/2020, we celebrated Charles at our D'art for Art. Charles had donated a painting for our annual fundraiser. I told the crowd of 260 about the painting and Charles. It was spoken for in the first minute f the darting.

Love you Charles.. Miss you.
Posted by Valerie Merrill on January 24, 2020
I truly miss this wonderful man and painter. I learned so much from him in class. His sense of humor and talent made him one of a kind. He was always so kind and patient with all of his students. Loved hearing his stories about painting, his travels, and especially miss his artistic talent. He was one of a kind. Sending him and his family and friends lots of love and wonderful memories of a great man.
Posted by Carol Gruppe on January 7, 2020
To all who have written a tribute or made a tribute in their own special way, Thank You. Charles meant so much to so many and it still surprises me that his is simply no longer with us.
But after much thought and discussion with his travel agent, it does seem fitting to have a Charles Gruppe Memorial trip. We are currently planning a trip back to the Amalfi Coast around the end of October/beginning of November time frame. Where to go for more details will be posted as the trip itinerary is confirmed. I hope many of you will be able to join in for a celebration of Charles' most amazing life.
Posted by Jennifer Gsell on January 5, 2020
   I have been blessed to know Charles since 1998 and have so many fond memories. I still remember the first day I met him. I had just recently been hired by Sun Holidays and was advised I would be handling Charles Gruppe’s group travel arrangements. I was so very nervous as this was a new position for me and I was going to meet the well-known artist with such a large following. I still remember walking to the parking area to meet him and the butterflies I felt in my stomach. And then I met him. Immediately I felt comfortable. He was down to earth and so easy to connect with. From day one we just clicked.
   I am grateful not only to have worked with Charles but to also have developed a genuine friendship with him. Charles always asked how I was when he called. He was sincerely concerned with my wellbeing. Throughout the years we talked about our personal struggles, accomplishments, and aspirations. He shared so many of his life stories with me. Many times, we would call just to say hello and see how each other was doing. Throughout our working experience we laughed many times. He also yelled at times and I cried at times, but in the end, we would laugh all over again knowing we made a pretty good team. We understood each other well and our strengths and weaknesses complemented each other. 
   Charles often told me these painting trips gave him such a purpose. I could feel his enthusiasm when planning trips. He loved connecting with his friends and students, organizing the details and communicating with everyone. He shared so many of his travel experiences with me. He treasured the experiences and relationships with his friends, and I am so grateful to everyone for the love and joy that was brought to him.
   I am extremely honored to have known Charles. I still feel the sadness often from his loss, but I am also grateful to smile often just from thinking of him. I will always hold Charles closely in my heart. He is, and will continue to be, dearly missed.

With Heartfelt Memories,
Jennifer Gsell,
Suntours Intl
Posted by Melissa Shelly on December 28, 2019
Charles has been on my mind recently. I had gone on a painting trip with him to Tuscany in 2011 where we stayed in the heart of Florence. I had always wanted to take more trips with him but life with young children always got in the way. However, we always stayed in touch! I would call him from time to time and send him cookies over the holidays...This year, as I’m back in art school in NYC, I had really been remiss I’m contacting Charles. However, I had this nagging feeling so I set out to google for any news....& sadly, I saw that he had passed. It breaks my heart for I loved him so much and enjoyed our talks and “good Lord, dear, the picture practically paints itself!” We had so much fun! Loved his humor and his heart! How I wish I had known that he went into hospice. I wonder what was wrong as he seemed to be healthy when last in Maine. I would love more information on his memorial in Connecticut! My cell number is: 610-442-3007 Godspeed!
Posted by Alison Smyth on December 13, 2019
Yesterday, we at The Wright Gallery in Cape Porpoise, Maine learned that Charles was gone. Not gone for a drive. Not gone on a teaching trip to paint with his usual crowd. Simply gone.

Somehow this still doesn't seem real... Charles Gruppe, ever larger-than-life, should be enthusiastically, if not somewhat distractedly, planning his next big trip; talking about what he's been up to; and with nearly feverish joy, and in a booming voice, calling to say a painting is "on it's way!" I can hear him clear-as-day: "Oh Alison, Who is this? Oh yes... Alison... Charles Gruppe here!"

I was fortunate to have travelled with him a few times, and lucky enough to have thought of him as my friend many times. Charlie Wright, the gallery's original owner; Bree Clark, Charlie's daughter and my business partner; and I, we all feel blessed to have represented him. Charles' body of work has been admired, collected, sought after, and loved by many. The art community has lost a very special artist.

Our thoughts are with the family. Please reach out if we may be of assistance in any way. (207) 967-5053
Posted by Nancy Politsch on December 11, 2019
I went to Amsterdam with Charles and had a blast. I love his painting style and I love his humor. Charles was such a jokester and loved to praise people for their efforts in painting. He was to begin his 25th year teaching for Lighthouse ArtCenter on Jan 6th 2020. Charles will be missed. Love you Charles Gruppe.
In Amsterdam, he had almost 40 people on the trip. Some people painted but about half were there because his trips were so fun and inexpensive. The first day the tour guide did not show up, but the tour bus did. My daughter lives in Amsterdam and I had been there 6-7 times before so Charles appointed me to tour guide and I sat at the front on the jump seat and talked about the sights of Amsterdam as the driver drove us around. Charles told me I did a great job.                                                                         Carol, as the director of Lighthouse ArtCenter, we all send our condolences. I wish we had known that Charles went in to hospice. He had been in my thoughts but life gets so busy. Please let us know about the memorial in CT. My cell number is 410-935-4324.
Posted by Nancy Politsch on December 11, 2019
Tributes form The Lighthouse ArtCenter Board of Directors and Faculty.

I took a workshop with Charles Gruppe at the Cincinnati Art Academy in the 90’s and purchased two of his paintings. Very creative and interesting person who also offered lots of tricks and painting techniques to his students.
Roseanne


Took classes and trips with him...his best line , “put it in your trunk and go sell it!” Lucky to have several of his paintings, lb
Very sad news. He was a dear person and loved by all. He will be missed.
Pat

Charles had a rare gift of blending humor and talent to great effect and joy of his students. Always generously shared of himself. We will miss him Bob T

I’m so sorry to hear that. He had a loyal following and will be surely missed by his students, family, and LAC....Manon


A sad loss for all of us, but a wonderful life for a someone who brought joy and beauty wherever he went.  Anne Palumbo
Sorry to hear the news. Please give our condolences to his family. Eduardo Gomez

My ❤️ Is sooo sad!
The world has lost a: charming, bright, funny, lovable and very talented teacher and artist.
I will miss you Charles!
Fondly, Susan

I went to Amsterdam with Charles and had a blast. I love his painting style and I love his humor. Charles was such a jokester and loved to praise people for their efforts in painting. He was to begin his 25th year teaching for Lighthouse ArtCenter on Jan 6th 2020. Charles will be missed. Love you Charles Gruppe. Nancy Politsch/CEO LAC

Posted by Jacki Frey on November 19, 2019
My husband and I enjoyed charles's trips, his humor, his interaction with group. He loved travel and painting. He made the trips so fun. We could explore around all day and just paint! We will miss him. He was special! Carol I hope you will have a future tour, we would love to go.
Posted by Doris Bellucci on November 15, 2019
What a great loss to us all who have attended his many workshops in the US and went on his many trips to Europe over so many years. My first workshop was in CT in the early 1990’s. I am so glad I have two of his paintings to remember him. I also have several that have his brushstrokes and of course those big birds and boats. He was always willing to help everyone and had a great sense of humor. My sympathies go out to the family especially Carol. I was privileged to have known both of them.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Carol Gruppe on July 1, 2020
Today would be Uncle Charlie's 92nd oops, I mean 74th birthday! Oh how angry he was when we celebrated his 90th un-birthday in Italy! I so miss him! Happy birthday, Uncle Charlie! XXX
Posted by Nancy Politsch on July 1, 2020
Happy Birthday Charles. You are dearly missed but I am glad you are avoiding COVID-19. It’s a mess and we have to teach all of our classes virtually.  The classes are popular so we are doing ok.  Enjoy heaven. Send us a sign. Love you. Nancy
Posted by Nancy Politsch on January 24, 2020
On 1/11/2020, we celebrated Charles at our D'art for Art. Charles had donated a painting for our annual fundraiser. I told the crowd of 260 about the painting and Charles. It was spoken for in the first minute f the darting.

Love you Charles.. Miss you.
Recent stories

Great teacher, funny guy

Shared by Nancy Politsch on December 10, 2019
I went to Amsterdam with Charles and had a blast. I love his painting style and I love his humor. Charles was such a jokester and loved to praise people for their efforts in painting. He was to begin his 25th year teaching for Lighthouse ArtCenter on Jan 6th 2020. Charles will be missed. Love you Charles Gruppe. 
In Amsterdam, he had almost 40 people on the trip.  Some people painted but about half were there because his trips were so fun and inexpensive.  The first day the tour guide did not show up, but the tour bus did.  My daughter lives in Amsterdam and I had been there 6-7 times before so Charles appointed me to tour guide and I sat at the front on the jump seat and talked about the sights of Amsterdam as the driver drove us around.  Charles told me I did a great job.                                                                                                                                                 Carol, as the director of Lighthouse ArtCenter, we all send our condolences.  I wish we had known that Charles went in to hospice.  He had been in my thoughts but life gets so busy.  Please let us know about the memorial in CT.  My cell number is 410-935-4324.


Together we painted.....

Shared by Cynthia Prince on November 10, 2019
I first met Charles about 20 years ago when I took my first oil painting class on Marco Island. On that day I also met Pat P. who was also a beginner. I didn’t know much about painting and nothing about using and mixing oils. It was a relatively big class so Charles had his hands full. Charles always had us start with a mixture of blue  as he said that the sky and the sea would take up most of the painting. So I put a huge wallop of the blues he told us to use and then kept adding more and more and more and white to get the light color of blue he wanted. I had not yet learned the concept that you start with white and then add the clor bit by bit. By the time I had finished mixing my color blue and other colors as suggested, the floor around my easel was covered in white paint. Luckily for me they sold paint right in the art center so those first days of the workshop had me running down to the store to purchase more white paint. The store volunteers must have thought i was eating it. Pat P. and I still laugh about my white saga till this day! Annual classes at Marco Island soon were not enough to satisfy Pat and I and we started going on Charles European trips to get more of Charles as he was an incredibly encouraging and inspiring art instructor. Our first trip was to Venice. I was standing on a bridge attempting to paint a canal scene and this tiny, very drunk Italian man comes over to  me and says “lady are you a cleaning lady? Because you are never going to make it as a painter!” I replied “ Then why don’t you shove off and let me get at it as I have a long road ahead.”
We had many funfilled art tours after that one. Lots of memories of Torremolinas Spain with the great location and fun music, Monaco, Greece etc. By the time we went to the Almalfi Coast one session was not enough for me so I signed up for two back to back sessions. Luckily I did as our first trip down that winding road to Almalfi left me with an incredible case of vertigo. It took 3 people to get me off the bus and I remained 5 days in my hotel room unable to eat and crawling to the bathroom and having the doctor visit my room. But Charles took care of me and when i was finally able tobget back on the bus he ensured that I had a space up front where I could stare at the horizon rather than the winding road.
Charles started me oil painting and it is his encouragement that kept me going. My first few years of paintings should in all honesty be signed by both Charles and I as Charles liked to “ help out” so you would have a finished painting to take home. People scrambled to offer their canvases to Charles to do a demo on! Everyday when I go into my master bath I smile as I have one if these combined project paintings by Charles and me on my wall and i can still see his strokes that made my painting complete. If I really want a Charles “fix” I go into my guestroom and look at one of Charles originals of a seacoast scene in Normandy.
I had the good fortune of  enjoying many years of studio classes  and many trips with Charles. My roommates varied, first Pat, then Brenda, then Val. 
Life changes and when I entered a new chapter of my life with a new relationship I stopped going on Charles trips but still called him every few months and went to visit him with Val in his home in Vero Beach.
This past year, I became concerned as although Charles always sounded bright and cheery and full of spunk in our phone conversations, I knew he was getting on so I told Val i would like to go with her on one more trip. I didn’t care where we were going ( and that got changed several times) I just wanted to spend time with Charles and Val. But I was too late! The trip got cancelled. I was concerned as to why itvwas cancelled but when I talked to Charles he was as cheery as ever and alreay thinking  of an art cruise to the Caribbean in 2020. I still was worried so I took photos of some of my last two years of figurative paintings so he could see where my journey as an artist that began with Charles had taken me.  I mailed them off to Charles in Vero Beach but I don,t think he got them in time before he passed. Charles was not inly my mentor but also my dear friend. He made me laugh and because of him I have so many happy memories. I was devastated when Pat called me to tell me of his passing. I know so many people are hurting over his loss. Carol this must be so hard for you. Pat, Laura and Billie and Val I know how deeply he touched your lives as well. So many artists whose lives were impacted by Charles’ magic are missing him today. Jennifer who organized his trips for so many years is experiencing a huge loss. She helped me so much in my accepting Charles death and  I thank her,
if anyone wants to get in touch with memories of Charles please fill free to contact me.
Iloved Charles. He played a major role in what has been meaningful in my life.
Cynthia Prince
cynthiahprince@gmail.com

Painting Workshop/Holidays

Shared by Carol Gruppe on November 3, 2019
Charles was such a character and always made us laugh while he was teaching. He would make it look so easy when giving a painting demonstration. One of my favorite things he would say during his demonstrations was "these things practically paint themselves!" Ha! Easy for the master to say!
He taught many classes both in the US and took groups to various locations in Europe for 1-2 week long workshop/holidays. So many friends were made on these journeys with people returning sometimes every year.
As I've been living in Belgium for the past 10 years, it was the easiest way for me to visit with my uncle. I'd join him on one of these workshops and have gotten to know many of his students and friends.