Charlie, Kates grandfather passed away on Friday, surrounded by his family and loved ones at Frederick Memorial Hospital in Maryland. He was in a minor motorcycle accident the week before that caused some bleeding in his head, which was complicated by the Cumidin he was taking (blood thinner). It put so much pressure on his brain, it caused too much damage and the family had decided to take him off of the machines that were keeping him alive. Charlie would not have wanted to live the rest of his life like that.
Charlie was a navy test pilot who flew MACH 1 on a regular basis. He is credited with being the first man to fly across the Atlantic in a single engine jet. He went to Princeton University. He was an adventurer, a patriot, a scholar and a gentleman.
I also learned that he once flew over the speed of sound and fired his armaments (guns), but was going so fast that he actually flew past his bullets, shooting himself in his wings of his plane. On that occasion, he was actually faster than a speeding bullet.
We all went out to dinner and celebrated his life, rather than mourn it. All his kids knew that was the way he would have wanted it. It was the most positive experience as far as a death that I have ever been a part of, very uplifting.