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Charles Reginald Amory Jr., 79, seafood business owner known for his honesty and integrity

Charles Reginald Amory Jr.
Charles Reginald Amory Jr.

All good things must come to an end, and so they did when Charles Amory, 79, passed away Friday, Aug. 2, 2019.

Born June 19, 1940, Charles spent his childhood in Hampton at his grandparents’ Shellneck Farm in Battery Park and at Windmill Point in the summers. He grew up on the water, hunting, fishing and sailing. He attended Hampton High School, where he played football under Coach Suey Eason and hunted with Kenton Patrick in the mornings before school. Charles finished his senior year and a P.G. year at Randolph Macon Academy in Front Royal, and was set to go to Virginia Tech until a lunch conversation with Jack Horseman resulted in a recruitment meeting later that evening. The rest, as they say, is history, as he was at VMI for football practice the following Monday morning. As anyone who has been there knows, VMI became and remained a large part of his life. He attended bi-monthly lunches with his brother rats until his death.

Charles became “everyone’s favorite husband” in June 1964 when he married Quinby James. They celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary in June and are a shining example of the partnership a marriage should be. When his father became ill shortly after the wedding, Charles went from working on the dock to running the family seafood business, L.D. Amory and Co. Inc. At 23, he was suddenly supporting not only his new bride, but also his parents and grandmother. He took on the responsibility with grit and determination and became the epitome of honesty and integrity in business as in life. Three years later, he began the greatest job of his life, father to Aurelia, Meade and Maggie, and eventually grandfather to Max, Amory, James, Charles Henry, Langley, Mackenzie and Quinby.

Charles spent the next 50 years growing the business started by his grandfather in 1917 and devoting his life to his family, friends, and the community he loved. A landmark in downtown Hampton, “the dock” has employed many a neighbor’s teenager, served as a venue for charity fundraisers and parties of all kinds, and has kept the working waterfront alive in downtown Hampton for over 100 years. Charles was “the dock” for everyone in Hampton and the surrounding areas and hundreds of customers and vendors throughout the country. He loved his employees and considered them family. He was very concerned with integrity and truth in business and was a businessman with heart. He was very active in the seafood industry and worked in various capacities throughout the years as fisheries became more and more regulated. Charles served on numerous seafood industry boards including the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission, Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, Virginia Seafood Council, Virginia Marine Products Board and Finfish Management Advisory Committee.

As a father, he was second to none. There was unconditional love, and time spent on boats, and ski trips, and boats, and beach trips, and boats, and fishing trips and more boats. The Rainbow Runner in its various iterations, SeaCraft, Hatteras, Evans and all the others in-between, was a home away from home. Most importantly, he was always there for his family even with the 24/7/365 nature of the family business.

Charles was honest, kind, shrewd, soft-hearted, generous, funny and loving. You’d be hard-pressed to find an unkind word spoken about Charlie Amory. He treated others as he wanted to be treated and was always there when needed, willing to lend a hand. He rarely missed a Thursday night Rotary meeting in downtown Hampton, where he was a Paul Harris Fellow. Charles served on the Peninsula Community Foundation of Virginia, VIMS Council, Salvation Army of the Virginia Peninsula, Virginia Board for Branch Pilots and Peninsula Ports Authority of Virginia.

Charles was preceded in death by his parents, Margaret Goodson Gatling Amory and Charles Reginald Amory Sr. He is survived by his wife, Quinby James Amory; daughters, Aurelia Amory Scharnhorst and Ed and Maggie Amory Haynes and Pat; son, Charles Meade Amory; brother, Lorenzo D. “Rick” Amory, and his wife, Marsha; and grandchildren, Max and James Scharnhorst, Amory, Charles Henry, and Mackenzie Haynes, and Langley and Quinby (Q2) Amory, and their mother, Terri Amory.

We’ll all miss that classic Charlie twinkle and grin. His was a wonderful Hampton life surrounded by immediate family, lots of extended family, the “dock” family and lifelong friends who became family. He was loved by everyone he met pretty much.

His was a life well lived.

A funeral service for Charles will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, Aug. 9, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Hampton, led by the Rev. Samantha Vincent-Alexander. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. A reception will then be held at the Hampton Yacht Club.

Memorial gifts may be made to St. John’s Episcopal Church, 100 West Queens Way, Hampton, VA 23669.

Share online condolences with the family at Claytor Rollins Funeral Home and Crematory.

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