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Charles P. Jester III (Charlie)

Died: September 21, 2017
Memphis, Tenn

It seems that Time and Change have prevailed. Who could have imagined how our country would change in these fifty years since we went forth from the Old Campus full of ourselves. I dropped a computer course saying I would never use one. After graduation I went on to study architecture and upon licensure one of my first projects was a Presbyterian church. My most recent project is a Shi’I mosque. Programmatically they are quite similar projects. My professional career has included the restoration of three city blocks of Historic Beale Street, and work in New London, Flushing, Ponce, Honolulu and many points between. I once believed that architecture was a permanent medium but have found that many projects have already been obscured by addition, demolition and replacement due to the fickle nature of the commercial environment. I also designed the city’s delivery system and quality control method for housing rehab.

A number of years ago I took up the bagpipes and with a group of like minded friends, including one from Vassar ’66, formed a pipe and drum band. For the last twenty some years we have provided escort for all of the line of duty fire and police dead, marched the National Guard off to war, and even provided warm up for the likes of Rod Stewart.

We were born into a world at war; and if things continue the way they are going, I suspect we will leave one. For years it was pounded into our heads that tolerance was a virtue. However, life has taught that this is a fallacy. We should never have been tolerant of criminal gangs that have infested our cities; we should never have been tolerant of drugs that are now manufactured even in our rural communities; we should never have been tolerant of the erosion of civility in our culture; we should never have been tolerant of an entertainment industry that plays to the lowest common denominator of violence, vulgarity and explicit sex; we should never have been tolerant of politicians who represent their own self-interest and re-election above the interest of the Nation; we should never have been tolerant of a chief executive who has weakened our defenses, endangered world peace and destroyed our economy through either naiveté, dogma or anti-American upbringing.

At this stage of life, my chief desire is to live sufficiently long to influence my two-and-a-half year old granddaughter, Dounyazade, who speaks English and Urdu, as well as a smattering of Arabic picked up during a month’s stay in Beirut. She is already adept with an I-pad and fearless around the electronics that I shunned as a student. Our America has changed.