Charles Memrick

Obituary of Charles Memrick

Charles Joseph Memrick, Mooresville, NC, Words can barely express the joy that Charles Memrick took from life and gave back to everyone lucky enough to have known him.

A child of immigrants, he worked as a machinist for Beech-Nut, making lifesavers and gum until he retired after 46 years, proud of his blue collar life and the American Dream he claimed as his own. He raised a close-knit family, moved south from Upstate New York, persevered through tough times, and never let a little thing like age keep him from savoring each moment. Mr. Memrick passed away on Sunday, December 3, 2017 peacefully at his home. He was 89 years old. Mr. Memrick was born on June 6, 1928, in Fairfield, NY, the third and youngest child of dairy farmers John and Rose Memrick. They came to this country from Eastern Europe, like so many immigrants, determined to build a better life. Mr. Memrick was born at home on the eve of the Great Depression in a house with no electricity or running water. But he never felt poor and always believed life held great possibilities if you were willing to work at it. Mr. Memrick and his high school sweetheart, the former Phyllis Rose Ferraro, married in 1948 and settled in Palatine Bridge, NY. She passed away in 1988. He loved his job as a Beech-Nut machinist, just as he also loved helping operate his parents’ dairy farm and running a second-hand furniture store. Mr. Memrick retired from Beech-Nut in 1993 and accepted his daughter Mary’s invitation to move to Mooresville and help care for her young family. Tragically, Mary died from cancer in 2008. Mr. Memrick came to terms with the loss as best he could and grabbed hold of his new life as a retiree in Mooresville. He remained steadfastly at home even after a stroke in 2007 put him in a wheelchair. He participated in Mooresville Senior Singles, Spinning Moors Square Dance Club, Memories Writing Group, Stroke Survivor Support Group and AARP. His second daughter, Julie, said, “time didn’t matter when you were with dad and he was going to tell you a story. No matter what life’s worries, she’d say, you could escape to Dad’s place”. His many hobbies included astronomy, bird-watching, journaling, listening to NPR (he loved “Car Talk” and “A Prairie Home Companion”) and debating current events, both sides of an issue because it got his juices flowing.

Mr. Memrick is survived by four children, Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joseph and his wife, Patricia, of Tallahassee, FL, Michael and his wife, Anna, of Durham, Paul and his wife, Karen, of Austin, TX, and Julie of Huntersville; eight grandchildren, Briana, Jason, Matt, Monica, Kathryn, Michael, Allison and Charissa; seven great grandchildren, Ava, Alex, Thomas, Joshua, Amelia Babe, Amelia and Teddy; and many loving nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Rose; former wife, Phyllis; brother, Ben; sister, Jenny; daughter, Mary Hawkes. But out of that heartbreak came a blessing. He loved her widower, Alister, and his second wife, Jinny as he did his own.

A service to celebrate his life will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home Chapel, 494 E Plaza Drive, Mooresville, with Father Mark S. Lawlor officiating. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 1:00 – 2:00 PM at the funeral home.

A gift to honor his life can be made to St. Therese Catholic Church, 217 Brawley School Road, Mooresville, NC 28117 or The American Heart Association, 4217 Park Place Ct., Glen Allen, VA 23060.

The family is thankful for the care shown by Hospice and Palliative Care of Iredell County. Mr. Memrick was grateful to Rosa McNeil, Albert Bassett and Adriana Vermillion for their caring compassion in his final years of life. He never forgot the kindness people showed him, for example the time he tipped over in his wheelchair in the garden and back-door neighbors Bill and Michelle Corbett came to his rescue. Father Bill Lynch inspired him as a priest and friend. Charles Joseph Memrick was fond of something Nelson Mandela once said. How about that! This child of immigrants, who worked in a gum factory, quoted a South African revolutionary who helped end apartheid a world away. Their differences don’t matter because they saw life and death the same way.

“When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people or his country, he can rest in peace”.

A graveside service will be held in the Spring at St. Peter's & Paul's Catholic Cemetery in Canajoharie and will be announced.