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Saturday, February 3, 2024
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December 17, 1932 – January 23, 2024
Charles Hasbrouck, age 91, finished his journey through life on January 23 at NHC Kingsport, with family and caregivers at his side.
Charles was born on December 17, 1932, in Bladenboro, NC to Charles Booth and Carrie Love Bridger Hasbrouck. The oldest of three siblings, he was a big brother to both Jonathan and Julia. His first job for wages as a teen included unloading railcars at the Bladenboro Cotton Mill. Academically and athletically gifted, Charles graduated from Bladenboro High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University in 1953, with Pi Kappa Phi honors. At NC State he was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Theta Tau Professional Fraternity, Pi Tau Sigma, Honor Committee, and the Engineers’ Council. He was active in intramural athletics and the rifle team, where he served as captain. Immediately following graduation, Charles reported to Colorado Springs for active duty as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and was later stationed in Nebraska at the former Lincoln Air Force Base.
While stationed in Lincoln, he met Clara Isabelle Hack at a young peoples’ church group, and they were married on December 10, 1955, in Nebraska. The newlyweds relocated to Kingsport in 1956 (Clara finished her time with us in September 2023 following 67 years of marriage). Once in Kingsport, “Charlie,” as he was known by many at work, began a long career at Tennessee Eastman Company, now Eastman Chemical Company, retiring after 47 years. He earned an MBA from East Tennessee State University and was a Professional Engineer licensed by the Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering examiners. He was a member of Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church since 1956, including service as Elder and Sunday school teacher.
As was the practice at that time for newly-hired engineers at Eastman, Charlie first worked for a year in Shops and Maintenance before reporting to the Engineering Division. Mechanically inclined and not afraid to get his hands dirty, Charlie fondly reflected on how beneficial it was to work side-by-side with plant employees who kept things running and repaired the machinery when needed. Later, as a project manager, he was known for being easy to work with, while managing reasonable schedules and expectations of others. George Eastman’s philosophy was a favorite of his: “What we do during our working hours determines what we have; what we do in our leisure hours determines what we are.” His family saw this at home, unable to recall an instance of his complaining about what happened at work, or to remember him ever criticizing another employee. Scouting filled his leisure hours.
A believer that adult Scout leadership benefits society more than an occupation, Charles was actively involved in Pack 48 and Troop 48 at Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church for 56 years. Beginning in 1964 as Pack 48 Committee Chairman, he next became an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 48 in 1971. From 1974 until 2020, Mr. Hasbrouck was the Troop 48 Scoutmaster. He also served as the Venture Crew Committee Chairman and his most recent duty assignment was the troop’s Scoutmaster Emeritus. He received many awards, including Wood Badge, Silver Beaver, and recognition as the Sequoya Council Volunteer of Year for 2021.
He recognized the timeless values passed on through the structure and ideals of Scouting. As scoutmaster his primary emphasis was to “keep the outing in Scouting,” ensuring that Troop 48 had an outing on the calendar every month of the year, regardless of weather. He organized and executed more than five hundred outdoor events. Under Mr. Hasbrouck’s leadership, a total of 137 of Troop 48’s members, from Eagle Scout #24 in 1974 through Eagle Scout #160 in 2020, completed the highest rank in Scouting. His own Eagle Scout sons, Charles III (Chuck), Bruce and Keith participated in activities with the troop from 1967 to 1976. As a family, many states and/or Canadian provinces were destinations every summer; his planning was thorough and detailed for every day away from home base.
Charles enjoyed traveling, fishing, photography, operating his tractor on the long and steep Rock Springs Road driveway, mowing the hayfield, and time on the hill with children, grandchildren and the “great grands.” Outdoor projects were consistently on the calendar, and visits of family from near and far often included work in the woods, the garden, the fishpond or the yard.
Survivors include brother Jonathan Hasbrouck (Pat), sister Julia Clay (Carleton), sons Chuck (Dianne), Bruce (Teri) and Keith (Melanie), eleven grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren with more expected.