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Yale 62

Adelbert K. “Doug” Charles, Jr.

Born: November 10, 1940
Died: April 26, 2021

Born in Lorain, Ohio, son of Adelbert K. and Fannie Krupski Charles, he used his nickname “Doug” almost exclusively. He prepared at Lorain High School. Told by his high school principal and guidance counselor that “students from Lorain High School did not go to Yale,” Doug listened instead to his uncle John, an engineering student, who joined the Navy in World War II, and was sent to Yale for a year of special training. His uncle said Yale was the greatest. “If Uncle John thought Yale was the greatest, that is where I wanted to go,” Doug wrote in our 50th Reunion Book.

To Yale he came, a National Merit Finalist. He faced challenges academically and socially but persevered as an Honors Major in Economics, and on Dean’s List. Doug was a resident of Timothy Dwight College; he was on the social activities committee and the golf team. His undergraduate years were followed by an LL.B. from Yale Law School in 1966 and an MBA from Columbia University in 1967.

After graduation from business school Doug joined Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett, a large New York law firm. While at the Simpson firm he met and married Marianne Gastineau, a fellow Ohioan who worked in an office across the street from Doug’s. In 1973 they decided that 6 years of corporate law was enough and they returned to Elyria, Ohio, where Doug took over management of the family lumber business, Del Lumber Company.

Doug operated the lumber business for 45 years until he liquidated it after the 2008 recession.

He had deep local roots in Lorain County, Ohio. Doug described his community activities in our 50th Reunion Book in his detailed autobiography: “While I spent most of my time working and with my family, I did devote a significant amount of time, over 20 years, serving as a trustee of the Lorain Community College Foundation. I served as a chairman of the Board of the Foundation for three years. Lorain County Community College is Lorain Count’s best hope for a prosperous future. I enjoyed serving on the Foundation Board. I also felt I had an obligation to serve because we had prospered in Lorain County.”

Doug has also served Yale and our class very successfully as a class Alumni Fund agent and chairman.

In recent years, Doug and his wife Marianne relocated to southern California to be near their two daughters and their families. He is survived by his daughters, Dr. Christina Charles-Schoeman (husband Gary) and Catherine E. Manley (husband Kirk) and 3 grandchildren: Isabelle and Madeline Schoeman and Colt Manley.


– Robert G. Oliver