MECHANICVILLE - Charles W. Kerls (a.k.a. Charlie, Chum, Chief, Papa), life long resident of Mechanicville suddenly passed on May 29, 2019.
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Charles was born November 1, 1939 in Troy NY to Charles V. Kerls and Florence McMahon-Kerls. He attended St. Paul’s School (but was asked to leave for bad behavior), then went on to Mechanicville Elementary - School 1. Chum was a graduate of the Mechanicville High School Class of 1957. He joined the Coast Guard Reserve, then went on to graduate from Albany Business College with a degree in Business Management. After graduation, he was employed by the New York Army National Guard. On October 1, 1961 he married his one and only Mari Ann Gilheany.
Professionally, Charlie held numerous Federal Government Management positions with the Department of the Army and Department of Treasury (IRS) in Albany and Hartford, CT. Throughout his career, he was a member of the Army Reserve and National Guard, serving 42 years of active and reserve as a Chief Warren Officer; he retired from the Army in 2001. Charlie always had a “side hustle”, he was a cook at Hildreth’s Restaurant, a dispatcher at the B & M Railroad, an associate at Gilheany’s Liquor Store, a Deputy Director at Uncle Sam’s House, the “self-appointed” Chief Greeter at Genevieve’s Home and Garden, the Executive Account Manager with Nfrastructure Technologies (Contractor to NYS) where he retired in February. His most recent position was the head of the Mechanicville Civil Service.
Chum and Mari Ann were happily married for 57 wonderful years and raised an amazing Family of 5; Kelli (Mark) DeSieno, CJ (David Ambler) Kerls, Kyle Kerls, Christi (Spencer) Tacy, and Kerri (Michael Brynteson) Kerls. Papa Chum was incredibly loved by his 7 grandchildren; Chelsea Kerls, Iain, Madisyn, and Garrison DeSieno, Etana and Aerowyn Brynteson, and Maeve Tacy. He was the proud brother of Michael (Rosemary) Kerls and the beloved Uncle Chum to many nieces and nephews.
A leader in the community of Mechanicville, he was the President of St. Paul’s-Assumption School Board, President of the Mechanicville-Stillwater United Soccer League and an active, life-long parishioner of All Saints on the Hudson Roman Catholic Church where he served on the Pastoral Council, was a Catechist, Lector, and the “Chief” Usher. He was also the infamous, “Lame Duck” President of the MHS Class of 1957 and a player in the Olde Timers Softball League. In Chum’s own words,” I look back on my years with great satisfaction and accomplishment. I was an Officer and member of the Mechanicville Fire Department for over 20 years, the coach of numerous teams: Little League, CYO, Youth soccer, JV Girls soccer, Varsity Girls basketball and softball and I never missed a dance recital!”
Chummy was an avid, VOCAL NY Mets, Jets and Knicks fan. He was a season ticket holder for the Siena Saints Basketball team, the Saratoga Race Track as well as Proctors Theater. He enjoyed his coffee ice-cream, the NY Post and long walks on the Jersey Shore.
Calling hours will be held at All Saints on the Hudson Roman Catholic Church, 121 No. Main Street in Mechanicville on Monday from 4-7 p.m. A funeral mass will be celebrated at the CHURCH on Tuesday at 10 a.m., with military honors and burial in Saratoga National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or the Mechanicville Area Community Services Center.