On Jan. 9, 2013 hundreds of people gathered at Goler Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church to celebrate the home going of Mr. Charles L. Hardesty. Charles left us on Jan. 5, his 60th birthday.
Charlie, as we all knew him, and his beautiful wife, Virginia, own Forsyth Seafood, which they started in 1983.
At the memorial service, people from universities, restaurant employees, organizations and customers stated that they could depend on Charlie. One loved one stated that they could depend on Charlie to hold the family together. His employees stated that he was fair and addressed their concerns.
He supported so many organizations and gave so much of himself. He supported his alma mater, Elizabeth City State University, financially, as well as helping with its recruiting program. One spoke of Charlie’s work in establishing Goler’s Empowerment Zone, which fed many in the homeless community. Charlie supported other charitable organizations that people depended on as well, including Pop Warner football.
Both of us are natives of Beaufort, N.C. I have written several books and could always depend on Charlie to purchase them. As a matter of fact, I talked to him about a week before he entered the hospital, and I told him that I had a book coming out soon and he stated that he would buy it.
Anytime that I was feeling low, I could visit Charlie at the fish market and he always gave me words of encouragement that would lift my spirit. That was the kind of person Charlie was. He always had a positive attitude.
Charlie will be greatly missed by all who knew him. The local community as well as the state has lost a giant. There are many words that can describe Charlie, such as compassionate, supportive, caring, understanding and good-natured. There is one word that epitomizes Charles Leroy Hardesty’s life, and that is “dependable.” Multiple people depended on Charlie to do multiple things. This is rare in most people. That’s why Charles Leroy Hardesty was a rare human being. Jimmy Cannon once said that “Joe Louis is an honor to his race, naturally I mean the human race.” The same can be said of Charles Leroy Hardesty.
Dr. Lenwood Davis is a retired history professor and the author of several books.