Dr. James Edward Charles, 77, a native of Terrebonne Parish and a resident of Houma, LA, passed away peacefully at 10:17 a.m. on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
Mr. Charles has dedicated his life to serving the students of Terrebonne Parish. He began his career as a math teacher at Southdown High School. He taught throughout the parish before becoming an elementary math curriculum specialist, an assistant principal, and coordinator of migrant education. In 1988, he was named the first-ever principal of Ellender Memorial High School. Mr. Charles has also served as supervisor of secondary adult and vocational education, Assistant Superintendent, and Interim Superintendent of Terrebonne Parish public school system.
An avid volunteer, Mr. Charles also created many enrichment programs for local underprivileged and at-risk youth. He is a 1960 graduate of Southdown High School and earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Southern University and A & M College. He received an Honorary Doctorate from Southern University in 2019.
He is survived by his wife, Bernadine Poindexter Charles; daughters, Tanya Brown, Arlanda J. Williams; Angela Charles and Heather Gobert (Robert); grandchildren, Joshua Williams, Chelsea Charles, Jere' Williams, Cody and Carson Brown and Roman Gobert; brother, Leroy Charles; sister, Joyce Judy Charles-Bolden; and a host of other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Benjamin, Sr. and Sadie Westley Charles; brothers, Donald, Rinard, Benjamin, Jr., Robert, Sr. and Larry, Sr.; paternal grandparents, Edmond and Martha Harding Charles; maternal grandparents, Eddie, Sr. and Rebecca Neville Westley; and son-in-law, Dwayne Washington.
A public viewing will be conducted from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, May 22, 2020 at Jones Funeral Home chapel, 230 S. Hollywood Road in Houma. (All visitors are asked to adhere to the CDC/local regulations by wearing masks and practicing social distancing). He will be interred in the St. Luke Baptist Cemetery (Bayou Dularge Road) in a graveside service at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, 2020.
Arrangements entrusted to Jones Funeral Home of Houma.
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