Charles (Charlie) Franklin Preston III, 1947 – 2024

Charles (Charlie) Franklin Preston III

Charles (Charlie) Franklin Preston III, 76, died peacefully at home with his wife at his side on March 26, 2024, after a valiant battle with cancer and ALS. Charlie was born October 25, 1947, in Ft. Dix, New Jersey, to Mary Machinski and Charles Franklin Preston Jr. His stepmother, Gloria joined the family in 1950.

Charlie spent his amazing childhood in Vermont. He lived to play baseball with his brother. He was a star pitcher. His dad, a chicken farmer, gave Charlie 500 chickens to raise, to make money. He tended a strawberry patch and picked berries for customers.

Charlie enlisted in the Army at 17 and spent three years in Berlin. After his discharge, he went to Florida, where the family had moved, and attended college for a couple of years.
After a while, he moved to Milwaukee where he worked beside his brother for a number of years in the Milwaukee Forge. He later moved to New Hampshire to work at the White River Junction Post Office. His last, and most rewarding job was at the NH Bindery in Concord NH.

While living in Concord, Charlie met his sweetheart, Robynn Orr, while on a dinner dance cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee. They married on August 9, 2008.

In 2016, They moved to Friendship, Wisconsin. There they bought and renovated a hunting camp. They created a paradise on the banks of a trophy trout stream (but we’re not giving any more information). They grew beautiful flowers, trees, and berries. and fondly called their land ‘Preston Park’. Their home was warm and welcoming, they often entertained friends and enjoyed quiet evenings around their woodstove.

The animals loved their place as well. Deer regularly passed through the property morning and evening. Owls, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, blue birds, and songbirds frequented their feeders.
Charlie and Robynn had a fairytale marriage. They were constant companions who found joy in one another at every opportunity. From ballroom dancing, trout fishing, cooking, managing stellar gardens, cutting the grass together, and meeting each other at the car to carry in groceries, they treated each other like newlyweds their entire marriage. They gave each other love notes and cards. Often, one of them would say, “Guess What?” The response was always, “I love you, gotcha first.” Charlie deeply and intensely loved his wife.

Charlie loved the beauty of the natural world and enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was a consummate trout fisherman and a master woodworking artisan. He made fine detail boxes, coat racks, and more. He showed his love of wood in his exquisitely hand-crafted trout fishing landing nets. Each net was laminated, sanded, and re-sanded to a satin finish. Then the net was strung and secured. Finally, he applied his signature. His joy from creating better and better nets was apparent when he displayed his work at artisan shows.

Charlie was a worker. If not working on his landing nets, he could be found doing yard work or fixing and building around the house. He also was a natural storyteller who drew listeners into the event. Through his words and inflections, one could feel the cold stream, see the dappled sun coming through trees or watch as the trout jumped and struggled to get away.
All who had the pleasure of knowing Charlie came to love him. He had a great sense of humor, was generous beyond belief, and a man of integrity and honor. He will be sorely missed, but he is not gone. He is just ahead of us on the path. We know we will be together again, and that Charlie will be whole and complete without disease or pain. Ours is a kind and loving Heavenly Father.

Charlie is survived by his wife, Robynn; stepmother, Gloria; and brother Robert. He was preceded in death by his dad and his birth mother.

Funeral services will be held April 13, 11:00 a.m., at the Friendship Wisconsin Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, East Lake Street (across from the electric coop). In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in Charlie’s name to Trout Unlimited Basil W. Woods Jr. Chapter, Concord, New Hampshire.

Roseberry’s Funeral Home is assisting the family. Visit www.roseberrys.com for online condolences.

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Condolences

  1. Sherril A Frieders says:

    Robynn, I know you conveyed to me how important Charlie was to you. He seemed like a wonderful man and you had such a beautiful relationship. I am sorry for your loss and I will keep you in my prayers.

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  3. Susan says:

    What a beautifully written obituary! Oh Robynn, we are so happy you and Charlie found each other! We are also very grateful we could visit with both of you for a little bit last summer while you where at Kern and Dianne’s. We will certainly miss Charlie, and look forward to the day when we will see him again, right by your side.

  4. Michael Salas says:

    A beautiful obituary for a special human being. Our friendship was brief but very impactful. Charlie shared a fishing story with me from his childhood and it was an amazing story . I could see Charlie brought back to that time and place as he told it. I told this story to my Grandson and I hope he remembers to pass it on some day.

  5. Dawn Stone says:

    Dear Robyn,
    I was so sorry to hear of Charlie’s sudden passing. What a wonderful tribute you wrote for your fairy tale love! Hold those good memories close in the difficult days ahead. I always admired his beautiful wood boxes & fish nets at our HCE fair. He will be missed.
    Please reach out to us your friends in your times of loneliness. Many prayers for peace for you.

  6. Basil W. Woods Jr. Of Trout Unlimited says:

    The Chapter is sorry to hear about the loss of Charlie, may you find solace in the knowledge that Charlie will always be remembered fondly by those whose lives he touched, both on land and on the water.

  7. Karen Hover says:

    Robynn,
    I was so sorry to hear about Charlie. What a wonderful tribute to a special man. Keep the memories close to your heart. Thank you for the bookmark he crafted. I cherish it even more now than I did before.

  8. Pat Jodarski says:

    Dear Rob and family and friends our love and prayers to you in the loss on earth of your dearly loved Charlie. It was always a p;easure to search him out during a Master Gardener meeting because we would have such interesting conversations.God bless you all and Charlie. Rob dont hesitate to call us if there is anything we can ever help you with. We are blessed to have you for a friend.

  9. Jane Grabarski says:

    I was truly saddened to read of Charlie’s passing. Though I knew only him through his exquisite woodworking, reading his obituary he was a very special man. Thank you Robynn for sharing it. I am so happy to have gifted his fish nets and inlaid boxes to family. He will be greatly missed.

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