First Responders 08

Charles V. Platt

March 23, 2020


Mr. Charles Vincent Platt

September 21, 1946-March 23, 2020

“Always order the clams.”  Carefully heed this advice from Charles V. Platt who, much to our dismay, left this world on March 23, 2020.

A corpsman in the US Navy, Charles was a self-described “old salt,” who loved boats, the sea, and its bountiful harvest, including most notably, “piss clams.”

His sense of humor was renowned to all who encountered him. “Go on, give them a try, they kind of look and taste like snot,” he’d say, dipping some of his beloved bivalved mollusks into a tiny plastic vat of clarified butter. Inevitably he’d convince even the squeamish to give them a whirl, much to his delight (and usually to theirs).

An uncanny ability to elicit both a laugh and a response, coupled with an innate gift to help people in need is perhaps what made him such a great police officer. In 1971 after graduating from Brookdale Community College, Charles joined the Freehold Borough Police Department, where he served with absolute distinction as a sergeant until his badge was retired in 1997. His retirement dinner,  which he turned into his own personal roast and was held at the American Hotel, the same exact venue where his wife of 5 decades, Carol, and he both got married on June 21, 1969, and celebrated their anniversary last June, is the stuff of legend and still discussed by his police buddies to this day.

After his retirement, he and Carol sailed off to the southern shores of New Jersey, dropping anchor in Manahawkin, where he finally bought himself that boat he always wanted, the Vinny-Ann, started working for the Southern Regional School District as a beloved school bus driver. During the summer breaks, he and his wife visited some lovely ocean destinations, including our very own Long Beach Island, as well as trips to the Bahamas and Florida. He recommends the Eightfive-o pale ale at Proof Brewing in Tallahassee.

A congregant first of St. Rose of Lima in Freehold and then St Mary’s in Barnegat, Charles is survived by his wife Carol, his daughter Colleen Hall, his son-in-law Michael Hall, their soon-to-be adopted grandson, Wen, (a boy whose picture Charles has shown to every health care worker at the Penn Medicine University Hospital System and basically every stranger he met on line while grocery shopping at the Forked River German Butcher Shop), his sister and brother-in-law, Dorothy and Michael Freiday, and cousins and friends too numerous to list but not forgotten (yes this means you, the one reading this obituary).

Given the “new normal” events in recent history, the family will be holding a private ceremony for Charles at Barnegat Funeral Home, 841 W. Bay Avenue, in Barnegat on Friday, March 27, with interment immediately to follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, but they plan to hold a larger celebration of his life in the future, when things are more normal. In lieu of flowers, family and friends are asked to visit the American Heart Association and make a donation in tribute.

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