Richard A. Charles

May 23, 1946March 4, 2018

"Richard A. Charles, known as Rick to all who knew and loved him, of Woodstock, GA passed away on Sunday, March 4, 2018 at the age of 71. Rick was born on May 23, 1946 in Trenton, NJ.

Rick was one of the most interesting men around to the friends and loved ones of the Charles' family. He was truly a man of many talents and interests. Early in his life, he attended Ridge High School in New Jersey, graduating in 1962. He was awarded a scholarship to Julliard School of Music and graduated with an associates degree, majoring in music composition. Music was always a passion for him and he played the piano and trumpet.

Soon after graduation he joined the United States Air Force. He flew the F4 Phantom and fought in Vietnam. After returning from Vietnam, Rick settled in California and worked for Continental Airlines as an engineer for several years. After leaving Continental Airlines, Rick was hired by Rockwell Collins in the early 1980's as a Field Engineer where he traveled all over the world. After several years, Rick moved up, at Rockwell Collins, to a position as Regional Marketing Manager and settled in Atlanta, GA.

Rick decided that he wanted to pursue a career in academia and while still working at Rockwell Collins he attended Georgia State University and received his Bachelors, Masters and eventually a PH.D in Political Science. Rick was on the faculty of several major universities in the U.S. and in 2009 was hired as Dean of the Aviation School for Middle Georgia State University. He stepped down from the Dean position after several years and taught Aviation classes on line for Middle Georgia State University during the last years of his life. Rick flew as a private pilot all of his life.

In 2003 Rick married Irene (or Liz, as he called her) who was the love of his life and he hers. They had 16 wonderful years together before his passing. He was a great provider for his family, a loving husband, father and grandfather.

Rick is survived by his wife, Irene/Liz Charles; daughters, Jennifer (Jay) Talbert and Erin (Robert) Tipton; grandchildren, Madison Tipton, Joshua Tipton, William Tipton, Jack Talbert, and Eliza Talbert; and mother-in-law, Miriam Smith.

Rick's ashes will be buried at Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, GA. A celebration of his extraordinary life will be held on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at his daughter, Erin's home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society. Arrangements are under the direction of Woodstock Funeral Home."


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Richard A. Charles

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Diego Menendez

June 30, 2018

Deeply saddened at the passing of Dr. Charles. So honored to have had the privilege to share a small sliver of my life with him. He lit up any room he entered and was ALWAYS the most interesting man in said room, hands down. One hell of a life and an inspiration to all.

Tom Brennom

March 10, 2018

We were recently thinking of Rick after Pete Clarke died. I worked with Rick during our Collins years and travels. What a great and talented guy! He'll be missed but the memories will go on!

Natalie Carson

March 9, 2018

Dr. Charles was the first to welcome me to Georgia State University and it was my greatest honor to serve as his student assistant during my time there. I never tired of his stories and his classes were my favorites. Many people live great lives, he lived an epic life. His impact on his students and the aviation industry can never be measured. I found a photo of him just last week and wished I had kept in touch. God bless the Charles family in this time of incredible loss.

Jeremy Upperman

March 9, 2018

He was one of my favorite teachers at MGA. He was also the only one that got me to actually look for any mistakes in anything he posted.

Travis Hitt

March 6, 2018

As a former student and instructor at Middle Georgia College I can truly say that some of my most favorite classes were that of those taught by Dr Charles. He has impacted so many on campus and in the industry and he will be missed by all.
Travis Hitt

Alexandria Mayers

March 6, 2018

My deepest sympathy and condolences to all of Dr. Charles family, friends, and students. I am one of his students at Middle Georgia State University. He was the best professor that I have ever had and was like a mentor to me. Any time I needed career advice, had any questions, or just wanted an opinion from someone in-the-know, he was who I would go to and he gave the most brilliant and candid guidance that I will always remember and apply. Dr. Charles also made a huge impact on my life during one of my most difficult times. When I took my first class taught by Dr. Charles (Human Factors), I was struggling to break into the aviation industry and it was really beginning to affect me personally. After four years of no luck, I realized that my dream of working in aviation was going to come down to who I knew, not what I knew. However, I didn't know anyone that worked in that field but I did not give up. I prayed to God for someone successful in my field to recognize my potential and recommend me for a job. The very next day, Dr. Charles recommended me for an internship with the Atlanta Aero Club and I got hired! Now, I have a successful aviation-related career thanks to him being the one kind person to say yes when everyone else said no. One person can really make a difference and Dr. Charles made all the difference to me. He will always be missed and remembered.

Lisa Chastain

March 6, 2018

I am so glad I got to meet and know the most interesting man in the world. Until we meet again....

Ramey Pace

March 6, 2018

I worked with Rick at Middle Georgia State University in Eastman, Georgia. He was a pleasure to work with and for. It is with regret that I learned of his passing. It is my hope that the family and friends will embrace the hope of Jesus that lends itself to hope eternal. I hope to see Rick someday, after I embrace passing from this life. It is my hope that all who read this will consider Jesus. He is the way, the truth , and the life.

Steve Justice

March 6, 2018

I an saddened by the news of Rick's passing. I worked with Rick at Middle Georgia State as he built up the aviation program. He was a great colleague and confidant. He was a true renaissance man and we lovingly called him "the most interesting man in the world." My sincere condolences to his family.
Steve Justice

John Hunt

March 6, 2018

What an incredible person... Rick "Dos Equis" Charles was a nut, he was funny, he was talented and he was revered. I will always remember him as a Harley (dress shirt) wearing, Oban Scotch sipping character, playing bossa nova music on the piano while singing in Portuguese. We'll miss you good friend.