Nick Charles, 81, of Lexington died April 8

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George Roland “Nick” Charles Jr., 81, of Lexington died Monday, April 8, 2019, at Lewis Gale Medical Center.

Born May 13, 1937, in Washington, D.C., Nick was the son of the late George Roland Charles Sr., a World War I veteran of the Battle of the Ardennes, and Maida Brown Charles, an executive assistant.

Following his high school graduation from the Baltimore, Md., Saint Paul’s School for Boys, Nick attained his bachelor’s degree in history from Washington and Lee University, Class of 1959. He was a member and president of the W&L chapter of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. Also during his W&L years, he was on the college’s Division I varsity lacrosse team.

Nick’s professional life began in the early 1960s with the American Export Company in Washington, D.C. He was subsequently employed for many years by the Westinghouse Airbrake Company (WABCO) as a member of their international executive sales force. Nick had a lifelong passion for travel, having spent most of his executive career abroad - residing with his family in Beirut, Lebanon; Madrid, Spain; Athens, Greece; Brussels, Belgium, and the Republic of Singapore.

After retirement, Nick moved to Lexington in the early 2000s to manage the now-closed Healthy Foods Market. An active member of the greater Lexington community, Nick was generous with his executive and travel experiences, providing career mentorship to fellow Lexingtonians as well as serving on many local nonprofit boards, including treasurer of Lime Kiln and Habitat for Humanity, the Rockbridge Regional Library Board, Rockbridge Regional Library Trust Board, Architectural Review Board, and Economic Development Authority.

Nick also continued to enjoy his travels; he and then-partner Katie Letcher Lyle wintered in Cozumel, Mexico, went on Safari to Africa, and cruised the Greek Islands. Most recently he traveled to Belize and Southeast Asia.

In addition to traveling, Nick greatly enjoyed playing golf; a particular point of pride was achieving a hole-in-one at the Buena Vista Links. Those who knew him best also knew him to be a vociferous debater, enthusiastically engaging in lively discussions – with any subject being fair game.

Surviving are his children, Kimberly Charles Serocki of Lexington, Martena Charles Clark of Tenterden, England, and Christopher Roland Charles of Melbourne, Fla. In addition, Nick is survived by his Christ Episcopal Church of Buena Vista family and very close family friends Joanne Peretti, Luis Corvalan, Kelly Harris and Jenny Pulliam.

His family and friends will miss him terribly, but feel so fortunate for having this wonderful, unique and inspiring spirit in their lives, and comforted in remembering Nick’s positive impact among his many friends and the greater Lexington community.

A celebration of life was held April 13 at Christ Episcopal Church.

Arrangements were by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory.

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