Charles was born to Nicholas and Elizabeth Rigal on July 26, 1943 in East Orange, NJ.
At the age of 78 on October 31, 2021, Charles passed away due to injuries sustained in a fall at the Layton Mall. In July, 2022, Charles will be added to the Celebration of Life Monument in Salt Lake City.
Charles was my little brother- four years younger than me.
As children, we had musical instruments to learn. Charles had the misfortune to learn the cello. Think about lugging that around to and from school. He used to practice while watching Corny the Clown on TV. He would wear this silly looking derby.
As he matured, he developed an interest in rummaging through the junkyard, finding parts from abandoned cars. He would also spend a lot of time at an adjacent body shop. He taught himself to disassemble and reassemble automatic transmissions. Once he brought home an English Ford engine.
He set it up in our garage, ran the exhaust out the back door, and started it up.
Charles loved trains. One of his first jobs was to work on the Pennsylvania RR. He worked in switching towers routing trains to the correct track. He told me the story of his having to climb a tower in the winter in icy conditions. It was then I think he decided to abandon this job to go to college to become an Engineer.
Charles paid his way through college, attending Brooklyn Polytech, where he earned his Engineering degree.
Charles's career lead him finally to the Boeing facility at Hill Airforce base in Utah. While in Utah, he met his wife Beth. He adored Beth. They loved to square dance. They also loved to eat out- in fact, never at home.
Charles loved the railroad and would drive to tracks that he would then walk for miles, taking pictures for slides. He accumulated a massive collection.
Charles devoted his life to helping Beth manage her type 1 diabetes. He was devastated when she passed away, and stayed mostly to himself. He devoted the rest of his life working on and organizing pictures he had taken of railroad scenery.
Although Charles had kept to himself in his later years, I am grateful that a wonderful neighbor, Travis, moved in next door and they became friends.
Charles is survived by his brother Ernest and his wife Susan; his nephew Michael and his wife Lauren, and their three wonderful children Alexandra, Nicholas, and Michael. Charles kept in touch with his family two thousand miles away. He watched his grand niece and nephews grow from afar.
We will all miss Charles. He was close to my son Michael, and he shared the stories of the children's adventures as they grew.
Rest in peace Charles.