Charles Stewart Verdery
March 13, 1942 – March 17, 2021
Charles “Charlie” Stewart Verdery of Hanover, VA, passed away on March 17, 2021 at the age of 79 in Richmond, VA following a short and intense battle with cancer.
Charles was many things – a very successful businessman, an athlete and competitor, a nature lover, a collector, a blend of thriftiness and generosity, a man of habit who also liked to explore, and above all a family man. His is survived by his wife of 32 years, Martha Mebane Verdery. Charlie and Marty had a wonderful marriage, full of trips to Nags Head, birding trips across the country, dog walks, and watching and debating ACC sports. Meals on the back deck while birdwatching was a favorite pastime for decades. He will be missed greatly by his family, co-workers, and numerous friends across wide ranges of geography, age, and station in life.
Charles was born in 1942 in Augusta, Georgia as the fourth child of Albert Brantley Verdery (then stationed in the United Kingdom during World War II) and Louise Stebbins Ford Verdery. After growing up in Augusta, Georgia, New Bern, North Carolina, and Baltimore, Maryland, Charles graduated from St. Paul’s School for Boys in Baltimore in 1960, Kenyon College with a A.B in 1964, and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a M.B.A. in 1966. Always looking for a business angle and apparently willing to work in any temperature, among his many jobs as a kid and student included: a paper route, bike repair, lawnmowing, selling snow cones, driving the golf range picker, library aide, ice block cutting, hay baling, construction, camp counselor, cafeteria worker, basketball court halftime sweeper, dorm mini-mart operator, lacrosse coach, driving a snowplow, and selling programs at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia.
After stints at Mobil in Tampa and Reynolds International in Richmond, Charles joined Sydnor Pump and Well (later Sydnor Hydrodynamics and now Sydnor Hydro) in 1971 as Chief Financial Officer, before buying the company in 1985 and serving as President for the past 36 years. Sydnor is known throughout the south for its 130-year history of pump and well sales, drilling water wells, installing residential water systems, and providing water services. Sydnor always has been known for a family atmosphere with incredible employee loyalty and longevity, starting with the Sydnor family and then through Charles’ leadership – a tenure of ten years means you are still ‘new.’ While all six of his children or step-children worked briefly at Sydnor at some point, Charles’ youngest son Brant continues the family tradition as Vice President at Sydnor.
Charles also served as owner of the River Golf Club in North Augusta, SC, and owner of the Arteisan Aquafarm of South Mills, NC. Charles helped develop the River Golf Club from a new public club to one of the premier semi-private clubs in the Southeast. His insightful business and sporting advice to his middle son and club manager, Chris, was integral to the success of the club. Charles was quick to make friends with club members, taste test all the menu items, and jump in to clean carts and clubs when the club was busy. Charting his unusual golf cart paths via the GPS usually resulted in him explaining that he was chasing a rare bird or animal on the course.
‘Charlie’ or ‘Chuck’ was a star athlete in high school and college including all-city honors in lacrosse and football in high school as a running back and attackman, respectively, and All-American honors in lacrosse at Kenyon. At Kenyon he occasionally would suffer a dislocated shoulder. His friend Louie Berney noted that once when his shoulder came out, he had to wait two hours before been seen by a doctor but never complained: “That episode epitomized Charlie. He was not a grouser. He never felt sorry for himself.”
He went on to referee high school and college lacrosse games in the Central Virginia area for decades and played on numerous softball squads into his later years, as well as being an avid golfer. He also coached numerous youth sports teams across several decades.
Charles was an active tennis player at Willow Oaks Country Club and Burkwood Swim & Racquet Cub for more than 25 years. His friends knew him to be always ready to play (opening the can of balls was deemed a sufficient warm-up) and a tough competitor. But after a match Charles loved the opportunity to sit down and discuss just about any topic – from business to politics to sports to birdwatching. He had a keen mind, was well read, and ready to challenge conventional wisdom with a fresh viewpoint. But he also loved to laugh and proudly talk about family accomplishments. He was stimulating and fun to be around. Marty knew he would not be home quickly after an afternoon match.
Charles loved to explore our vast country and set an audacious goal of visiting every one of the 3142 counties in the United States, often in long road trips with his older brother Pete. Following itineraries that made sense only because Charles was avoiding interstate highways and crossing as many county lines as possible, they explored the South, the Upper Midwest and the West. Once arriving in a remote oil town in Montana, they were told that every hotel room had been booked for six months – “The bad news is that there aren’t any other hotels for 200 miles; the good news is that you can drive 100 miles an hour and nobody will care.” Into his late 70’s, he continued exploring, including a month-long trek with Louie into remote Alaska where they encountered a grizzly bear. When Louie wanted to keep snapping photos, Charles insisted they drive off – when Louie said he was safe behind the car door, Charles said he was not worried about Louie but he did not want to return a scratched rental car. He was able to cross the 50% county barrier last year.
His Augusta roots brought Charles back frequently to family events, his River Golf Club, and occasionally to play Augusta National. In 1987, he was able to bring his banker as a guest and when the banker somehow shot his career low round at the home of the Masters, Charles was told that every loan he needed for the rest of time was pre-approved. In 2015, his son Chris arranged a memorable day for Charles and all three of his sons at the National.
Among his many passions were their dogs, bird-watching and birds-spotted data tracking, beach fun in Nags Head, playing any activity that kept a score, completing a perfect yard clean up, getting up-and-down from impossible positions on the golf course, the annual Sydnor Christmas turkey distribution, puzzles, Parker’s Barbeque in Wilson, NC, and the Carolina Booze rotisserie baseball league. As a sports enthusiast, he closely followed teams from Clemson, UVA and UNC, each of which had family connections.
In addition to his wife Martha, Charles is survived by his three siblings, Albert Brantley Verdery, Jr., of Augusta, GA, Rieves Ford Verdery of Augusta, GA, and Alison Verdery Price of North Augusta, SC. He is also survived by: three children, Charles Stewart Verdery, Jr. and his wife Jenifer of Washington, D.C., Christopher Scott Verdery and his wife Mary Dawn of North Augusta, SC, and Albert Brantley Verdery III and his wife Angela of Richmond, VA, and their mother Linda Bond Verdery of Bremo Bluff, VA; and three step-children, William Albert Anderson, III and his wife Kristin of Durham, NC, Katherine Elizabeth Anderson of Silver Spring, MD, and Thomas Delton Anderson and his wife Gennifer of St. Augustine, FL. He is also survived by 15 grandchildren: Isabelle Anne, Charles Stewart III, Jack Benjamin, Cole Jag, Estee Lauren, Anna-Leah, Caroline Bond, Kathryn Michelle, and Peter Brantley Verdery; Mary Katherine, Amelia May, James Richard, Lucas Battle and Annabel Bailey Anderson; and Andrew Franklin Vogt. In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested for The Nature Conservancy at https://www.nature.org/en-us/ or Saint Paul's Episcopal Church at Hanover Courthouse, Hanover, VA.
A funeral is planned at Pineview Cemetery in Rocky Mount, NC and a remembrance in the Richmond area will be scheduled as well at a later date. Additional information on Charles and services when they are scheduled can be found at this website, www.woodyfuneralhomeatlee.com.
- Albert Brantley Verdery and Louise Ford Verdery, Parents (deceased)
- Martha Mebane Verdery, Wife of 32 years
- Charles Stewart Verdery, Jr. (Jenifer), Son
- Christopher Scott Verdery (Mary Dawn), Son
- Albert Brantley Verdery (Angela), Son
- Linda Verdery, Their Mother
- Willian Albert Anderson (Krissy), Stepson
- Katherine Elizabeth Anderson, Stepdaughter
- Thomas Delton Anderson (Gen), Stepson
- Isabelle Anne, Charles Stewart III, and Jack Benjamin Verdery, Cole Jag, Estee Lauren and Anna-Leah Verdery, Caroline Bond, Kathryn Michelle and Peter Brantley Verdery, Mary Katherine, Amelia May and James Richard Anderson, Andrew Franklin Vogt, and Lucas Battle and Annabel Bailey Anderson, Grandchildren
- Albert Brantley Verdery, Rieves Ford Verdery and Alison Verdery Price, Siblings
- Many, Cousins, Nieces and Nephews
- The Nature Conservancy
- St. Paul's Church at Hanover Courthouse
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Charles Stewart Verdery
April 1, 2021
I wish to express my sincere sympathy to the family for their loss.
I had a great deal of respect for Mr. Verdery. He was a kind and
generous man. He was indeed a southern gentleman.
Sydnor Hydro, Inc. 2004 Retiree
March 31, 2021
On behave of the Ground Water Institute, I want to express our heartfelt sorrow at the sudden passing of Charlie.
Just a few short weeks ago, we recently had a virtual GWI annual meeting in which Charlie attended, participated, and gave impute during this event. He continued to be an inspiration to all of us with his humor, wisdom and guidance. He will be greatly missed and I will especially miss that big, broad smile he always flashed during our conversations together.
I know, I can speak for every one of our members by saying that we all respected and valued Charlie’s impute, knowledge, and common sense.
Ground Water Institute
Frances & Franklin Aylor
March 31, 2021
We were so sorry to hear of Charlie's passing. We last saw him at Burkwood after playing tennis, before the Covid shutdown. Our sympathy to all his family, especially Marti, Kate and Tom. I think of Kate and Tom as they were in high school - hard to believe they're all grown up and have children of their own. May your wonderful memories bring you comfort.
March 31, 2021
Charles was a great guy, so up on so many different subjects and able to talk about any of them with enthusiasm and in detail -- he left a memorable impact on me from just a few meetings. I was very much looking forward to seeing him again in Nags Head or Rocky Mount.
March 29, 2021
Charlie had the kindest soul, my wife Lori and I were able to get to know Charlie, Brandt and Angela over past 15 years on our annual Heartland Insurance Trip. Shared so many great golfing and tennis stories and some (sure) legendary volleyball matches with Angie and Brandt. Charlie was so kind, inviting us to play golf in North Augusta during Master's Week several years back and being joined for what it seemed like a very extended family of Charlies for cocktail after round to share so many great memories of Augusta Tournament and area. Sure Charlie is playing some legendary tennis in much better place. Our Thoughts and Prayers are with Charlie and entire family.
March 24, 2021
Chuck, “The Dart” Verdery was a phenomenal assistant lacrosse coach at Ohio Wesleyan for the 1965 season. His knowledge and enthusiasm were contagious. I still remember scoring my first goal which in reality was knocked into the goal by the goalie. He said with a smile “good shot......... next time shoot at the front of goal”
I, like most everyone else, followed his advice.
Didn’t know that he went to Wharton..... I followed him there graduating in 1970
Thank you Chuck(Dart) for your sage advice