Charles Woodman
Charles Woodman

Obituary of Charles Austin Woodman

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Charles Austin Woodman, 86, died November 12, 2010 at his home in North Appleton, Maine of cardiovascular disease, after a long and active life. He was born on June 14, 1924 in Malden, Massachusetts, the son of Charles L. and Marguerite (Merrill) Woodman. He grew up in the small town of Oxford, Massachusetts, graduated from Oxford High School in 1941, and entered Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts that fall. When war broke out in December 1941, he joined the enlisted Reserve Corps and stayed in college until May 1943, when he was sent to infantry basic training in Texas. In September 1943, he was sent to Princeton in the Army Specialized Training Program, studying acoustics and optics, and in March 1944, when the program was disbanded, was sent to the 104th Infantry Division, then training in Colorado, and went overseas in August, being the first U.S. Division to land directly in Cherbourg, France. He served as a rifleman in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, and was wounded late in the war, receiving a Purple Heart and Bronze Star medal, as well as the Combat Infantry Medal. The bullet which wounded him was lodged in a notebook in the left breast pocket of his jacket and he still has it. He was very proud of his service in the 104th Division. Following the war he resumed his studies, graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1948 with a B.S. in Physics. He was employed by the General Electric Company in Schenectady, N.Y. and Lynn, Mass, where he earned an M.Ed. degree from Northeastern University and left GE to teach physics at Wakefield (Mass) H.S. in 1960. While at Wakefield he coached tennis and was selected for National Science Foundation summer institutes in physics in 1961, 62, and 63 at Princeton, Yale, and Tufts Universities. In 1964 he was designated “Outstanding Physics Teacher” by the National Physics Teachers Association. Also while at Wakefield, he co-authored a 9th grade science text, “Science on the Move” for which he wrote the physics section. This resulted in an invitation to join the doctoral program at Boston University, which he did, receiving his doctorate in science education in 1970. He then became Director of Science for the Braintree (Mass) public schools, a position he held for 14 years. Retiring in 1984, he moved to his farm in Appleton. There he grew Christmas trees, and became known in the area for his Maine-grown hardy rhododendrons, of which he sold thousands over a span of 20 years. In 1986 he became Adult Education Director in Camden, retiring in 1997. In Appleton he was active in town affairs, serving at various times in the volunteer fire department, the Conservation Commission, the library committee, the planning board (8 years, chairman for 5) and the budget committee. An avid sailor, he repeatedly cruised the coast of Maine, from Portland to Eastport, in his 29 foot sloop “Naiad” with his family during the sixties and seventies. He also raced his boat in handicap races in the Boston area, winning several trophies over the years. In addition, in 1965 and again in 1975, he engaged in summer-long, cross-country camping trips with his family, visiting national parks across the country. He was an active Mason, serving as master of Paul Dean Lodge of North Easton, Mass in 1979, and was a member of Paul Revere Lodge in Brockton, Mass, Anah Shrine Temple in Bangor and the Mid-Coast and Waldo County Shrine Clubs. He was an active outdoorsman, doing downhill and cross-country skiing, and climbed Mt. Katahdin several times. In 1981, at the age of 57, he climbed Mt. Rainier with the help of his nephew, Chuck Woodman, the adventure of his life. He was also an avid tennis player and continued to play through his sixties. He was pre-deceased by his parents, two favorite uncles and aunts, a brother, Robert Woodman of Limington, Maine, and a sister, Betty Bjerklie of Meredith, NH. He is survived by his former wife of 45 years, Jean Woodman of Meredith, NH, a daughter, Betty Woodman of Roswell, GA, a son Roger Woodman of Meredith, NH, a grandson, Ryan Kohlsdorf, a senior at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, a granddaughter, Leah Woodman, a cadet at Annapolis, a granddaughter, Gracia Woodman, a senior in High school and a member of the Civil Air Patrol in Meredith, NH, a nephew, Chuck Woodman of Lincoln, NH, a niece, Susan Brassard of Colchester, VT, a niece, Carrie Fagerstrom of Portland, OR, a niece Nancy Harmon of San Diego, CA, a nephew, Rick Fagerstrom of Portland, OR, a nephew, Eric Fagerstrom of Manchester, NH, a niece, Ann Fagerstrom Perry of Deltaville, VA, a cousin, Nancy Wall of Hollis, NH, and a former companion, Katharine Woodman of Appleton, ME. Interment will be in the Woodman plot in Blair Cemetery in Campton, NH. A small family gathering and ceremony is planned. Arrangements under the care of Crabiel-Riposta Funeral Home, Belfast. On-line condolences may be offered to the family at
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Charles Woodman

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Charles Woodman

1924 - 2010

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