Charles Edward Hawthorne, age 90 passed away August 1, 2014 from pulmonary
complications following knee replacement surgery.
A fourth generation descendant of homesteading West Orange
pioneers, Charles was born on February 13, 1924 to Thomas Claude and Mary Lucy
Hawthorne. He also had a lifelong
interest in politics and served as a member of several water management
authorities. Gator football game days
were sacred and strangers were only "friends he hadn't formally met".
A 1943 graduate of Riverside Military Academy in
Gainesville, GA., Charles immediately enlisted in the Army Air Corps and
participated in 49 missions as a tail gunner on a B-25 over Italy and Germany.
Shortly before he shipped out, he married his grade school sweetheart,
Grace Brown, of Winter Garden. At the
conclusion of World War II, he and Grace moved to Gainesville where he
completed a BS in Agriculture under the GI Bill, graduating in 1949.
Returning to West Orange he began operating a citrus
management company and acquired properties with opportunities to grow
citrus. Before the freezes of 1983, 1985
and 1989 his company managed over 7,000 acres of citrus being harvested for
juice and fresh fruit. Still desiring to
be involved with horticulture he embarked into ornamental plants starting
CharleStan Landscaping Nursery in Winter Garden and on the family homestead. He loved
nurturing his plants and worked at the nursery until he was 88.
He served on the board of Florida Citrus Mutual and had a
call in radio show relating to citrus management. In addition he was active in Lion's Club
International and the Winter Garden Baptist Church.
Retirement included traveling the US, Canada, Europe, Asia
and Africa. Charles and Grace celebrated
52 years of marriage before she passed away in 1997. He subsequently met Alice Hoelzer of Deland
Traverse City, Michigan on a Farm Bureau Tour of the Netherlands in 1998. They
married in 2000 and moved to King's Ridge, an active adult community in
Clermont. This served as their base for
exploring the globe. Even with the
constraints of Alzheimer's they were able to take a Road Scholar trip to
Chincoteague Island in May and explore the art museums in St. Petersburg and
Tampa in June.
Charles was predeceased by his oldest child, Gretchen, in
1994. His descendants include sons,
Chuck (Louise) and Stan (Sherri) of Windermere, Florida, 6 Grandsons, 4
Granddaughters, 13 Great Grandsons, 5 Great Granddaughters and 3 babies
expected later this year. He was also
predeceased by his older brother, James and his younger siblings, Betty
(Shuman) and William.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mike Conley
Hospice House of Cornerstone Hospice, the Alzheimer's Foundation, the Winter
Garden Heritage Foundation, Oakland Nature Preserve or a charity of your
A Celebration of Life will be held at Oakland Presbyterian
Church on Saturday, August 9th at 11:00 am.
Professional Arrangements by Dobbs Funeral Home, 407-578-7720