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Charles L. Rosenthal, community leader, University supporter, dies
December 22, 2010Tweet
Charles L. Rosenthal, 90, died December 18, 2010, in Ithaca, N.Y. Born September 6, 1920, in Binghamton, he spent over 50 years serving his community and managing his family’s furniture business, The Fair Store, begun by his grandfather, Simon Rosenthal, in 1888, and later run by his father, Charles R. Rosenthal.
Close friend James Brownridge, radiation specialist in the Department of Physics, said that Rosenthal created relationships that served everyone. “I remember Charlie as an outstanding ambassador for the University and the local community,” Brownridge said. “He was influential in bringing in speakers – one in particular, Morris Dees, the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was really a universal-type person who made significant contributions to town-gown relations.”
From a community-minded family, Rosenthal started his community involvement early and was named “Young Man of the Year” in 1954 by the Junior Chamber of Commerce. He went on to serve as president of the Urban League, Temple Concord and The Jewish Federation of Broome County. He also chaired the Citizens Advisory Board, the New York State Urban Development Corporation and the Binghamton Commission on Architecture and Urban Design, and held positions on the board of the Valley Development Foundation, Metro-Interfaith, Broome Legal Assistance and the New York State Commission Against Discrimination.
For 20 years following his retirement from the furniture business, Rosenthal worked for the Binghamton University Foundation. Mary Woolson, former assistant vice president at Binghamton, worked with Rosenthal in his role as the Community Campaign coordinator for the Foundation. “His tenacious spirit carried through to his volunteers who always went the extra mile when Charles called upon them for help,” she said. “I will always remember the day that he and Ann quietly announced their commitment which made possible the construction of the Institute for Child Development. Their gift was made with love and humility, characteristics that embody true philanthropists. “
“Charlie Rosenthal was a very special individual who applied his unique personality and his extensive network throughout our community to advance the development of the University’s donor base and its annual giving programs,” said Thomas Kelly, professor of management and former vice president for external affairs. “After a successful business career, Charlie devoted himself to the advancement of the University, accomplishing this in a way that communicated his great love for the University and the community.
“He made you feel that he was simply introducing his friends to the institution that he loved,” Kelly added. “His personality endeared him to all who worked with him. Binghamton University and our community are better because of his efforts.”
Rosenthal’s strong commitment to the importance of education also led to the establishment of The Ann and Charles Rosenthal Minority Scholarship Endowment.
“Charles was extraordinary,” Woolson said. “He gave so much of himself to things he believed in. I will miss his humor, wit and poetry and, most of all, his infectious laugh. He was always a boy at heart.”
A graduate of Yale University who served in the U.S. Air Corps as a navigator until 1945, Rosenthal married Ann Solis-Cohen in 1946, and they celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary on April 14, 2010.
The son of Charles R. and Marie L. Rosenthal, Rosenthal is survived by his wife, Ann, and his three children: Maryann Wyner and the late Evertt Wyner of Wayland, Mass.; John Rosenthal and Marti Rosenthal of Portland, Ore.; and the Honorable Kate Rosenthal of Syracuse, N.Y. He also leaves behind six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at Kendal in Ithaca in the spring. Donations in memory of Rosenthal can be made to Hospicare Services of Tompkins County, 172 East King Road, Ithaca, N.Y., or to the Ann and Charles Rosenthal Minority Scholarship at Binghamton University in memory of Charles Rosenthal. Checks may be made payable to BU Foundation Account #20613 and mailed to Binghamton University Foundation, PO Box 6005, Binghamton, NY 13902-6005. Secure, online credit card gifts may be made at www.giving.binghamton.edu. Select “other, please specify” from the account drop-down menu, and then type “In memory of Charles Rosenthal, Rosenthal Minority Scholarship Acct #20613”.