Charles Gilbert Spellman
July 6, 1939 – January 7, 2021
Charles Gilbert Spellman, 81, of Bowie, Maryland, passed on Thursday, January 7, 2021, in the Crofton Care and Rehabilitation Center.
Charles was born July 6, 1939 in Trenton, New Jersey, the son of Alfred and Launia Spellman. Survivors include Sharon A. Jones, his much cherished companion and “rock” of 19 years; his close and deeply loved sisters May Frances Guy and Vivian E. Blaize; his nephew Donald Bruce Walton with whom he had an especially warm relationship; his three very dear and much loved sons Daryl Paul Spellman of Durham, North Carolina, Brian K. Thomas of Trenton, New Jersey, and Charles Christopher Forte of Charlotte, North Carolina; his sons in love Christopher Ellis Jones of Emmaus, Pennsylvania and Ramon Elliot Jones of Brandywine, Maryland; his cousin Rena Moaning with whom he shared a treasured friendship; his dear and much loved band of brothers since his college days Alexander Currin, Stephen McCray, and Malvin E. Moore III; his wonderful grandchildren by his sons and Sharon’s sons; and his many loved and appreciated nieces, nephews, cousins, colleagues, and friends. Charles served in the United States Marine Corps as a combat engineer, member of the “All-Marine Judo Team” and “Marine Choir.” After being honorably discharged from the Marines in 1962, he received his A.B. degree in English and French from Shaw University in 1966, his M.A. degree from the University of Iowa in 1972 and completed requirements for the Ph.D. at the University of Iowa in 1985 or there abouts. He began his teaching career at Arts High School in Newark, New Jersey while simultaneously working for the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) in New York City. He resigned from CBS to enter Law School at the University of Iowa. After completing one year of law school, he entered the University of Iowa School of Journalism where he completed a master’s degree and course work for the Ph.D. After Leaving the University of Iowa he went to Shaw University to teach and to manage radio station WSHA-FM. While there, he was selected for a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to study political communication at the University of North Carolina (UNC), School of Journalism at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Upon completion of his Fellowship at UNC Chapel Hill, he accepted a teaching position at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in New Brunswick, New Jersey where he remained for four years. Charles went on to teach at a series of Historically Black Colleges and Universities including, Morgan State, Howard, Dillard, North Carolina Central, Johnson C. Smith University, and University of the District of Columbia. During his teaching career, Charles taught English, Journalism, Communication Research, Editorial Writing, Broadcast Law, Federal Regulations, Broadcast Management, Broadcast Performance, Radio and Television Production, Propaganda and Public Opinion, News and Public Affairs, and Administrative Communication.
As a journalism practitioner, Charles produced and hosted talk radio programs on WSMB Radio in New Orleans, Louisiana, WOL- AM 1350, in Washington, DC, and Sheridan Broadcasting Radio Network in Arlington, Virginia. He also was a newscaster, host, air personality, and announcer for numerous radio stations in Iowa, New Jersey, North Carolina. He interviewed diplomats, scholars, politicians, and ordinary citizens.
Under Charles’ guidance as General Manager, the young radio station WJCS at Johnson C. Smith University won the coveted Black College Radio “Station of the Year Award” in 1966.
Charles served on the 50th Anniversary of the World War II Commemoration Committee. His outstanding work won him the Sentinel Newspaper “Tribute to America & Her Veterans Award” with the 50th Anniversary of World War II Celebration, County of Los Angeles, California. Charles received an award from the Tuskegee Airmen Association of Kansas City, Missouri for his research about African Americans in World War II. He also received accommodations and letters of achievement from the Department of the Army for his work with the World War II Commemoration Committee.
He completed several summer tours at the Pentagon as a Historically Black Colleges and Universities Faculty Fellow. Charles was one of the unfortunate people working in the Pentagon when it was attacked on 9/11/2001. This was a very upsetting experience that haunted Charles.
Charles was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and held memberships in several organizations including, the National Association of Broadcasters, National Association of Radio and Television Artists, Broadcast Education Association, Board of Directors of the National Educational Radio Member, Executive Board Association for Education in Journalism, National Association of Educational Broadcasters, and International Communications Associations.
During the summers he enjoyed providing guided tours for high school students from across the country. The students were so impressed with Charles’ manner and the information he imparted that they tried to emulate him by wearing hats like his and walking with a cane.
Charles enjoyed collecting books and stamps, traveling, music, and browsing antique stores. He was a devoted fan of the Washington football team. Charles’ favorite poem was “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes. His most quoted verse was “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
The family would very much appreciate relatives, friends, and colleagues posting condolence messages and memories on the RobertEvansFuneralHome.com website.
Inurnment with Military Honors
Friday, January 15, 2021
Charles Gilbert Spellman
Hillside High School Class of 1981
January 25, 2021
To the Family of Charles Gilbert Spellman,
Daryl, we extend our deepest condolences to you on your loss of your father, along with our prayers of comfort and love.
The HHS Class of 1981 mourns with you.
Those we love remain with us
for love itself lives on…author unknown
January 16, 2021
My name is Caesar Anderson. I live in Levittown, Pennsylvania. I am a cousin of Charles. Charles and I were like brothers, very close, and loved each other deeply. I am 2 years younger than Charles but he always looked after me and we were constantly together doing lots of fun things. 😍
I will miss Charles and remember all the times we shared, laughed, cried, and ate lots of cake 😋. I remember many times when he was on the radio in Trenton, how he would dedicate songs so often to me. I loved that love from him🤩.
I give my regards and sympathy to Sharon in this hour of her grief. I share her sentiments. Thank you, Sharon, for all that you did for my cousin Charles over these years. You took care of him in his darkest hours and remained by his side. Thank you.
My beloved cousin, rest in peace and lots of love...💖💖🌹🌹💐🌻🌷
January 15, 2021
My name is Vivian Blaize. Charles was my beloved brother. We spent a lot of time together over the years. As I grew up, Charles became my hero. He has always been "The Wind Beneath My Wings" - Jeff Silbar and Larry Henley. Charles always encouraged me to "fly higher as an Eagle..." He was everything I wish I could be..." 🎼🎵🎷🎹
I remember when I was about 10 or 11 years old, one rainy Saturday morning, I looked out of our living room window to see someone walking down the street toward our house. I soon realized it was a handsome Marine coming down that street. It was Charles who surprised us coming home on leave! I ran out of the door without a hat, coat, or umbrella, sprinting toward him. When I reached Charles, he picked me up with a big hug. We put his Marine hat on my head and walked arm-in-arm as we went into the house. Momma Mary and Daddy Alfred were elated too! I was so proud of him. He was "one of a few good men." I am still proud of him today.
Another time Charles took me to meet some of his former military friends. It was a few of the Tuskegee Airmen. I felt honored because I knew of the historically outstanding pilots who defended our country, being the first all-black unit.
One other time that remains with me, is when Charles came to Virginia Beach, we would always go to a restaurant called Diamond Jim Brady's. The food was superb, but we went for the "all you could eat snow crab legs" for $10.99. We spent hours there eating them. I guess that could be why they went out of business because we ate up all of their profit. 😍
I am sad, cry, remember but proud to have had a brother like Charles who never seemed to worry or hindered by anything. He taught me so much especially about the media which became my chosen profession in his footsteps and my daughter who became an award-winning TV anchor, stemming from Charles.
A picture of Charles and me chilling in Las Vegas.
Rest in peace and love, my Hero🥰💖👏🙏🌹🌹🌹🌻🌷💐
January 15, 2021
I am a cousin, Louise Spruill in Elizabeth City, N.C. Charles was one of my favorite cousins since grammar school. I loved him and he loved me too. Charles, Aunt Minnie, Aunt Launia (Charles' Mom), Mary , and my mother Sissie, and cousin Co-T, and Aunt Tarnetta were in Trenton, N.J. together. We spent a lot of time giving each other love. A lot of us were in grammar school together too.
Charles would take the city bus at 7-8 years old to Aunt Minnie's house on Parkinson Avenue in Trenton to visit us. Charles loved his family. He was never afraid to travel by himself to wherever he needed to help his family. I always loved when he would visit and enjoyed him being near.
Charles also helped my son, Michael with his legal problems. He was always there to help all of us with legal problems. He was there to help us with what he could
While in his recent years, travel to him was difficult for me with so many health issues. I prayed for Charles to recover. I will miss him and pray he will rest in peace and love.
January 15, 2021
Best friend. Chuck (aka Charles) and I met in 1961. He served in Korea with the US Army before becoming a college professor , a DJ, and producer of a film about the Tuskegee Airmen while he worked at the Pentagon. We shared wonderful experiences and adventures. He was the Best Man at my wedding to my lovely and remarkable wife Elizabeth. May he rest in Peace.
January 14, 2021
May God comfort our family during this time as we remember Uncle Charles. He had such a great impact on many lives and will never be forgotten!
Forever in our hearts!
- Tanisha -
January 14, 2021
I’m going to miss my Uncle Charles but I know he’s in a better place no more suffering and pain ..... I am Bruce , Uncle Charles oldest sister Mary son , (she passed away in 1979 )there were 9 children that my mother had 6 girls and 3 boys and Uncle Charles always gave love to each and everyone of us he had a heart of goodness , when I was 9 yrs old my Uncle send me and my sister round trip plane tickets for me and my sister Yvonne to come to Iowa for summer school I knew I was special from that day on , there has never been anything that was reasonable that I could not ask of my Uncle but his advice was priceless he showed me so many useful smart things that will never go away ,( just as an example) I fought a mortgage fraud case and the company hired three lawyers to fight against me and I was using what my Uncle was showing me the Judge couldn’t believe that I got as far as I did without a Law Degree he didn’t know that I had a Uncle Charles Gilbert that had my back . We laughed for year’s about that Uncle knew I liked the Law and today will still pull the old briefcase out (LOL)Uncle Charles was a very smart man , all of the accomplishments that he had he was truly an amazing man .......About a year ago my Aunt Fran and her son Ali and my sister Ronnie who shared the same birthday as Uncle Charles we went to visit him at the nursing home he was very happy for the visit .... Aunt Sharon I Can Never Thank You Enough For Showing Your Love And Caring For My Uncle The Way That U Have I Thank You And Your Son’s And Grandchildren For Everything ............. I’m Going To Miss You Uncle Charles....... Tearfully Submitted With Love. Nephew Bruce
January 13, 2021
To Sharon Jones and family,
I wish to convey my deepest and sincere condolences for the loss of your Charles. He certainly came at the right moment in your life and bought you companionship and joy. Yes, this is the guy that added to your joy and serenity, and challenged you into many new life experiences. He not only guided many to enjoy the sights and D.C. history, but was always willing to share his vast knowledge with us all.
May you rest in peace and rest assured we will all meet again. God Bless you and your family.
January 12, 2021
I am deeply saddened by the loss of my beloved cousin Charles Spellman. We shared a special bond. I am thankful for his influence in my life. He stressed the importance of education and strongly urged me to return to school. He was a positive role model and mentor to our younger family members. I will miss his sense of humor and love of music, especially jazz.
January 11, 2021
Charlie always impressed me as one of a kind. In our college years at Shaw and in subsequent years he had so much energy accompanied by creativity and vision. We reconnected during my military assignment at the pentagon in Washington. He hadn’t changed. Still humorous, talkative, smart and ready for the next venture. RIP my friend, until we meet again.
Quincy Scott, Jr
Chaplain, Col (ret)
January 11, 2021
I. Will. Miss. My. Cousin
Charles Gilbert. Spellman.His
Mind. Was. Always. Flowing
Strong. With. Ideas.. Of. Truth
And. Information and. Forward
Progress...May. He. Rest. In
Peace. And. In. Love....
Cousin. Ronnie. King
The. Son. Of. Mary. Ward