Obituary of Charles Brathwaite, Sr.
Charles E. Brathwaite Sr., 88, of Atlantic City, peacefully passed away on February 16, 2018 at home. Born in Atlantic City on June 21, 1929, to Justina "Jestina" Eldeca (née Layne) and Evans Clairmont Brathwaite both formerly of Christ Church, Barbados, British West Indies.
In 1956, he married Nina Juanita Moore and together they had four children. He attended New Jersey Avenue School, Atlantic City Technical Vocational High School, where he specialized in electrical repairing and wiring, and Atlantic County Vo-Tech High School, where he was certified in refrigeration and air conditioning. He traveled playing semiprofessional basketball from 1948-1951.
He entered the United States Army on April 23, 1951 in Camden, NJ. He was initially stationed at the 9th Infantry Division School at Fort Dix, where he trained to become a Field Wireman and Operator for his deployment to the Korean War. Corporal Brathwaite was Honorably discharged and received the Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal during his tour. In 2005, he received a dedication award for his service as a member of the Korean War Veterans Association, Chapter 234 of Atlantic City. He was an active member of the Korean War Veterans of Egg Harbor Township.
After returning from the Korean War in 1953, he was offered an opportunity to play for the Harlem Globetrotters, he declined preferring instead to work on his first love, jazz music. He was a dance drummer, who played at famed Black Clubs in Atlantic City: Club Harlem, Daddy Lou's, Fuller's, High Hat, Herman's, Big C's, and the worldfamous 500 Club. He played with Screaming J. Hawkins, Three Beats and a Bop bands, and several times for Melba Moore, Patti LaBelle, Ike and Tina Turner, and many others. He continued his drumming career until his first daughter was born in 1968. He concurrently worked on the Atlantic City Volunteer Ambulance Squad, and was employed by Pacemaker Corporation as a marine air condition and refrigeration mechanic from 1968-1989.
Pursuing his entrepreneurial dream, be opened and operated CEB Marine Service, Inc., the only African-American owned marine air conditioning and refrigerator company on the East Coast, for more than 20 years. He served as a Former Volunteer Probation Counselor, under the direction of the Atlantic County Probation Department, dedicating his time and energies to helping young offenders make successful adjustments and establish productive lifestyles in the Atlantic City community.
He was as American Red Cross Volunteer and Instructor until retiring at 81 years-old. On March 26, 2008, several months after retiring, he received an American Red Cross Atlantic and Cumberland Chapter Community Achievement Award for Water Safety for saving three elementary school-aged boys from drowning in the Inlet section of Atlantic City the previous the summer.
Predeceased by siblings, Evelyn P. Brathwaite, Joseph T. Brathwaite, Sr., Enid B. Smith, and Cecilia J. Brathwaite of Atlantic City, NJ.
He leaves to cherish his memory: six children, Khalil Karim, Charles E. Brathwaite, Jr., Fredrick J. Brathwaite, Mark Cheatham (Ann Marie), Brenda Brathwaite and Nina Garrett (Jelani); adopted daughter, Catherine Cox; grandchildren, Lalita, Aisha, Jillian, Charles E., III, Fredrick Jr., and Brea Brathwaite, Shakuwra, Ayanna, Abena, Nabiya, and Jelani-Bem Garrett, II, Jameelah Beasley, and Michael A. Roseboro; fifteen great-grandchildren, one great-great grandchild; and siblings, Lorraine Perkins, Ilene Blake and Oscea Brathwaite; and a host of other family and friends.
Funeral services will be 11AM, Saturday, February 24, 2018, Lighthouse Community Church, 1311 S. Main Street, Pleasantville, where friends may call from 9AM until 10:30AM. Interment to follow in Atlantic County Veterans Cemetery, Estell Manor.
Donations may be made to the CEB STEAM Scholarship Fund at Post Office Box 106, Absecon, NJ, 08201.
Arrangements entrusted to Greenidge Funeral Homes, Inc., where condolences may be left at www.greenidgefuneralhomes.com.