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Obituary of Charles Sullivan, 95


Charles (Charlie) C. Sullivan, 95, of State College, died on Thursday, January 3, 2019, at the Wynwood House on Bernel Road in State College.

Born November 11, 1923, in Butler, he was the son of the late Charles C. Sullivan and Hazel Jackson (Sullivan) Pifer. On August 11, 1951, he married Beatrice (Bea) Coleman, who survives and whom he met when they were students at Penn State.

Also surviving are three children, Colleen S. Viehdorfer and her husband, Robert, of Allport, Douglas J. Sullivan and his wife, Nancy, of Lawrenceville, GA, Lauren S. Paitson and her husband, David, of Sault Ste Marie, MI; one brother, Jay S. Pifer and his wife, Betty, of Aiken, SC; six grandchildren, Tracy Russ (husband Matt), Kristey Weber (husband Josh), Lindsay Kleinhoff (husband Billy), Aubrey Candela, Colt Viehdorfer (wife Elizabeth), and Dylan Viehdorfer (fiancé Brandy Phillips). Also surviving are six great-grandchildren, Sullivan, Ansley, Cullen, Hank, Abigail, and Brennan.

Charlie was a 1941 graduate of Butler High School. He attended Capital University in Columbus, OH, before joining the United States Navy, receiving electrician's training at Purdue University, and then serving in the Pacific during WWII, from 1942 to 1946. He was a plank member of the destroyer escort, U.S.S. Wesson, DE-184, serving as a First Class Electrician's Mate, and was involved in seven campaigns. At the end of the war he returned to Capital University for a year where he sang in the Capital University Chapel Choir and toured with that choir. He transferred to Penn State and was a member of the Electrical Engineering Class of 1950. While at Penn State he sang in the Glee Club, became the manager, and was part of the Varsity Quartet, participating in one of the Fred Waring shows. He was also a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon.

Charlie began his working career at Sylvania Electric in Emporium, in commercial engineering as a technical writer. A move to the Philadelphia area saw him become involved in the study of metallurgy, and pursing the business of metal distribution, selling to electrical manufacturers, ship building companies, and the U.S. Navy, both working for another company, and then eventually forming his own company. This was his profession for forty years.

Charlie was a licensed aircraft pilot with over 8,000 hours of flying time, having an instrument, multi-engine, and commercial license. Eventually he went into aviation full-time and became a charter pilot and aircraft broker.

Charlie was also a member of the F & AM Lodge 379 in Ridgway since 1947, a member of Quiet Birdmen, and a member of the Nittany Knights Chorus, having been honored as Barbershopper of the Year twice. He was a barbershopper for over forty years, starting when he lived in the Philadelphia area. He was a member of the quartet, The School Board, which performed extensively, and most recently played his fiddle with the Tuesday Night Bluegrass Jam group in Pine Hall, and as one of a guitar/fiddle duo who entertained locally. Besides his beloved music, he also enjoyed playing bridge and could often be seen at the Centre County Senior Center each week for the past few years.

Charlie was a member of the State College Presbyterian Church, and was a Visiting Deacon for many years.

Visitation will be from 5 until 8 p.m., on Monday, January 7, 2019, at Koch Funeral Home, 2401 S. Atherton Street, State College. An additional visitation will be at 10 a.m., on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at the funeral home. Funeral service will follow at 11 a.m., with the Reverend Dr. Kathleen Kelly Hopper officiating.

Burial will be in Centre County Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Nittany Knights Chorus, c/o Treasurer John Palmgren, Jr., 2016 Chelsea Lane, State College, PA 16801.

Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at

Name of Deceased

Charles Sullivan



Date of Death


Date of Birth


Funeral Home

Koch Funeral Home

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