Charles (Charlie) B. Carlin

January 25, 1943 – October 15, 2013
Charlie Carlin, former resident of Blue Water in Crystal Beach, died on October 15, 2013, in his home on White Oak Lake in Chidester, Arkansas. Charlie is often remembered on the Bolivar Peninsula for his outstanding photography of all wildlife, plants, and the natural land, seascapes, and colorful florals he so faithfully captured with his camera for others to enjoy. He is also known for caring for his mother until her death. Charlie was a faithful member of the local Eagles, a former law enforcement officer, and had many friends with whom he shared time and talent.

Charlie's back yard

Charlie sold his home on Sage and returned to the land of his birth a little less than two years ago. He reunited with friends from his younger days and bought two new homes. The last house he chose, directly across the street from the first, is nestled on White Oak Lake, and he enjoyed his boat dock right on the beautiful, serene water, fishing, and, of course, photography. He entered several contests and won at least four major awards for his artwork, one just a few days before he died. He had also begun to print and sell his wonderful artwork on canvas through Ebay and Amazon and had enjoyed success in this enterprise.

Charlie also joined an active church, Community Baptist, pastored by an old friend, Bill Ponder, with whom he had been acquainted for more than 30 years. Charlie became a faithful member of the church and attended services and functions of the group. He was also active in the Senior Citizens Center and made many friends there.

Sunset on White Oak Lake, Chidester, AR

After arriving back in Chidester, Charlie underwent two hip replacements and suffered a heart attack. He faithfully kept in touch with old friends on the Peninsula and reported that he was doing well and feeling much better after the second hip replacement. Home health care nurses, his neighbors, and friends in the church took good care of him and drove him to his various appointments. He also continued his photography from the back deck of his new home and when traveling to and from appointments.

Charlie had also continued his ham radio interests and a new tower was being installed at his home so that he could work with both the fire and sheriff’s departments in helping with dispatching and emergency management coordination.

Charlie died suddenly on the morning of October 15, 2013, and was found by his home health nurse who on that very morning was to dismiss him from care. It is assumed that he suffered a stroke caused by a blood clot perhaps in his leg. He did not suffer and his death came swiftly, which is what he had asked of God.

His pastor and church family at Community Baptist Church in Chidester planned a lovely memorial service in his honor on Saturday, November 2, and invited friends and neighbors to attend. Many of his fellow church members and friends from the Senior Citizen Center were present to say their own goodbyes to a good man.

Charlie’s good friend, Jamie Willingberg Greer, my husband, Ted J. Henley, and I traveled to Camden, Arkansas, and from there to Chidester for the service. We were given the opportunity to hear about Charlie’s new life on the scenic lake and stories about things he was enjoying. A lovely luncheon was provided by the ladies of the church family following the memorial service, where we had the opportunity to visit and get acquainted.

Bill Ponder, Charlie’s pastor, gave testimony of his good friend’s change in lifestyle, his commitment to Christ and to the church, and to his friends, both in Texas and in Arkansas. Pastor Ponder is convinced that Charlie did all that was humanly possible to restore broken relationships.

Charlie's flowers

Fall on White Oak Lake

Jamie, Ted, and I also were able to visit both of Charlie’s houses in the White Oak Lake community, sit on his boat dock, and imagine how much fun our friend had found there. We also heard “Charlie stories” from all those we met. His vibrant personality and sense of humor had not changed. One dear lady delighted in telling that when she picked Charlie up one morning to drive him to a doctor’s appointment, he told a funny story on himself. He told her that he was driving around the lake and saw this flock of geese on a lawn. He said they were beautiful and absolutely still. He returned the next day with his camera and very quietly positioned himself to take some photos of the pretty geese. They hadn’t moved one inch. He began to think that strange. After looking at the scene for several minutes, he realized that the geese had been arranged by the homeowner, and were in fact, very good decoys, and not real. He laughed at the joke on himself and shared the story with his friends that are still laughing about it today.

He asked that his body be cremated and he made a generous gift to his church. We will miss our good friend and neighbor.

By Brenda Cannon Henley
All photographs by Brenda Cannon Henley
(Published November 5, 2013)

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One Response to “Charles (Charlie) B. Carlin”

  1. Catherine Jackson says:

    Mr. Charlie was a wonderful and gracious person. Thank you Brenda for keeping in contact with Charlie and keeping us updated. He was truly part of our family, and I am so glad that he had you and Ted in his life too.

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