Hardwick- Charles (Charlie) Gardner Holden passed away at home on September 7, 2022, surrounded by his loving family at the age of 78. Charlie was born to Lester and Shirley (Randlett) Holden in Ware on April 5, 1944.
He leaves is wife of 54 years, Lillian (Champagne) Holden. Charlie will also be mourned by his son Glen, wife Renee along with their children, Ben and Rachel of Pomfret Center, CT. He also is survived by his son Jason, his wife Donna and their son, Ty of Hardwick, MA. Charlie is also missed by his son Joshua of Portland, ME and his children Hudson, Bryce and Jemma. Additionally, he leaves his daughter Amber and her daughter Jade of Ludlow. Charlie will be grieved by many nieces, nephews and an abundance amount of friends. In addition to his parents, Charlie is predeceased by his brother Richard Holden.
Charlie lived in Warren, MA until he joined the Navy in 1962. He proudly served in the V1 Division and crash and salvage on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS ESSEX CVS-9. In October 1962, Charlie was on the flight deck as the ESSEX enforced the Caribbean Seas during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Charlie was honorably discharged from the USN in 1966, but was extended for 2 years of Naval Reserve due to the Vietnam War. Charlie returned from the service to Warren, MA, where he was employed by Warren Roofers and the Ware Shoe Shop. He also worked at Ludlow Papers and then the Quabbin Reservoir as a foreman until he retired after 23 years.
In 1968, Charlie married Lillian (Pinky) and moved to Hardwick, MA, where they raised their family. He and Lillian also opened Gate 43 Bait Shop in 1973 and ran the shop during the Quabbin fishing season until 1990. Charlie enjoyed flea markets, fishing, hunting and was even in Bowhunter Magazine. Charlie especially liked spending time up their cabin on the Black River in Vermont.
Charlie was a proud Navy veteran and an active member of the American Legion Post 36 of Ludlow, VT, where he proudly wore the color guard uniform and marched in numerous parades and funerals. He could often be seen at the West Brookfield and North Brookfield American Legions with his wife Lil, playing cards and enjoying time with their many friends.
Charbonneau Funeral Home, 30 Pleasant St., in Ware is assisting his family with arrangements. Services will be held at a later date.
An online guest book is available at charbonneaufh.com
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