We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Bethel Funeral Home
Charles Herman Smith
January 22, 1944 to August 31, 2021
Charles Herman Smith departed this earth at the Regional Hospice in Danbury, CT, surrounded by his devoted family on August 31, 2021. He passed into his next life where he was greeted by his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and his departed loved ones. Charlie was born to Ellsworth and Gertrude (Whitlock) Smith, who lovingly raised him, on January 22, 1944. He grew up in Norwalk and graduated from Brien McMahon High School and the Norwalk School of Business.
It was in Norwalk while driving his little blue Corvair, that a young girl, Pam Amundsen, who was walking home from church caught his eye. His friend yelled out, hey that’s Sally’s sister and Charlie pulled over to give her a ride. They became friends for years and Pam later invited Charlie to her senior prom, which was their first date. The rest is history as they fell in love and later married. During their marriage, Charlie would often proclaim that his one goal in life was to make sure that Pam was happy. He was successful at that for 51 years of marriage. Charlie and Pam raised their girls in Bethel and six years ago made the move to New Milford. During their marriage they also owned a vacation home in Chincoteague, Virginia, which was their happy place.
Charlie had a long career with Sears, retiring from there in 1999 as an asset protection manager. After his “retirement”, he was never idle working as the sexton at First Congregational Church of Bethel for 17 years. He was a seasonal favorite at Blue Jay Orchards where he worked each Fall and was known as “Farmer Charlie”.
Charlie spent years serving the town of Bethel for their girls’ teeball league as a spirited umpire earning him the title of “Mr. Tee”. He is lovingly still remembered with that title by countless families whose lives he touched. Charlie generously sponsored a team known as Charlie’s Angels. Because of his service to Bethel, the Jaycees presented him with their Distinguished Service Award. One of Charlie’s special gifts to everyone was being Santa each year for over 50 years. Thousands of children expressed their wishes to this most remarkable and realistic Santa who listened to each one lovingly.
Charlie was graced with musical talent and the love of performing. He had a beautiful and booming tenor voice and performed all his life with various doo-wop, gospel and church groups, with equal enthusiasm. He sang with the First Congregational Church of Bethel Sanctuary choir for most of the 41 years that he and his wife, Pam have been members. He also sang with the Good News Gospel Choir and was a charter member of the Connecticut Master Chorale. He was proud to have performed with them at the White House, Carnegie Hall, and West Point. They proudly won the McDonald’s Gospel Fest three times. Not only could Charlie sing, but he also was known to bust a move regularly at any party or wedding to the delight of all his friends and family.
Charlie was the embodiment of the term “salt of the earth”. He never met a stranger. Never were you in his company that someone didn’t enter the room or restaurant and say, “Hey Charlie”. Everyone knew and loved him.
Charlie’s greatest treasure was his family. Along with his wife Pam, he leaves his daughter, Michele Brescia and her husband, Alex (who Charlie considered his own son) and his daughter, Leslie, all from New Milford, his cherished granddaughters, Renae (Brescia) Leonard and her husband Bill, Sara Brescia, and Jenna Brescia. He also leaves his brother, Gene and his wife Doris Smith along with many nieces, nephews and fur grandbabies. He was met in heaven by his parents and his sister, who died in infancy.
For those of us who knew Charlie, we will never hear the words to Amazing Grace and O’Holy Night without picturing Charlie in the choir loft belting out his favorite solo. We will all miss you, Charlie. The Lord has welcomed you with the proclamation “well done good and faithful servant”.
The family will receive friends and family Friday, September 17th from 4:00-7:00pm at Bethel Funeral Home, 215 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel. A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 18th at 3:00pm at the First Congregational Church, 46 Main Street in Bethel. A reception will follow. Due to COVID precautions, please bring a mask and practice appropriate social distancing.
The family would like to thank everyone for their generous donations to the GoFundMe in Charlie’s honor which helped fulfill his last request to spend his final days at The Regional Hospice in Danbury, surrounded by his family. They request that in lieu of flowers, you practice a random act of kindness and extend the hand of friendship to a stranger especially one in need, which is exactly what Charlie would want you to do.