Charles Edward "Buddy" Pickering, 81, of Williamstown, departed from Checkpoint Charlie for the last time on Oct. 12, 2013 at approximately 2140 hours, and is currently visiting with his flying buddies who have previously departed.
Charlie was born at home at 400 Phillips St., Marietta, on Dec. 16, 1931 to Charles Albert Pickering of Amesville, and Regina Dennis Pickering of Newell's Run. Charlie attended Marietta High School and graduated from Ohio University in 1955. While he was at Ohio University, he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and the Blue Key National Honorary Engineering Society.
Surviving siblings include Joanne (John) Doan and Reginald (Jan) Pickering, both of the Marietta area. Charlie married his dearly loved wife, Jean Allen, also of Williamstown, on July 9, 1955, and together they shared more than 58 years and many adventures together.
Charlie and Jean had four children: Charles Allen Lanier (Jan) Pickering of Williamstown (children Aubrey Lanier (Dan) Strano in Irving, Texas, and Neil Pickering in Orlando); Bev Pickering (Brian) Davis of Butler, Ky. (children Justin (Ann Z.) Davis of Cincinnati, Ohio, Allen Davis and Victoria Davis, both of Butler, Ky.); David Neal (Donna) Pickering lives in Williamstown (children Allyson, Emily, Katelyn and Chase); and Michael Edward (Lisa) Pickering of Texas (children Aron Pickering of Madison, Wis., Sean (Jessica) Pickering of Minot, N.D., James Pickering of Charleston, W.Va., and Lynn Pickering).
Buddy was a Specialist Third Class in the Army during the end of the Korean War, stationed in Ft. Belvoir, Va. and Camp Hanford, Wash. Thereafter he was an IBEW electrician in the Marietta Local #972. He joined with his father and brother in their electrical contracting company, assisting with the management and eventually becoming president of Pickering Electric Co. He retired in 1990 to pursue his passion of aviation, both building and flying airplanes from their airport near Lowell, which was affectionately referred to as "Checkpoint Charlie."
He enjoyed building, repairing, and flying both new and old planes, and he and Jean spent many exciting years on the farm entertaining their friends who would fly in for a visit. His fondness for aviation led him to build two new airplanes and restore three other antique planes. As a pilot he held a commercial rating, ASEL/MEL/CFI and was both an A&P and IA. He earned his wings in 1962 and shared the air with other EAA members and participated in Young Eagle Flights. He was a charter member of the Mid-Ohio Valley Aviation Association and served for years as the Air Boss for the Mid-Ohio Valley Air Show.
Charlie was active with the First United Methodist Church in Williamstown throughout his life. He was also a member of the Williamstown Lions Club during the times that he lived in Williamstown, and was also active in the Parkersburg Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.
Charlie had a great sense of humor and presence, always had a story, was cheerful and always looked at the brighter side of a situation. He will be missed and remembered fondly by his many friends in aviation, who were his "extended" family. He lived to slip the "surly bonds of earth", and has finally done so in a big way. Goodbye, and we will miss you!
A "Celebration of Life" will be held at 11 a.m. on Oct. 25, 2013 at the First United Methodist Church, 5th and Williams streets in Williamstown, with lunch to follow in the Multi-purpose room.
In lieu of flowers, donations will be received for the Pastor's Discretionary Fund at the First United Methodist Church or the Red Cross. Bring your memories, stories and hearts, and let's share the good times that we've had.