CHARLES J. BALLANTYNE
February 25, 1923 - December 7, 2013
Obituaries » CHARLES J. BALLANTYNE
BALLANTYNE, CHARLES J. “CHARLIE,” of Montpelier, passed away peacefully on December 7th, at Vermont Respite House after a long and fruitful life. He was born in Rutland on February 25, 1923. He was predeceased by his parents, a brother and two sisters. He attended elementary school in Rochester and graduated from Vergennes High School. Charlie graduated from University of Vermont in 1950 with a degree in political science followed by graduate work in community planning at Dartmouth, University of Rhode Island and Northeastern University. Charlie was a member of the “Great Generation,” serving in WWII as a radio operator in Europe with the 776th Liberty Bell Battalion along with other fellow Vermonters; he attended their reunions for several years before his health declined. He was on active duty from 1943-45. On December 15th, 1943, he married Barbara Reed of Wolcott, whom he had previously met while earning operators licenses in both radio and electronics at the National Youth Administration in Waterbury. She predeceased him in 1947, two months after their daughter, Leslie Jean, was born. Charlie had enrolled at UVM on the GI Bill. Hedi Stoehr, a classmate, and Charlie met as members of the International Relations Club and they married while they were still students there. After graduating together in 1950 they added two daughters and a son to the family. In 1954, Charlie began serving in intelligence in the Army Reserve, continuing until 1970. His interest in Geology at UVM led to a career in cartography from 1951-64, working for the National Survey in Chester, Vt.; the American Geographical Society/Army Map Service in NYC; and the VT Department of Highways. From 1964 to 1969, he worked as an urban renewal planner for Hans Klunder Associates in Hanover, N.H. and spent the year after that with Planners Collaborative in Syracuse, NY. In 1970, he began working in Boston as Senior Housing Program Officer and Senior Planner in the Mass. Department of Community Affairs. His professional affiliations included the American Institute of Planners, Delta Nu Alpha, and the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping. Charlie’s rich life of service extended far beyond his military one. He and Hedi taught English to high-school aged Mexican orphans at Los Poquenos Hermanos in Yarnell, Ariz. They also served two months a year for 13 years as volunteers for Heifer International as a host couple at Overlook Farm in Rutland, Mass. In addition, he taught hunter safety classes to youth through the Montpelier Recreation Department. Charlie served the Unitarian Church of Montpelier in countless ways while in active membership for 60 years. He had varied interests including hunting, woodworking, skiing, sailing, hiking, camping, and attending “Family and Friends” week at Ferry Beach, Maine, a program of the Unitarian-Universalist Association. There, he loved to play percussion at musical gatherings. He was active as an amateur radio operator (call letters W1PMH). Charlie’s interest in engineering and woodworking expressed itself in his developing unique and useful solutions for his homes. Charlie was a deeply thoughtful man with a lifelong skill of writing poetry which he shared with family and friends. He read widely in science, political science, astronomy and geology. He leaves Hedi Ballantyne of Montpelier, his wife of 65 years; daughters Leslie Jean Ballantyne and husband Jerry Fox of Essex Junction, Janet Ballantyne and husband David Sokol of Shelburne, and Karen Ballantyne of Montpelier; son Edward Ballantyne and wife Janis of Georgia, VT; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandson. A celebration of Charlie’s life will be held at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier, 130 Main St., on Saturday, January 4, at 2 pm.