Cover photo for Charles J. Dooner's Obituary
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Charles J. Dooner

d. April 4, 2020

Charles John Dooner passed away peacefully April 4, 2020 after a long battle with cancer. He was a wonderful husband of 43 years to Mary P. Dooner (Engelhart) and father to Marybeth and Ben (Kristin); and Catherine Dooner DeGaytan.He is survived by his three grandchildren, Abbey, Jeb and Lena. He is also survived by his sisters, Elaine Bellin (Dooner) and Claire Kuhnle (Dooner). Charlie was predeceased by his sisters, Patricia Durrant (Gipe) and Lorraine Yankovich (Gipe). He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, including Linda Gaglio (Cassidy) and Tom Kuhnle. Charlie was born in Philadelphia, PA on September 6, 1941, the eldest son of Florence Dooner (Nelson) and Charlie (Chic) Dooner. He spent his early years splitting his time between South Philadelphia and North Philadelphia with his grandparents and aunt and uncle. At 14, he moved to the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia, where he met many of his lifelong friends. He grew up accompanying his Grandfather Tom and his Uncle Bud on the family business plumbing truck and learned the plumbing business at an early age. Charlie went to Cardinal Dougherty High School and graduated in 1960. Charlie worked for his uncle at Nelson’s Plumbing & Heating during summer breaks and all holidays from school. He took over the business from his uncle at age 19. He received his Master Plumber’s License in his early 20s, and grew and ran the business for 55 years until he retired in 2015. The business had several customers that spanned different generations, which was a testament to the deep roots of the family name, work ethic, and professionalism. The business that his grandfather started in 1926 is continued today by a longtime former employee. Charlie was a huge history buff and found out in his later years he was a direct descendant of Thomas J. Nelson, who was one of U.S. Founding Fathers and a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Nelson also succeeded Thomas Jefferson as the governor of Virginia. Charlie loved researching and finding out as much information as he could about Thomas and his legacy and found out that there is a U.S. National Landmark in Yorktown, VA dedicated to him (The Nelson House). Charlie was passionate about hunting and fishing. He loved deep sea fishing on the Jersey shore and caught many different species of fish from smaller flounder and mahi mahi to swordfish and large tuna. In 1976, he captured the NJ state record for the largest wahoo caught. He was alone 90 miles off the coast of Brigantine, NJ. He also spent countless hours fishing and exploring the flats of the lower Florida Keys. He passed on his love of fishing to his son Ben, his nephew Tom, as well as his grandchildren, helping his grandson win a tournament for bonefishing in Key West. Charlie also loved hunting deer, elk, and turkey with a bow and arrow. He hunted mostly in Pennsylvania and Watkins Glen, NY; and took a few very memorable trips in Colorado and Montana. In his earlier years, Charlie enjoyed scuba diving and enjoyed several trips with his lifelong friends in the Caribbean and Roatan. He also made a memorable sailing trip to Bermuda with his good friends using only a sextant to navigate. Charlie found relaxation in creating a huge vegetable garden. He spent tireless hours working in it and it truly was his pride and joy. He planted and cultivated many varieties of fruits and vegetables. He also found refuge swimming countless laps in the pool or relaxing with a cigar and nice glass of red wine making his list of “to do’s” for the following day. Charlie was a strong man with a kind and generous spirit. He loved telling stories of his adventures and those stories will help his memory live on. Funeral services will be announced after the current restrictions are lifted. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Saint Genevieve Church 1225 Bethlehem Pike Flourtown, PA 19031.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Pending Arrangements

Saturday, April 4, 2020

1220 Bethlehem Pike


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