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Charles Beckham Tichenor, II

SHELBY- Charles Beckham Tichenor, II, passed away peacefully on May 19, 2015. Born on March 25, 1926, in Indianapolis, Indiana, he was the only child of Norman Beckham Tichenor and Esther Catherine Bremer Tichenor.

As a teenager Charles won the U.S. Boy's Table Tennis Championship in both 1939 and 1940. He was captain of the tennis team for three years at Shortridge High School in Indianapolis where he never lost a match. In 1941, he was a member of the U.S. Junior Davis Cup team, and ranked #1 in doubles and #3 in singles. He described the experience as follows: "The greatest reward of my sports career was earning the U.S. colors in the Davis Cup. To walk on to the grass court representing your country, instead of just yourself, is a singularly exhilarating experience." Charles holds two gold and one silver U.S. championship medals in tennis and table tennis competition. In 1942, he donated all of his 72 trophies to our country's scrap metal drive for the World War II war effort.

In June, 1943, Charles enrolled at Duke University as a midshipman in the NROTC Program. He was captain of the varsity tennis team and elected president of the student body. When he graduated at 19 in 1945 and commissioned an Ensign, he was sent to the Pacific and served in Okinawa and Shanghai, China. After VJ Day, he was assigned to a mine sweeper group in the East China Sea and the Korean Strait.

Charles spent his business career in sales and marketing in the food and sparkling beverage industries while holding executive positions in various corporations including Kraft, Inc., A+W Root Beer in Los Angeles, and specialty food and beverage firm Iroquois Industries, Inc. in Connecticut. He capped his career as President and Chairman of the Board of Champale Sparkling Beverages in Trenton, New Jersey.

Retired from business, Charles earned his doctoral degree, and after a professorship at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, he joined the faculty of Gardner-Webb University as Professor of Marketing and Distinguished Chief Executive-in-Residence in the Godbold School of Business. A part of his legacy at GWU is the Graduates in Executive Management (GEM) program. Charles will be remembered as an educator, an athlete and avid sports enthusiast, a master level duplicate bridge player, a philanthropist, a patriot.

In addition to his parents, Charles is preceded in death by his first wife Suzanne, and their daughter Jennifer Esther. He is survived by his four children: Charles III (Alison) of Springfield, Virginia; Peter of Salt Lake City, Utah; Suzanne of Arlington, Virginia; and Melissa Greco of Lawrenceville, Georgia; four grandchildren and two great grandchildren; Helen Tichenor of Boiling Springs; her two daughters Janet Harris (Rich) and Kristen Mayer; and four grandchildren.

The family will receive friends following the service in the Parish Hall.

A memorial service will be held at 4:30 p.m., Friday, June 19, at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, officiated by the Rev. Dr. Valori Mulvey Sherer, Rector.

Burial will take place in Arlington National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you please pick up the tab when you see a veteran, law enforcement officer, or fire fighter having a meal at a restaurant and/or donate to the Shepherd's Table feeding ministry at The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 502 W. Sumter Street, Shelby, NC 28150.

Online condolences may be made at www.cecilmburtonfuneralhome.com.

Arrangements by Cecil M Burton Funeral Home and Crematory.

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