CHARLES FRANCIS DESJARDINS

With a perpetual smile on his face and always a song in his heart, Charles Francis DesJardins passed away peacefully during the early morning hours on Monday, February 18, 2019 with his wife by his side holding his hand. He was 87.

Charlie was born in Elmira, NY to Leonard and Mary DesJardins on November 4, 1931. After graduating from Elmira Free Academy, he earned a degree in Chemistry from Fordham University and began working for E.I. DuPont in Gibbstown, NJ in June of 1953. It was love at first sight when he saw Jean Ann Sullivan walking down the street. “I’m going to marry that girl one day,“ he said to his friends, and he did on April 24, 1954. They would have been married 65 years this spring.

Charlie enlisted in the United States Navy and reported to Officer Candidate School on October 18, 1954 in Newport, Rhode Island. Commissioned as an Ensign, he was transferred to Sangley Point in the Philippine Islands for a two-year assignment and served four years on active duty. He remained active in the Navy Reserves and retired with the rank of Captain. He resumed working for DuPont in 1959 in Wilmington, Delaware, including three years in Geneva, Switzerland. Taking full advantage of living overseas, there were family trips to 13 different countries and weekends spent skiing in the Alps. He was a Director in the Chemical, Energy, and Trading Department when he retired from DuPont in 1990.

Even through years of change from dementia, he never lost his love for music and Charlie would sing along to every performance up until his last few weeks. He was even featured on the radio singing as a four year old boy! He played the ukulele and loved a camp fire sing-along with family and friends at the cottage on Seneca Lake. He had also been an active member of the choirs at Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine parishes for many years.

In retirement, Charlie was instrumental in the development, and management of the new St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church Cemetery, and received the Order of Merit award in 2005 from the Diocese of Wilmington for his work. He also was a self-taught carpenter and loved making furniture that is still proudly displayed in many of our homes. Charlie enjoyed tennis and golf and especially the cottage on Seneca Lake which was a favorite spot for family gatherings and an early morning troll to fish for lake trout.

He is survived by his wife, Jean, also of Elmira, NY, son Charles F. DesJardins, Jr. and his wife Sarah (Lyng) of Buffalo, NY, son Andrew J. DesJardins and his wife Nancy (Meyer) of Huntsville, UT, and daughter Diane D. Daiger of Wilmington, DE. He is also survived by seven grandchildren: Robert and his wife Brianna, Kira and her husband Justin (Caldwell), Charles, Abigail, Matthew, Sarah, and William, and two great-grandchildren: Bryn and Conor.

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 10:30 am at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church, 10 Old Church Road, Greenville, DE 19807. The family will receive friends prior to mass from 9:30 – 10:30 am. Interment will follow the service at the St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Ministry of Caring or the Sunday Breakfast Mission at: The Ministry of Caring, 115 East 14th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. 302-652-5523. Sunday Breakfast Mission, 110 Poplar Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. 877-306-4663