Philip Arthur Charles Jr.

Philip Arthur Charles Jr., of Front Royal, Va. Passed away peacefully on Monday, May 27, 2024 with his family at his side at his home while under the care of Hospice.

Philip was born on October 18, 1937 in Washington, DC to parents Philip and Emma Charles.

He lived in Arlington, Virginia until 1988 when he retired to Front Royal, Virginia. He was currently a member of Chester Gap Fire Department and served as their Treasurer for several years. Phil was active in the fire and rescue service for over 70 years, beginning as a volunteer firefighter in Arlington, VA and later as a Volunteer Fire Chief.  Phil retired from the DC Fire Department after 20 years of service.

Upon Phil’s graduation from Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, he attended The U.S. Naval Photo School in Pensacola, FL and served three years as a Navy Photographer.  When his enlistment from the Navy ended, he joined the DC Fire Department.

During this time, he operated a commercial photography studio in Arlington, VA until 1981. The Studio was one of the first in the area to operate a color processing lab.  Upon retirement from his service on the DC Fire Department, Phil went on to work as a Staff Photographer for the National Gallery of Art (1981-1999) where he was responsible for photographing three-dimensional art objects for publications, slide presentations for curators and art exhibits as well as photography for six published art books.

Phil was a resident of Front Royal, VA, having retired there 25 years ago.  He and his wife, Sandra, purchased historic Lackawanna in Riverton and after extensive restoration to the 1869 house opened as a bed & breakfast operating until 2020.

Phil is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sandra Charles; daughter, Katherine Blevins; son, Zachary Charles; four grandchildren, Charlie Blevins, Jack Blevins, Kelsey Charles and Bryce Charles; and his beloved Standard Poodle, Chloe.

A memorial service is being planned for the middle of October.

Contributions can be made to Chester Gap Volunteer Fire Department.

  15 comments for “Philip Arthur Charles Jr.

  1. Julie
    May 29, 2024 at 5:54 pm

    Dearest Sandy, Kathy, Zach, and the entire Charles Family,

    I am so deeply sorry to hear of Phil’s passing. He was such a character, and a very kind, gentle, loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many. My family included. As I know you will, hold close and treasure the lifetime of love, memories, and happiness that you all had together, and lean on each other for comfort and support now and in the coming months. Though I can do nothing to ease the pain of the loss of Phil, please know that my heart, prayers, and much love is with each of you. Should there be anything at all that I can possibly do for any of you, please don’t hesitate to ask, I am only a call away.
    Love, Julie (Wayland) DeVall

    • Kathy
      May 31, 2024 at 7:47 pm

      Thank you so much!

  2. Jeannine Purdy
    May 29, 2024 at 6:12 pm

    My condolences for your loss. What a life well lived. His device to others will not be forgotten.

    • Brenda Ramey
      May 30, 2024 at 3:26 am

      Philip and another volunteer came to my parents house to help me with my Dad. They were both so kind and gentle. My Father was very sick and they talked to him like he was just having a bad night. It was so respectful. I will be forever grateful. My sympathy to the family.

      • StaceePizzuto
        May 30, 2024 at 2:48 pm

        Phil was a cherished asset in ACFD in all roles he held. Please know he left a legacy of depth contribution. May you all know we all appreciated him. Sending love and prayers. 🙏🏻❤️🙏🏻

      • Wanda Binns
        May 30, 2024 at 4:30 pm

        He was a very good man a very good friend of my dad Marvin binns sorry for your loss

    • Kathy
      May 31, 2024 at 7:46 pm

      Thank you so much!

  3. Dadia Stern
    May 29, 2024 at 8:58 pm

    Dear Kathy, my deepest sympathy to you and your family. I’m so sorry for your loss.
    Sincerely, Dadia

    • Kathy
      May 31, 2024 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you so much!

  4. Brenda Binns
    May 30, 2024 at 3:59 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss he was a great man Sending Prayers

  5. The Gentiva Hospice Team
    May 30, 2024 at 8:24 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this most difficult time.
    Sending our deepest condolences,

    The Gentiva Hospice Team

  6. Janice Hart
    May 31, 2024 at 1:52 pm

    Thoughts and prayers are with you Sandy.

  7. James Kiser
    May 31, 2024 at 5:02 pm

    Phil was nice guy. Met him when I was assigned to Station 3 in Arlington. My condolences to the family.

  8. Barb (Elfers) Croson
    June 2, 2024 at 12:50 pm

    I’m so very sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing Kathy. I remember fondly the many visits to your Arlington home and the mischief, silliness, and pre/early teen shenanigans both “Mr. And Mrs. Charles” put up with. I know you will cherish a lifetime of memories with your Dad. Hugs and love.

  9. Hope Kidwell
    June 2, 2024 at 8:34 pm

    Thank you for your service and dedication to ACFD. prayers of comfort for your family members. Remember it’s time to rejoice God restores our decaying bodys….forever young and no pain. Lord Bless to All

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