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 Charles R. “Charlie” Crist

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Charles R. “Charlie” Crist

  • Birth 7 Nov 1914 Pine Bush, Orange County, New York, USA
  • Death 18 Apr 1993 Harris, Sullivan County, New York, USA
  • Burial Pine Bush, Ulster County, New York, USA
  • Memorial ID 61280357

Charles R. "Charlie" Crist of Monticello, a lifelong resident of the area, died Sunday, April 18, at Community General Hospital in Harris. He was 78.

As a newsman, photographer, environmentalist, firefighter, fund-raiser, author and good neighbor, he made many friends and lived life to its fullest.

His "country-boy" approach to life made his easy manner and unobtrusive way of ferreting out news his trademark as a top-notch newsman.

He started in 1933 with the Newburgh News. Later, he worked as news director and announcer for Newburgh's WGNY-Radio, and was employed by The Middletown Times Herald-Record as a news reporter, photographer and Sullivan County bureau chief.

When he "retired" in 1978, Mr. Crist joined the Sullivan County Democrat as a columnist and photographer. He also wrote for the Monticello Evening News, the Bulletin Sentinel and the Republican Watchman.

"Charlie was an old-time newspaper man with a grass-roots approach to things," said R. John Van Kleeck, former publisher of The Times Herald-Record. "He was thorough and efficient, but most of all a people-person who cared about his community."

With his glasses pushed back atop his head and his trademark bow tie, often unclipped on one side and slightly askew, Mr. Crist spent hours at the typewriter in a profession he loved.

He won many awards, including Outstanding Citizen of the Year from the Sullivan County Veterans of Foreign Wars, 1966-67.

He devoted his life to community service, often telling young reporters, "The only way you get to know the community is to be part of it."

After serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War II, he kept an active interest in veterans' groups. He was a past commander, charter member and honorary life member of the G. Paul Bettinger Post 1308,American Legion, Pine Bush, and was past vice commander of the Orange County American Legion.

A volunteer firefighter, Mr. Crist was a past officer and member of Orange Hose Company and Monticello Fire Department. He was a member of the Monticello Fire Department Exempt Association, past secretary of the Sullivan County Volunteer Firemen's Association and honorary member of many of many fire departments and their affiliations in Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties.

He was a member of the Sullivan County Arson Task Force and a volunteer dispatcher for the Sullivan County Mutual Aid Control Center.

Long associated with volunteer ambulance work, Mr. Crist was an organizer and first president of the Monticello Volunteer Ambulance Corps. He was founder and secretary-treasurer of the Firefighters' Burn Treatment Fund of Orange, Ulster, Sullivan and Dutchess counties.

His work for the burn center won The Record a first-prize award in 1976 from Editor and Publisher magazine in the field of public relations and community service. When he retired from the burn center fund in 1983, he had helped raise more than $417,000.

He was a member of the Sullivan County Trapper's Association, the National and State Trapper's Association, the National Rifle Association, Club 267 of Pine Bush and Grahamsville. Through the Federated Sportsmen's Clubs of Sullivan County, where he was a member, he was named the 1975 Sportsman of the Year.

He was an active member of the Monticello United Methodist Church and was a member of the board of directors of the New Prospect cemetery Association of Pine Bush.

In 1984, Mr. Crist wrote a softcover book, "Charlie's Days," filled with stories about his life growing up in rural Pine Bush and the people he knew.

He told of growing up on a farm, sleeping between goose down feather covers and getting up in an unheated room early enough to milk the cows before going to school.

The book received acclaim from historians as "one of the finest regional books of its kind."

The son of the late Charles and Elizabeth Henry Crist, he was born Nov. 7, 1914, in Pine Bush.

Survivors include his wife, Gladys Van Tassell Crist, at home; one brother, John A. Crist of Pine Bush; one sister, Ann B. DeWitt of Delmar; and several nieces and nephews.

Friends may call from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Tuesday at the VanInwegen-Kenny Funeral Home, 195 Broadway, Monticello.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Monticello United Methodist Church. The Rev. Rosemary Smith will officiate. Firematic services will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Burial will be in New Prospect Cemetery, Pine Bush.

Contributions may be made to Monticello United Methodist Church or Monticello Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
--The Times Herald Record (Middletown, NY), Monday, April 19, 1993, page 14

Family Members


  • Created by: Vivian
  • Added: 7 Nov 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 61280357
  • Vivian
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles R. “Charlie” Crist (7 Nov 1914–18 Apr 1993), Find A Grave Memorial no. 61280357, citing New Prospect Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery, Pine Bush, Ulster County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Vivian (contributor 46939563) .