- About Us
Charles Lew Lake passed away Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at the age of 89, just 17 days away from his 90th birthday on March the 16th. Charles was a beloved and treasured husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, father-in-law, uncle, brother-in-law, and friend. He will be profoundly missed, but never far from our hearts. He is preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Drusley Lake; brother, Wesley (Tony) Lake; sisters, Myrtle Hammer and Laney Cavaliero; grandson, Jimmy; and daughter-in-law, Bambi Lake.
Charles was a loyal and honorable man to all; giving God, his wife, and children top honors.
Charles cherished his wife, Pauline of 67 years. He noticed her first at the young age of 16 while sitting in church by pointing her out to his father and saying, “Dad, one day, I’m going to marry that girl!” She was the ripe old age of 14 and didn’t have a clue he walked the planet. He identified early on, that each of his three children had very distinct characters. It was important to him to build on those unique personalities. He felt duty-bound as a dad to develop a one of a kind relationship with each of them. That same love trickled down to his relationships with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. From inspecting a “drainage problem” on the garage downspout with his little 2-year-old granddaughter, to playing in self-made mud puddles in his driveway with his 2-year-old little great-grandson. The family has many cherished memories that they will continue to recount about this beloved man they called Husband, Dad, Daddy, PaPa, Grandpa, and Old PaPa. He holds a place in their heart that no one else can replace.
Charles was adored and enjoyed by his three children: Victoria, Steve, and Jeff, his eight grandchildren: Jimmy (preceded in death), Stacia, Christina, Stephanie, Jeffrey, Jessica, Christopher and Rocco, and his seven great-grandchildren: Jackson, Evelyn, Charlee (she shares the same birthday, March 16th with her Old PaPa), Carter, Liam, Asher, and Ellie (baby on the way).
Charles was known by Chuck to most friends and family, especially to his father, sisters and brother. But when they were children it was common for them to recognize the name their mother Drusley referred to him by, Charles Lew, and she did until the day he enlisted in the Marine Corps. Speaking of being a Marine, no truer words could apply when they say, “Once a Marine always a Marine.” That was Charlie Lake! That was another very common greeting you’d hear when mentioning Charles, “Hey, Charlie Lake!” Or “Hey Charlie!” On occasion, you might catch a “Chas,” “Lake,” or “CLL,” thrown into the mix. These were the names used by the vast number of people that walked the unique corridors of his amazing life.
Chuck lived life to the fullest, making the most of his opportunities, working hard all his life, without forgetting to have fun along the way. He loved to laugh, and have a good time, and he was funny!
A strong work ethic ran in his veins. He worked hard as a young man, and continued to work well into his early 80s. He worked both at B.F.Goodrich Co. and General Tire & Rubber Co., retiring from General when the plant was forced to close. He was part of the last shut down team, and he had over 33 years of service. He then moved to Seminole, Florida. No, he didn’t retire; he started his own small successful business as a distributor for Calgon products and had clients such as Anheuser-Busch in Tampa, and Tropicana Orange Juice. He didn’t stop there; he also was a one-man band contractor for refurbishing projects on homes and offices. Whether it was putting in skylights, complete interior restoration, or framing in sidewalk curbs, he could do it all! Then another work opportunity called and it was bye-bye to Florida back to the Buckeye State.
Chuck was happier than ever to be back home in Akron, he didn’t miss Florida one bit. He spent the next 25 plus years working in tandem with his youngest son in numerous businesses. Mostly in the muffler business and selling used cars. In fact, he was an expert witness called by the Akron Municipal Court to provide automobile valuation. During this same time, he helped assist his eldest son in the start-up venture of a sports bar and grille. Undertaking a business enterprise is always a challenge. The fact that Chuck and his sons worked as business partners added another level of kinship to their relationship.
And when it came to sports, he loved watching Ohio State football, the Cavs, and golf. Golf was his game! He considered himself fortunate to have played some of the most beautiful courses in the country, including Palm Springs, CA, Hilton Head, SC, Myrtle Beach, NC, and throughout the state of Florida. He enjoyed local Ohio golf courses too, especially the nearby Firestone Country Club. He even played in the open of the PGA World Series Tournament that was held at Firestone. He had a blast when he had the chance to play with some of the top PGA professionals.
He loved playing golf with all three of his kids, Vikki, Steve, and Jeff. He spent years of manly hours playing golf with his boys Steve and Jeff, and their fun and antics could fill volumes. When he played with Victoria, it usually turned into an adventure of sort. On their first outing to Firestone, her new golf shoes caused such blisters that she had to play hole #16, “The Monster” without the shoes. Chuck giggled the whole time at the idea of playing “The Monster” with his barefoot daughter. This is a favorite family story. They also played golf in Florida. It would be an all-day affair, which might have been as much about sharing the customary cooler full of milk and donuts, as it was about the actual golf.
Along with his commitment to his family, he also enjoyed being part of his community through different organizations. Being a Protestant most of his life, Charles became a Mason. After years of study, he succeeded to Worshipful Master of Loyalty (#83) Lodge, in Akron. As his children married and grandchildren were born, it became apparent that to continue to be deeply involved in their lives he should convert to Catholicism as they were being raised in the religion. This led to his involvement in the Knights of Columbus, where he became a member and enthusiastically devoted himself to serving the Ellet Council #4664 as Grand Knight. He had to be one of a very few men who could claim to be both a Master Mason and a Grand Knight of the K of C. He was a very dedicated man and steadfast in his commitments to all that he pledged to respect.
A few other little mentions about Chuck - He was a stunning looking man, sharp as a tack in appearance, with everything in place and his shoes always with a spit shine!
He loved ice cream, especially Strickland’s, music (especially Barbra Streisand and Patsy Cline), and he was a master model airplane builder. He loved flying those 6’ wingspan planes, crafting balsa wood and stretching silk over the wings. When they were finished they looked like they were made from glass!
And last but not least, he loved hanging out in his garage. He had the most organized tool bench you’d ever see. He’d put on his tunes and take a break in a comfortable lawn chair and watch the cars go up and down his street. He would have visitors stop in to see him almost daily to have a short or a long chat with Charlie. As spring approaches, many friends will sorely miss seeing him sitting in his garage, and they will miss their chat time with a very good and humble man.
Heartfelt appreciation goes to his son-in-law, Bryan Cavill. Bryan and Chuck became and remained fast friends. Bryan was always there for Chuck through any medical/personal crisis. Chuck put his trust in Bryan. They were buddies in every sense of the word.
Also, Richard Hammer, “Uncle Dick,” is Chuck’s brother-in-law and another kind and caring soul. He is the salt of the earth, and he was always a friend to Chuck. Uncle Dick has gone past thoughtfulness to show kindheartedness to Chuck and Pauline. Best of all, Uncle Dick always knew how to share a laugh.
Special thanks go to Janis Tepus, neighbor, nurse, and friend, for her kind humanity and compassion, especially in these last few weeks. She gave such comfort when it seemed nothing else was making a difference. From all the Lake family we appreciate the gentleness that was so freely given. You’re the best!
Memorial service will be held at NOON on Monday, March 5, 2018 at Schermesser Funeral Home, 600 E. Turkeyfoot Lake Rd. (SR619), Akron, Ohio 44319 with Pastor Dallas Billington officiating. Family and friends may call on Monday from 10:30 A.M. until the time of the service at the funeral home. Inurnment will be at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made in Chuck’s name to the charity of your choice; or perform a random act of kindness and hug a Marine. To leave a special message online for the family and see more about Chuck’s life, visit our website at www.schermesserfh.com.