Charles Brabson Sanders II (more affectionately known as Chuck, Ceebs, CB, East Chop Charlie and Gompy) died peacefully on July 3 in the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital following a battle with leukemia. He was 90.
He was born in Montclair, N.J., to Louise G. and James W. Sanders on Dec. 11, 1923. He graduated from the Lawrenceville School and then attended Yale University, until enlisting in the U.S. Marine Air Corps. While in the Corps, he piloted a B25 bomber, co-piloted a C47 transport and attained the rank of major. While home on leave, he and Katherine A. Eavenson were married in Montclair on Dec. 23, 1945. Following his years in the service, he was a salesman for American Baby Foods and then worked for Dillon-Beck Manufacturing Company for several years prior to purchasing it.
Along with being the father of four, a husband, and the president and CEO of his company, Chuck made the time to found the Urban Redevelopment Coalition of Montclair, whose sole purpose was to relocate the underprivileged from a poverty-stricken section of Montclair and to rebuild their homes. He was president of Friends of Sengekontacket, whose mission statement is the preservation of watersheds, primarily those of Sengekontacket Pond and the adjacent barrier beaches. Chuck was also on numerous boards such as the Schuman Foundation, Public Broadcasting Service, Chemical Bank, Horizon Bancorp and the Montclair Golf Club. In addition, he was president of Community Hospital in Montclair, a deacon/elder at Central Presbyterian Church in Montclair and chaired the ministerial committee at Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs. Chuck was an avid golfer, hunter and fisherman as well as a self-taught wood craftsman, which earned him the nickname of Geppetto.
Chuck was survived by his daughters Lynn Pizzirusso, Debby Lewis and Heidi Bryan and his son Bruce Sanders. He also had 10 grandchildren: Jennifer Walsh, James Pizzirusso, Kelly Gereski, Erin Milbury, Megan Hwang, Weston Bryan, Lindsay Rose, Katie Bryan, Kelsey Sanders and Tyler Sanders, and 12 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Chuck’s life will be held on August 30 at Union Chapel at 10 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Friends of Sengekontacket, Union Chapel or First Congregational Church of West Tisbury.
The family wishes to extend its heart-felt gratitude to the staff and physicians at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital (including the lab and Infusion Center) and Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard.