Charles R. LounsberyCharles Richard Lounsbery, a resident of Kendal at Ithaca, formerly of Trumansburg, passed away at the age of 96 on Wednesday, June 6, 2012. He was born April 24, 1916, to Charles Richard Lounsbery and Annie Laurie Thomas Lounsbery in Brooktondale, NY. He was the youngest of seven children.

Charlie graduated from Ithaca High School in 1933. He studied at Cornell University, the University of Connecticut, NYU, the Grand Central School of Art, and the Art Students League of New York.

During World War II he worked in the engineering department at Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, CT, as a mechanical draftsman. He also worked in the combustion engineering field in New York, detailing parts for commercial stokers and boilers. In the late 1940s, he was hired at the West 34th Street office of J.C. Penney to do architectural drafting as part of their window modernization program for stores throughout the country. He later became Registrar at Turtle Bay Music School in New York. He called those the best years of his life, and worked there for ten years until his retirement.

After returning to this area, he honored his farming roots and became a member of the Searsburg Grange. He was active with both the Trumansburg and Caroline Senior Citizens, and was a member of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Garden Club. His gardening expertise was legendary. He loved that his orchids and other beautiful flowering plants lining the windows at Kendal were enjoyed by so many. Staying active was very important to him and he practiced t'ai chi for many years. He had a wide range of interests, including music, theater, politics, and cooking. Charlie firmly believed that learning never stopped. He was fascinated with how the brain works, and with human interactions in general. Setting aside time to enjoy life and "smell the roses" was a priority. Charlie often expressed the thought that each day was a gift to be cherished and shared with his many, many friends and family.

As one of his nephews wrote, "Charlie's pies were second to none. Saying he had a green thumb was like saying Shakespeare wrote pretty good sonnets or that Gershwin was handy with a tune. He loved opera, hated beer, and didn't suffer bad politicians. His taste in ties was impeccable and he sported the most magnificent eyebrows. He gently and persuasively convinced us of the beauty of a cold November day and made friends faster than anyone on the planet."

Charlie is survived by nieces and nephews John Wallace, Deer Park, NY; Peter Hutchings, New York, NY; Sarah Hutchings Taber, San Francisco, CA; Hilda Lounsbery Shepard, Watkinsville, GA; Ann Lounsbery Owens, Seattle, WA; Lois Lounsbery, Brooktondale, NY; John Lounsbery, Santa Rosa, CA; and Jim Albertson, Longmont, CO; as well as many great and great-great nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by nephew Robert Wallace and niece Jeanne Lounsbery Nash.

A Memorial Service will begin at 11:00 am on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at the Caroline Valley Community Church in Brooktondale, NY.

Those who wish to make a contribution in Charlie's memory are kindly asked to consider Hospicare of Tompkins County, 172 E King Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, or to the donor's favorite charity.