Charles Hall McKane of Oxford, CT passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, March 23 at the age of 101 and 8 months. Charlie was born on July 18, 1917 in Paterson, NJ., the last child of the late David and Margaret (Hall) McKane and the only one to be born in the U.S. His parents and older siblings Jim, Anne (Buddie), Dave and Wilson immigrated from Belfast, Ireland a few years prior to his birth. Born at a momentous point in history, Charlie recalled being told that at the age of one, his mother held him in her arms so he could observe his neighbors pouring into the street and lighting bonfires in a spontaneous celebration of the end of WWI. Charlie was raised in Paterson and as a young man became a skilled machinist. Opportunities in that field brought him to Shelton, CT where he met his wife Edith in 1942. In 1943, despite being designated an essential worker, he enlisted in the Navy and joined the Construction Battalion (“Seabees”) serving in the Pacific theater until the end of WWII. Following his discharge, Charlie returned to CT where he resumed his career as a machinist and built the house in Oxford that would become his home for the rest of his life. He and Edith, who married in 1947, were together for more than 71 years until her death in late 2018. Charlie had a most generous spirit, a strong commitment to his community and a profound sense of humanity. He was always eager to engage with people from other backgrounds and faiths. Apart from spending time with his family and his many friends, Charlie enjoyed nothing more than helping others, especially those in need. He volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, participated in hurricane relief efforts in Pennsylvania, led countless paper drives and was one of the first Boy Scout leaders in Oxford. He was an active member of the Great Hill United Methodist Church in Seymour for 70 years. Charlie will be remembered for his warm humor, his story telling ability and his reverence for the natural world, especially large or unique trees. He was an avid hiker and took great delight in visiting numerous national parks and natural and historic areas. Not one to retire, Charlie worked well into his nineties and spent many hours tinkering in his shed. He had an inquisitive mind and loved to read and learn. Charlie is survived by his son David (Linda) of Oxford; his daughter Margaret (David Bates) of Framingham, MA and his grandchildren Kellie McKane-Manchisi (Anthony), Katie McKane, Sarah McKane, Angela (Brian) McKirryher and Michael (Lorraine) Ames. He was predeceased by his sons Peter and Paul McKane and his wife, Edith. A memorial service for Charlie will be held on Wednesday, March 27 at 1:30 p.m. at Great Hill United Methodist Church in Seymour CT. Burial will be private at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Great Hill UMC with a notation for the McKane Family Scholarship or to the Oxford Land Trust. The Ralph Hull Funeral Home, 161 West Church St. has been entrusted with his arrangements.
To send flowers to the family of Charlie McKane, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.