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Charles P. Jester, III

Died: September 21, 2017

Charles P. Jester was an acute observer of time and change, which was the subject of his 50th reunion entry. He both marveled at and decried the changes our class has seen “since we went forth from the Old Campus full of ourselves.” He dropped a course in computers, convinced he would never use one. He wrote that Dounyazade, his adorable looking 2 ½ year old granddaughter (with whom he was pictured in the reunion book) “is already adept with an iPad and fearless around the electronics that I shunned as a student.”

Charles bemoaned that our nation was at war when we graduated and seems to have been at war ever since. Charles had standards that the American public had trashed: “For years it was pounded into our heads that tolerance was a virtue. However, life has taught that this is fallacy.” He despaired that we have tolerated crime, drugs, the erosion of civility, pornography, self-interested politicians and the election of our 45th President.

After being trained at the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design, Charles was a self-employed architect in Memphis, TN, with a variety of interesting projects, including the restoration of three city blocks of Historic Beal Street, “the home of the blues,” in Memphis, for which he received an award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He worked on projects in New London, Flushing, Ponce, Honolulu “and many points in between.” His first project was a Presbyterian church and his most recent a Shi’ mosque. Charles saw time and change affect even his own work, but, like Ozymandias, no man’s monument lasts forever: “I once believed architecture was a permanent medium but have found that many [of his architectural] projects have already been obscured by addition, demolition and replacement due to the fickle nature of the commercial environment.”

A fan of all things Scottish, Charles mastered that most difficult of instruments, the bagpipe. With “like minded friends, including one from Vassar ’66,” he formed a pipe and drum band, the Wolf River Pipes & Drums, that for twenty years “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.” Charles also enjoyed genealogical research and whitewater canoeing.

Late in his full life, his goal was to help raise his beloved granddaughter.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Joanne Dolan Jester, a retired flight attendant, and his sons Charles P. Jester IV and John Egan Jester

Michael Crutcher