Charles Waterhouse

Passed away on November 16, 2013

Colonel Charles Waterhouse, USMCR, 89, passed away early on Saturday morning, November 16th, at the home of his daughter and son-in-law in Toms River, NJ. Waterhouse was the first and only the artist-in-residence of the U.S. Marine Corps. He continued to paint until three weeks before his death.

A lifelong New Jersey resident, Waterhouse was a member of the Class of 1942 at Perth Amboy High School. Upon graduating, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and was attached to Company C 5th Engr. Bn. 5th Marine Division, FMF. On February 19, 1945 Waterhouse was seriously wounded during the first wave at Iwo Jima. Nerve damage resulted in him losing the feeling in most of his left hand. But there was no damage to the hand that would become his painting hand.

After the war, two pivotal events occurred in his life: he began attending classes at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, and he married the love of his life, Barbara Andersen. After graduating from the NSFIA, he stayed on at the school as a teacher and spent the next 28 years building a reputation as an illustrator for publications such as Outdoor Life, Readers Digest, Rutgers Press and the Boy Scouts.

Three tours of duty as a combat artist in Vietnam resulted in hundreds of on-the-spot drawings that were later turned into one large volume called Delta to DMZ. In 1973, at the age of 49, Waterhouse was brought back to active duty at the rank of major to create a series of 14 paintings of the Marines in the Revolution in celebration of the bicentennial. It was supposed to be a 9 month commission but the Marines had found “their Rockwell” and they kept him on until his retired on 19 February, 1991, the 46th anniversary of the landing on Iwo. By that time he had completed over 160 major works for the USMC, and had painted every campaign in the history of the Corps from its inception through Operation Iraqi Freedom.

After his retirement he continued to paint his beloved Marines. In 1999 the Colonel Charles Waterhouse Museum, a non-profit organization based in Toms River, was established. When the museum closed its doors, the majority of Waterhouse’s body of work was gifted to the United States Marine Corps. In his final years, Waterhouse embarked on a series of paintings chronicling the USMC and Naval Medal of Honor recipients.

Predeceased by his devoted wife Barbara in 2009, the Colonel is survived by daughters Jane and Amy, son-in-law Gary Lotano, grandchildren Noelle, Matthew and his wife Melissa, and Baylen; great grandchildren Colin, Sam and Elle Charlie, and his Marines, to whom he was always faithful, and by his paintings, which will live forever. A private memorial service will be held for the immediate family. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Colonel Charles Waterhouse Scholarship for the Arts, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, 909 N. Washington Street, Suite 400, Alexandria, VA 22314.


  • A private memorial service will be held for immediate family only

Charles Waterhouse

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Thomas Jeffords

November 15, 2014

Semper Fi Sir, may you take your rightful place guarding the streets of heaven.

Cpl Jeffords, T.M. USMC 1980-1986

Bob and Virginia DeWick

May 14, 2014

Mike Waters

March 26, 2014

George Dragan

January 19, 2014

I will always treasure the personal tour of his museum and art studio in Toms River that the Colonel gave me upon my return from Iraq in October 2003. He, his wife, and your family will remain in my prayers. May God rest his soul.

December 26, 2013

I would like to extend condolences on behalf of Col. Ed Fitzgerald, USMC ret.and our entire family. Ed passed away on Dec 12th. He was a friend of Col Waterhouse and many of his prints were prominently displayed in Ed's study. I personally me Col. Waterhouse on several occasions at several functions! He was a great Marine, artist and gentleman! My wife Lyn and I have Col. Waterhouse and his family in our prayers. I am confident that he had Col. Fitzgerald are together and the streets of heaven are a better place!
Lyn (Fitzgerald) and Rick Lombardi

Mike Davis

December 11, 2013

My condolences to the Waterhouse family, was saddened to see the Obituary in the Marine Corps Times last week. When I was a young Midshipman in the 1980s, the NROTC unit at Penn State had an extra copy of Col Waterhouse's "Marines in the Revolution" prints, that I managed to get for myself- one of which hangs over my fireplace to this day. I've always been fascinated by his work & was privileged to meet him in Quantico in the mid-90s. Generations of Marines to come will enjoy the indelible mark his art left on our Corps.


LtCol M Davis

Stephen Percoskie

December 6, 2013

When I first meet Charlie in 1967 at NSFIA, I was a young vet who didn't have any direction in my life. In the course of three years the Colonel generosity and spirit changed my life, he trained and pushed me in the direction that greatly helped me.

He has been my mentor and friend for over 46 years. The Colonel will be greatly missed by all of us who have been touched by his life.

I am so sorry at his passing. He was a great artist and Marine Illustrator, our country has lost one of its great treasures.

Amy, Jane, I will never forget the kindness that your mother and father have shown me over the years. If you should ever need me for any reasons, please call.

His student and your friend

December 4, 2013

Carole {Geiling} and Ed Szep
Bloomfield New Jersey

Dear Jane and Amy,
We were so very sorry to learn of your father's passing. He and your mom were not just good neigbors, but good friends also. While he was teaching at NSFIA your dad encouraged my parents to send me there. That's where I met my future husband and we both had him as a teacher. Many years later we visited his museum in Toms River with our children and he showed us some sculptures that he was creating. They were works of art, just like his paintings. He lived his life doing what he loved-painting and sketching, with your mom by his side. They were so proud of both of you and always spoke lovingly about you. Hold tight to your memories-they were two special people.
Carole {Geiling} and Ed Szep
Bloomfield, New Jersey

Grace Campanaro

December 2, 2013

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Jeanne (Geiling) Romano

December 2, 2013

Dear Jane and sorry to hear of your Father's passing. He lived a long, wonderful and fulfilling life. Your family was undoubtedly the best neighbors anyone could have. When we were kids we posed for some of your Dad's illustrations. Your Mom was one of my favorite people and I always made a point of visiting your parents when I was visiting NJ. I have your Father to thank for
steering my sister to attend NSFIA. That resulted in my meeting my husband there, who became an award winning art director and we just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. So much history between our two families. You were blessed with wonderful parents, and you blessed them in return.