Charles Goward Tewksbury


Charles Goward Tewksbury, 88, longtime resident of Albemarle County, VA and Canaan Valley, WV, died peacefully surrounded by his family on May 31, 2019. Known to all as Chuck, he was a resident of The Lodge at Old Trail in Crozet, VA, where he brought joy to many, playing “Taps” on his trombone every night.

Chuck was born on March 10, 1931 to Phyllis Goward Tewksbury and John Tewksbury in Lowell, MA, where his ancestors had lived since the 1700s.  He received a B.S. in Textile Engineering from Lowell Technological Institute and his M.S. from the Institute of Textile Technology in Charlottesville, VA, to which he would return to serve as  President and CEO for over 20 years, until his retirement in 1994.  Holder of patents in textile finishing and industrial fabric manufacture, Chuck traveled the world promoting the US textile industry and sharing knowledge with developing nations. For his contributions to the industry, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, and Textile World recognized him as “one of the most influential textile leaders of the twentieth century.”

More than his professional achievements, Chuck valued his family, God, his country, and his community, and he lived in service to these.  He would say his greatest accomplishment was marrying his high school sweetheart, Elizabeth (Skip) Wilder in 1953, and being her devoted husband for 66 years, living one day past their anniversary. That happy union produced four children and eight grandchildren.  Chuck and Skip had many adventures over the years with their many friends, traveled to over 40 countries, and built their dream home on a mountain in Canaan Valley, WV where they spent many summers.  No matter how busy he was, Chuck always made time for family and friends, and his kindness and generosity to all set a powerful example for his children and others.

Chuck was guided in all things by a deep and abiding faith in God’s love. Chuck was always an active member of his church, whether serving in a leadership role or singing in the choir.  Most recently, he and Skip attended Hope Presbyterian Church in Crozet, and Canaan Valley Baptist Church in WV.  In service to his country, Chuck spent four years in the Navy, serving as an officer on a supply ship in the Pacific. Chuck’s extensive volunteer activities over the years included driving for JAUNT Charlottesville/Albemarle County and serving as President of the Albemarle County Rotary Club.  He also played trombone in the Second Wind Band at the Charlottesville Senior Center. Giving back was his hallmark; truly, he modeled the notion that the greatest thing is just to love and be loved in return.

Chuck loved long distance running, completing the Boston Marathon three times, and finishing a total of nine marathons in less than three and a half hours each. He trained by running the roads of rural Western Albemarle County, picking up running buddies along the way, sometimes covering over twenty miles before work.

Chuck is survived by his beloved wife Elizabeth, also known as Skip, of Crozet, VA; his children Zan (Susan) Tewksbury, Esq. of Canaan Valley, WV; Dr. Herschel Snodgrass of Portland, OR; Sergio Ortiz of Portland, OR; Jeff and Judy Tewksbury of Seffner, FL; David Tewksbury of Charlottesville, VA; Deb Jones Tewksbury of Charlottesville, VA; and Steve and Cris Tewksbury of Williamsburg, VA; and grandchildren Carl Snodgrass, Esq. and Dr. Jessica Bird of Brooklyn; Emma Snodgrass of Minneapolis; Ian, Evelyn, Lydia and Jane Tewksbury of Charlottesville; Lizzy and Jim Miller of Williamsburg; and Becca Tewksbury, also of Williamsburg.

The family is deeply grateful to the staff and residents of The Lodge at Old Trail, Dr. Marissa Christensen, Legacy Hospice, and Care Advantage, for their loving care of Chuck. If you wish to honor Chuck’s memory, please reach out to those in need as he sought to do, or make a donation to Legacy Hospice or any charity of your choice.

Memorial gatherings are planned in Crozet, VA, Canaan Valley, WV and Lowell, MA.

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