This eulogy was given during the funeral service on Thursday, August 4th, 2016 by Dan Nale, Charles Nale's youngest son. Good afte...

This eulogy was given during the funeral service on Thursday, August 4th, 2016 by Dan Nale, Charles Nale's youngest son.

Good afternoon and thank you for coming to pay respects to a wonderful father, husband, brother, uncle, grandfather, great grandfather and friend.  Wherever you’re from, we love you and thank you all for joining us here today to celebrate the life of a remarkable man, Charles Lee Nale, Senior.  I especially want to thank my family, friends & colleagues from Gulfstream Aerospace that traveled here today to support me & my family.

Although I’ve cried many tears in the past few days, I have found joy in knowing that my father is in heaven. Through the guidance and grace of God, we will all continue to grow in our understanding of our Father in Heaven through the legacy of my Dad.

Charles Nale Senior was born at home on Electric Avenue in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, on August 15, 1930. He passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 31, 2016, surrounded by my Mom, my sister Kim, and her loving family.

My Dad is survived by his loving wife of 65 years and the world’s best mother, Jerrie; his six children, Charles Jr., Joel, Mark, Charlis, me and Kim; 19 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. What a blessing! And he is also survived by his brothers and sisters, Louise May, Clarence Nale, Hazel Madden, Frances Krick, and Mary Hawk as well as a host of nieces and nephews.

Dad was deeply loved for his sense of humor, his enjoyment of the outdoors, his conservative political views, his respect for hard work and education, and his special barbecued chicken. Most of all, Dad was known for his faith.

Every decision he made regarding his family and career was guided by his most important decision in life – to make Christ his Lord and Savior.  Dad accepted Christ with my Mom while doing a Bible Study with their Pastor when they were in their early 20’s.

Dad was a Deacon and Trustee in the Absecon Presbyterian & Baptist Church. He joined other deacons in regular Saturday meetings to plan the church activities. He led and participated in many Bible Studies with my mother. In recent years, during their visits to Savannah, they would participate in our Monday evening Bible Studies, and in that short time, Dad encouraged our friend Curt, who also had had open heart surgery, to keep the faith. My parents lived by the verse from Deuteronomy 11:18 (NIV):

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

Dad remarked many times how his Granddaddy Bodtorf passed away peacefully after a wonderful meal while sitting on his front porch reading his Bible. That is the way my Dad wanted to pass, and there is no doubt in my mind that God gave him that blessing. About a year ago, Dad received an Ipad, and two or three times a week, we would Facetime each other. I spoke with him the night before he passed away.  He had just finished a steak dinner with potatoes, and he was sitting on the back patio of my sister Kim’s house in Chadds Ford, PA reading a book on stock options. He talked about the nice weather, the birds singing, and how much he was enjoying his book. He shared a couple of jokes with me, and I told him a couple jokes. We laughed until we cried. My Dad left this world in the way we all hope to meet the Lord.  He fought the good fight like the Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7-8:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.

My father fought the good fight and as noted in Psalm 23:6, there were many challenges that he endured while keeping in mind the wonder words and inspiration from the book of Psalms.

Psalm 23:6:

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Dad placed his love for family and people over work or projects or stuff, and he was never too busy to include us. Many of us have chopped wood with him, or planted a garden, or raised rabbits or chickens, or gone fishing and crabbing. He especially cherished fishing with his brothers, sons, and grandsons in the mountains of Pennsylvania or catching Blue Crabs with his grandchildren in New Jersey and Georgia, which he taught us to fix Maryland style with Old Bay and Kosher salt. He also taught a few of us how to barbeque what he deemed his famous chicken. Only he knew how to do it best; he instilled hours of patience and meticulous preparation in every piece.

Everyone knows my father adored his grandchildren and great grandchildren - his love for them was but another extension of his love for my brothers, sisters and me.  He often used his wonderful stories to teach or provide an example to them of how a fulfilling life is lived.

He collected people, He noticed every person, He never met someone that he did not speak to, befriend or acknowledge.  This is as Christ-like as you can get, to live out your testimony through your actions.

Dad exemplified the words of Moses to the Children of Israel from Deuteronomy 6:6-9:

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Moving forward it would certainly be my father’s desire that each one of us shares our faith in Jesus Christ and passes that faith on to our children.

Dad also connected with many of us through his vast knowledge of the stock market. Many of us here today have a Vanguard account because Dad believed that saving on fees was almost as important as earnings. His ability to review 401K’s and research mutual funds quickly turned into easy-to-understand advice that he customized just for your situation.  He would remark many times that this was a God-given talent that he so much enjoyed sharing because it glorified his Father in Heaven.

Dad exemplified the words of poet Helen Steiner Rice, which Mom has printed in the front of her Bible:

Time is not measured by the years that we live, but by the deeds that we do and the joy that we give.

Dad was raised in Reedsville, Pennsylvania, the son of Clarence R. Nale and Anna E. Bodtorf. There, Dad met the boy who became his lifelong best friend at the age of 6 years old: Ken Headings, whom Dad called Presty.

I believe it was at Andy Peters’ gas station in Reedsville, Pennsylvania, where my father earned the nick name Peepy.  He was in the gas station when he was 5 or 6 years old when Andy asked him his name. He said Charles Nale.  Andy replied, well you are no bigger than a Pee Pee Chicken, and to this day, he is known in the area of Lewistown, Milroy and Reedsville as Peepy Nale.  Years later, when my brothers and I traveled with Dad to Pennsylvania to trout fish in Penns Creek, we would run into people that Dad recognized, and he would introduce himself as Charles Nale.  They would immediately say, “Charles, Charles, you look familiar but I don’t remember a Charles Nale.”  Then all of a sudden their eyes would light up as they would say, “You are Peepy Nale,” and they could share a good laugh.  It was then, that I started to call him Peepy, which many of the grandchildren have modified to be Pee Pop or Peep.  All great terms of love and endearment for a wonderful man.

Dad enlisted in the Navy when he was 18 years old, and he achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer prior to completing his 4 years. He served on board the USS Wright (CVL-49) during the Korean War Era. The USS Wright was a sister ship of the USS Yorktown, which is dry docked in Charleston, SC.  I toured the Yorktown with my father on one of his many visits down south.  He would always tell the story of how the ship was really a converted Cruiser Hull because there wasn’t enough time to build aircraft carriers.  He loved to tell how this ship was top heavy and would roll even in the calmest seas.

It was during this time that he was stationed at the Naval Air Facility in Pomona, NJ. The first time he had leave, he ventured out to the Ventnor, NJ skating rink.  He was showing off his skating skills to a beautiful young woman, Jerry Kim, when he accidentally skated into the ladies’ room looking very cool and embarrassed. Jerry Kim was overwhelmed with laughter, and they eventually married. He often said that this was the happiest day of his life.

Once married, Dad leased a Sunoco Gas Station in Atlantic City, NJ.  It was his experience as a teenager working at Andy Peters gas station that prepared Dad for this endeavor. It was this job in Atlantic City that provided him with the experience and understanding of the Petroleum business and launched his career with the Flying A, Tidewater Oil Company, which many of us came to know as the Getty Oil Company. It was while he worked for Getty that our wonderful mother Jerry raised four sons and two daughters as well as their grandson, Charles. Mom and Dad also parented many other kids in our community, who became lifelong extended family members and who, like Mark Kleuser, gave back to our family as much as we ever gave to him.

Dad told many great stories of his experiences at the Getty Oil Company and his involvement with the Getty family.  One particular story involved his personally escorting George Getty around to the various service stations. They were scheduled to have lunch at a country club.  Dad said that instead of keeping their lunch reservation, Mr. Getty wanted to know where my Dad usually ate.  Dad replied that he stopped at one of the road side food coaches, grabbed a chili dog, and ate it in his car.   (The main office was not happy with my father and did not think it appropriate to cancel the luncheon at the country club as planned.)  Mr. Getty said that’s what he wanted to do so they enjoyed a chili dog while leaning on the front fender of the car. George Getty enjoyed this so much that he ordered a second chili dog and remarked on how much time it saved them, allowing them to continue on with their business.  Years later my father would move the family to Bell Meade, NJ so we could commute to his new office in New York City.  My Dad did not particularly fit in with the Corporate Office in NY.  He had some challenges until one day when he was getting onto the elevator, George Getty stepped onto the elevator and said “Chuck Nale, it is good to see you, let’s get a chili dog for lunch sometime soon again.”  From that day forward, my Dad did not have any issues with getting things approved at the Getty Oil Company corporate office in NY.

In Maryland, Dad took a failing Petroleum Distribution & Services market and grew it from last to first. He won a trip for him and my mother to the Olympics because he surpassed the other managers by large margins. In 1984, he retired from Getty Oil Company as Wholesale Fuels Manager for the East Coast. He achieved many accolades during his career, including manager of the year.

Dad was so proud of each one of us, and he and Mom took us on several extended family vacations.  The one that was the most memorable was the trip in 1968 across country in a Caprice Station Wagon with all eight of us travelling from New Jersey to Great Falls, Montana.  You have to be a close family to make this kind of a trek.  My mother was the navigator, organizer and special order cook. We had such a special time traveling from State to State as a family, ultimately doing one of things we all enjoyed -- Trout Fishing!

Dad had many pets over the years, and his favorite dog was Big Boy, an adequately named 192-pound Rottweiler. This dog was so large that when he greeted you or slightly leaned on you, you had to move due to his size.  Big Boy went everywhere with Dad, as he did the things he loved: gardening, splitting wood for his wood stove and fireplace and anything else that was outside.  Dad would go to the butcher shop and pick up the remnants of different cuts of meat.  He would then come home and prepare these dishes for Big Boy.  One day, the parent of one of my mother’s piano students remarked about how good the food my father was cooking smelled.  They indicated that they either had tried some of the concoction on the way in or would like to.  Dad replied, “That is for Big Boy my dog.”  Obviously, their guest changed his mind.

Dad was project oriented. Several of us here today have cleaned out our garages when Dad visited.  When Dad involved us in his projects, he would say, “Every job needs a supervisor,” and he was always the supervisor.  Somehow, I never got that job. I suppose there’s some implied level of required seniority.  On one of his last trips to Savannah, he completely disassembled an old cast iron and wooden bench that we have on our front porch.  He sanded it, removed all the rust, repainted the cast iron with rust-oleum, refinished all of the wood and replaced all of the hardware with brass nuts, bolts and washers.  Dad would say that any job worth doing is worth doing right, and this was yet another example of this man’s compulsion to love others through purposeful acts of kindness.

My Dad was an optimist in a pessimistic world.  He always had a solution or idea no matter how difficult the situation.  My brother Mark shared a story with me of when his car had broken down with his family on a trip.  My Dad’s response was to go out to eat, shop and make the most of the time waiting for the car to be repaired. Mark has used this lesson over and over in life to make lemonade from lemons.  He always opened our eyes so we could view things in ways we never would have considered on our own.

Dad also loved machinery and classic pieces of Americana. His favorite cars were Cadillacs and Lincolns – His most recent purchase of a used Lincoln Town car was about as flamboyant as I know my father to have been. He even bought special tires for his slick new ride, and made sure everyone knew that the brake pads and tires for his new car were the safest and quietest that money could buy.  Many times over the years, because I was an aerospace engineer, he would walk me out to his car, open the hood and say, “what was the engineer thinking that designed this into a car”?  Of course, this was somehow interpreted by me as being responsible for every thought or decision that all automotive engineers had ever made and I would say, Dad, they obviously did not attend the right engineering college, which, in my Dad’s mind, was of course that Military College in Charleston, SC, The Citadel.

Dad never confused the temporal with the eternal. Our time on this earth is very short and precious, and I know Dad’s wish for each of us would be to love our family and friends, to sow the seeds of Christ for the next generation, and to declare to our families as Joshua did:

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

While we are sad today, to quote the Apostle Paul,

We do not weep as those who have no hope. 

We will share eternity with Dad, if, like him, we have accepted that wonderful gift of grace from Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Please consider these words from 1 Corinthians 15:51-58:

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Contributed by Dan Nale, son of Charles Nale Sr.

1 comment:

  1. A wonderful tribute,from a great guy, remember you well the 3 or 4 times we met over the years. Hope your still pumping iron.