Charles A. Peek Jr., age 86, of Penn Yan passed away Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.
Charles was born in 1926 in Brooklyn, NY to Charles A. Peek and Mildred Robinson Peek. He spent his formative years in Oceanside, Long Island.
At the age of 16, he graduated from high school and enrolled in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University. Shortly thereafter at the age of 17, he voluntarily enlisted in the US Navy during WWII. He spent over two years in the Navy, serving in the Pacific Theater as an electronic technician petty officer.
Following his discharge from the Navy, he immediately re-enrolled in Cornell and completed his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree. He was awarded membership in the engineering honorary societies of Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma. After graduation he entered Yale University where he taught Internal Combustion Engines as an assistant instructor while earning his Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
He began his career with Carrier Corporation in Syracuse, NY, but less than a year later joined Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Engines in Hartford, CT, a division of United Technologies. He was employed with Pratt & Whitney for 32 years until his retirement in 1983. He shared increasing Engineering responsibilities during his tenure, rising to a position of Chief of Development. This entailed the overall direction of product development and improvement for a specific group of engine models.
Charles was married to Maxine Drumm in 1950, and they parented nine children, Daniel Wesley (Susan) of Anniston, AL; Eileen Buckwalter of Johannesburg, South Africa; Lillian Serafine (Scott) of Watertown, CT; Stephanie Piccone (Stephen) of Larchmont, NY; Catherine Webb of Royal Palm Beach, FL; John William (Daphne) of Lake Toxaway, NC; Emily Stenta (Mark) of Lebanon, OH; Marilyn Jensen (Michael) of New Rochelle, NY; and Robert Charles of Corryton, TN. There are nineteen grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
Maxine and Charles chose to retire on Keuka Lake in an old stone house large enough to entertain their big family during summers. The house needed much upgrade work, and Charles enjoyed spending many of his retirement hours in hands-on refurbishment.
Charles was a family man of many interests including boating, gardening, woodworking, and music. He was also active in the community and in his church.
He served on the board of Directors for the following: The Ronald McDonald House in Rochester, The Yates County Arts Council, and Pro Action of Steuben and Yates Counties. He was also active on technical and policy committees for Glenn Curtiss Museum, and was a tour guide there as well. He served on the Penn Yan Area Ambulance Corps as a first responder. He was an elected Councilman for the Town of Barrington, retiring in December 1999, after twelve years of service.
Charles was an active member of the Penn Yan United Methodist Church where he taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and served as a Delegate to the Annual Conference. He served the United Methodist Conference as a lay member of the Board of Ordained Ministry and the District Committee on Ministries. He gave full and loving support to his late wife Maxine, as she served for fourteen years as pastor of area Methodist Churches.
The family will receive friends from 1 to 2pm on Sunday, March 10th at the Penn Yan United Methodist Church. A celebration of his life will follow at 2pm. Memorial gifts may be made to the United Methodist Committee on RELIEF (UMCOR), through a local Methodist Church.