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Charlie Waters, longtime barrister and story-teller, dies at age 83

Charlie Waters Charlie Waters

R. Charles "Charlie" Waters, a Navy veteran, graduate of both Duke and UNC, longtime, respected member of the Hendersonville bar, skilled story-teller and one-time Andy Rooney impersonator, died peacefully on Sunday, Sept. 18, at home surrounded by family. He was 83.

Born Dec. 8, 1938, to the late Clarence Rudolph and Lucy Howell Waters in Portsmouth, Virginia, Waters graduated from Duke University with a degree in history in 1961. He then joined the United States Navy, serving for four years, before pursuing his law degree at the University of North Carolina School of Law. While in Chapel Hill he married his first wife and mother of his children, Lee Hastings Waters. He graduated from UNC School of Law in 1968 and came to Hendersonville to join the law firm of Howe & Coiner, thus beginning his 48-year career as an attorney. He later became managing partner of Howe, Waters & Moxley. Charles proved himself to be outstanding in his field; many colleagues would tell you he was one of the most authentic and respected community leaders in Western North Carolina; his legacy in the law included his time serving as the attorney for Henderson County.
He was dedicated to his family, professional pursuits, and his love-hate relationship with the Duke-Carolina rivalry. In his free time, he took great pleasure in gardening, hiking, fly fishing, reading, traveling and enjoying both of his wives’ cooking. A  master story-teller, he loved to regale an audience with stories on everything from a childhood ride in a convertible on the day WWII ended, to life in the Navy serving on an anti-submarine aircraft carrier, to the trip he took sailing the high seas and posing as an Andy Rooney lookalike. The summers he spent with many of his Waters relatives at Douthat State Park in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia were some of the happiest times of his life.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife, Lee Hastings Waters.
He is survived by his loving wife of 22 years, Linda Moxley Waters; daughters Emily Waters Shearer of Houston, Texas and Sara Waters Schwartz of Durham; son, Andrew Waters of Spartanburg, SC; sister, Jane Waters Nielsen of South Yarmouth, MA; his four adoring grandchildren and his four legged best friend, Sofie.
Charles never met a stranger. He and his trademark grin were known up and down Main Street Hendersonville where he was commonly seen strolling in a seersucker suit. Over the span of his career he served the community on the boards of Pardee Hospital, Carolina Village and Henderson County Community Foundation. His efforts benefited his neighborhoods, his law affiliations and once, he even conducted the Hendersonville Symphony. He’ll be greatly missed by everyone whose life he touched and remembered by family, friends and fellow lawyers as “upright and just in all his ways.”
Memorial contributions in Charles’s memory may be made to the St. Gerard House, 620 Oakland Street, Hendersonville, NC 28791, or The Free Clinics, 841 Case St, Hendersonville, NC 28792.
A private family graveside with Military Honors will be rendered at Oakdale Cemetery. A reception in his memory will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, in Villlage Hall at Carolina Village.
Shuler Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left for the family at Personal correspondence may be mailed to the care of Shuler Funeral Home, 125 Orr’s Camp Road, Hendersonville, NC 28792.