Charles Gawthrop Shoemaker

ShoemakerCharles Gawthrop Shoemaker, 93, on February 24, 2017, at Kendal, Kennett Township, Pa. Chuck was born on December 26, 1923, in Kennett Square, Pa., the youngest of three children of Mary Hickman Gawthrop and William MacClean Shoemaker Jr. When he was six, his family moved to Wilmington, Del. He attended Alexis I. duPont School and Wilmington Friends School, earning the Boy Scout rank of Eagle. He graduated from George School in 1942, and entering Swarthmore College, enrolled in the Naval V-5 training program. He received a commission in February 1945 and in May married Joann Brosius, called Jody. He began active service as a flight cadet in the Naval Reserve in June and was training as a carrier-based night fighter pilot for assignment in the Pacific when the war ended. In 1946 he enrolled at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where he earned a bachelor’s degree.

From the late 1930s to the late 1990s, he lived in a house on Marshall Bridge Road in Kennett Square. In 1948, he joined his father-in-law’s lumber business, Brosius & Smedley Company, which in 1966 merged with the company of his boyhood friend Bud Eliason to form Brosius-Eliason Company. When Bud died, he became chairman of the company and continued in that role until 2008.

A birthright Quaker, he was a member of Kennett Meeting in Kennett Square, where he served as treasurer, auditor, clerk of the trustees, and member of several committees, including one that restored and maintained Old Kennett Meetinghouse. He served 12 years as a supervisor and was scoutmaster and board member of Troop 57 and board member of Wilmington Friends School. He and Jody were members of Kennett Golf and Country Club and a charter member of Greenville Country Club, where he played tennis. For many years he and Jody sailed from the Chesapeake Bay to the coast of Maine in their Concordia yawl Condor. He was a member of Wilmington Power Squadron, the Quiet Birdmen Association, and the George Washington Society.

Chuck was preceded in death by a son, Charles Shoemaker, in 2007; and his wife, Joann Brosius Shoemaker, in 2012. He is survived by two sons, Peter Shoemaker and Joseph Shoemaker; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Remembrances may be sent to Kennett Friends Meeting, PO Box 122, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

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