Charles “Charlie” Royle Calderbank

Charles (Charlie) Royle Calderbank, 82, of Simpsonville, passed away at home on July 26, 2020, with Valerie (Val), his loving wife of 56 years by his side.

Born in Besses o’ th‘ Barn, an old Lancastrian industrial town nestled between Bury and Manchester, Charlie was a self-made man, whose early days could not have foretold his later successes – at least, not if you didn’t know the determined man of integrity he was to become. Losing his mother at a young age, seeing his sister, Anne, adopted out as a result, and living for a while in a succession of temporary homes with numerous relatives had long-lasting repercussions. When he met Val at a youth-group dance at Besses, Charlie knew he’d found the girl of his dreams, and within a year or two the couple married. In quick succession, Charlie focused on his education in order to improve his career chances and make a better life for Val and their two daughters – Alison and Elaine – who came along within the first few years of marriage.

Family was everything to Charlie. Even as he attended night school and commuted into Manchester, he was a hands-on Dad at a time when fathers shied away from dirty nappies and bath time. Money might have been sparse then, but Saturdays were special with a bottle of wine and whatever BBC1 offered as a movie.

Those earliest days bouncing between England, Wales, and Scotland also may have sparked Charlie’s hunger for travel; a hunger that only ended last year with a trip to Salt Lake City. Charlie and Val excitedly accepted a three year business assignment to Venezuela as part of his 20-plus year career with British Engine and Royal Insurance. He traveled to Moscow and Prague during a stint with the World Bank, and the couple toured many regions of the world, including Argentina, the Czech Republic, Uruguay, and Portugal.

An avid ham radio operator, Charlie heard the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia from his radio room in the home the family was renovating.

From the age of 11, he and his friend, Ted Berry, listened to all the latest Jazz records, which piqued his interest in America. The apex being a “guys trip” to New Orleans, celebrating their 60th birthdays together.

Charlie was much beloved by his family, including his wife Val, daughters Alison (Diana) and Elaine (Craig), grandchildren Matthew, Alexandra, Andrew and Suzanne, and great-grandsons Conner, Jeremiah and Oliver as well as sons-in-law Frank Diana and Seamis Craig, sister Anne Tompkins and brother-in-law Michael. He will be missed by friends and extended family literally around the world. Immediate family will hold a private cremation. In lieu of flowers, we ask for donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at https://www.cff.org (US), Cystic Fibrosis Trust (UK), National Breast Cancer Foundation (US), or BreastCancerUK.org.UK (UK).

Condolences to the family of Charles “Charlie” Royle Calderbank

  • Madge Ferguson
    4 months ago

    Val gifted me an incredible cousin when shevand Charlie married. I was honoured to be a bridesmaid on the day they began their journey in life together. I remember John (Val’s brother) and I filling their honeymoon umbrella with confetti, hoping they got a bit wet so it would stick!
    I admired Charlie as a man totally devoted to his family, as a man of great integrity and wicked sense of humour.
    You will be missed, but great memories will keep you alive in our hearts forever.
    Love, Madge

  • Jean & Dave Declet
    4 months ago

    When Val and Charlie moved to Pawleys Island and were our neighbors, later very dear friends. We all had so many
    laughs together. After Val and Charlie moved to West Colombia, we had the pleasure to visit with them. Our room was upstairs, so we called them on the phone to invite them upstairs for a nightcap which they happily accepted.

    Charlie’s sense of humor was second to none. Val and Charlie were such a happy couple, and it was such a joy to be in their company.

    They had so many interesting stories, all, of course were very humorous. Dave and I were distraught to hear this news
    But Charlie’s memory will be forever in our hearts. He was a wonderful human being. We were so blessed to be able to call them our dear friends With all of our love, Jean & Dave

  • Pat & Jim Carter
    4 months ago

    It was a wonderful day in the neighborhood when Val and Charlie moved to Quail Hollow. Charlie was a witty, endearing, and perfect gentleman. We enjoyed our get togethers. Charlie had the best music playing, and he was ever ready to fill your glass. We enjoyed all his stories, stories of growing up, meeting Val, working on their first home, their girls, and their many travels. We enjoyed it when Charlie would say “may I add” because it meant something good was to follow. I had read about a British Comedy “Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day’. We asked them to join us in seeing the movie. I had looked up the author’s bio.The movie was based on the book Winifred Watson had written in 1938. Her employer had told her if she wasn’t busy she could knit, so she wrote a book. Her son Keith was born in 1941 during the blitz, and she never wrote after his birth. I filled them in on the way to the theater. On our way home, Charlie “added to the story”. Charlie had met Keith in Venezuela, and they became friends. We will miss our dear friend, and we send all our love to Val and the Calderbank Clan. Pat & Jim

  • Gail Noll
    4 months ago

    I really got to know Charlie and Val in Lake Placid. After the business part of the evening we spent hours talking and listening to some of Charlie’s stories-told only the way he could. I remember laughing til there were tears in my eyes and my sides ached. It was the beginning of a forever friendship that I am so thankful to have had. I always remember with fondness the Thanksgiving at my house when we answered the door to find Charlie and Val standing on the doorstep dressed as Pilgrims.
    So many good times filled with warm hospitality, wonderful dinners, talking and listening to Jazz and always the laughter.
    Charlie brightened the world and he will be missed. Thanks Charlie
    Love Gail

  • Peter Jackson
    4 months ago

    Charlie was always a joy to meet and spend time with. He was a fountain of knowledge, anecdotes and, most importantly, friendship. Sadly we did not spend enough time together being continents apart but we will miss him greatly. Our thoughts are with Val and family.
    Jennifer, Peter and Andrew Jackson, Chalfont St Giles, England.

  • Rob Shield
    4 months ago

    Lots of fantastic childhood memories of Charlie Val Elaine and Alison in UK and US. Found out later Charlie was best man at my mum and dad’s wedding in the 60s. I imagine he gave a great, funny speech on the day. Awash with funny stories, and a hyperactivity that reminded me of Doc from Back To The Future on acid! Great family man with an incredible zest for life RIP .. Love to Val, the girls and family x

  • Denise Sewell
    4 months ago

    Charlie was a vibrant personality and an accomplished raconteur, who had a huge range of stories to tell about people and places. He enjoyed meeting new colleagues and neighbours and engaging with them. He could communicate so cleverly that I feel self conscious that this piece should do him justice. He was adept at collecting amusing snippets or unknown facts from those he met. Charlie’s stories were usually told with a slight tilt of the head, a smile and a decided twinkle in the eye. He was the perfect host with your plate always full and, more significantly, your glass topped up with your favourite beverage!
    However, the cheery welcome and the enduring friendships were really made by Team ValandCharlie, a team so tightly formed that there were no spaces between the names. Charlie thrived on the bonds of family and he and Val created a home where ‘friends of friends’, like myself, were soon elevated to friends and made to feel valued.
    Charlie has now completed building his happy friendships and so my love goes to Val (and family), as she continues to maintain the legacy, not alone but supported by an international community of friends who appreciated this special couple.
    Denise xx

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