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Shelter Island Reporter obituary: Charles Pochon Tranfield

Charles Pochon Tranfield, fondly known as Charlie, peacefully departed this life on Aug. 24, 2023.

A resident of both Keene, N.H. and Shelter Island, Charlie lived a vibrant life as a devoted husband, father, grandfather, educator, coach, and a cherished friend. His infectious humor and heartwarming smile were enduring qualities that touched everyone who knew him and cared for him.

Born in Lisbon, Portugal to Frederick and Louise Tranfield, Charlie’s life journey began in the scenic beauty of Portugal but soon shifted to the United States when he was a mere three months old. He spent his formative years on Long Island and after graduating from Garden City High School in 1948, he pursued a Bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College, completed in 1952. Charlie’s thirst for knowledge propelled him to earn two Masters’ Degrees — one from Cornell University and the other from Wesleyan University.

A romantic at heart, Charlie fell head over heels for Pat Ruth at a Christmas party in England in 1954. He was serving in the U.S. Army in Germany at the time and had taken leave to spend the holidays with his parents in England. Charlie and Pat exchanged vows on June 11, 1955, in London, and after an initial stay in Germany, they relocated to the U.S.

It was then when Charlie commenced his career as a math teacher, a job he cherished and performed passionately for over four decades. Known for his kind and patient teaching style, Charlie never missed an opportunity to encourage his students, assuring them, “Oh, yes you can,” when they doubted their abilities.

Besides being an exceptional teacher, Charlie was a coach of several sports, with soccer and lacrosse being his favorites. In 2022, he was inducted into the Hebron Academy Sports Hall of Fame, along with his lacrosse team, which he co-coached to an undefeated season in 1970.

Charlie and Pat, inseparable for 68 years, created a treasure trove of beautiful memories filled with travel, tennis, bridge games, and joyous family gatherings. Charlie’s love for swimming and Christmas was an infectious part of family traditions, which included delightful games of tag in the Shelter Island harbor and the Christmas tradition of the Santa’s Elf checking on the children (long before Elf on the Shelf).

Charlie is survived by his loving wife, Pat, their children Lyn, Richard, and Frederick, grandchildren Vera, Victor, Chris, Erin, Davin, Satya, and Michael, daughter-in-law Karla, and son-in-law David. His farewell message for his beloved Pat was heartwarming, stating, “I have had a wonderful life, caring and supported by you, the great children you brought into the world for us, and the charm and love of our outstanding grandchildren.”

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to The Keene Lions Club, PO Box 62, Keene, NH 03431, or to a charity of your choice. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.