Charlie Jerome Black, 83, a life long resident of Tulare County, passed away on Sept. 9 at his home in Visalia.

Black was born on May 1, 1921 in Lindsay to Lysle and Pearl Black. He graduated from Lindsay High School in 1939 and the College of the Sequoias in 1941. Black was a member of COS's first graduating class. While attending COS, he enrolled in flying courses; his instructor was Sol Sweet. On December 7, 1941, Black took his instructor's license. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he became a civilian flight instructor and one of his first assignments was teaching Chiang Kai-Chek's military to become pilots, and shortly after was accepted into the Army Air Corps. He received advanced flight training in Utah and earned his wings as a 2nd lieutenant. He flew P-51s and bombers in the Pacific during World War II. He received an invitation to be a passenger on one of the Dolittle Raiders' B-17 flyovers. After the war, he returned to Lindsay and joined the Tulare County Public Works Department where he was a Resident Engineer for nearly 40 years. Black was involved with the development of major roads and bridges in Tulare County. Black was proud of his contributions to the county and often spoke fondly of the numerous projects he was involved with as each held a special memory. After he retired from the Tulare County Public Works Department, he became the owner of Black's Wholesale in Visalia and the Party Palace in Porterville.

He is preceded in death by his parents; son, Gary and sister, Mary Alice Shoemaker.

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Patricia; one son, Kelly of Tulare; two daughters, Denise Black-Bjorklund of Visalia, and Mary Black-Rodrigues and husband Dan Rodrigues of Danville, Calif.; six grandchildren, Marci Black of Tulare, Jason Black of Tipton, Bruce and Bryce Bjorklund both of Sandy, Utah and Megan Rodrigues of Danville; five great-grandchildren, Cody and Taylor Story of Tulare, and Dylan, Kelsey and Brenden Black all of Tipton; two nephews, Eric Black of Visalia and Steven Black of Rancho Santa Fe; a brother, Norman and wife, Joan, of Visalia.

Funeral Service for Charlie Black will be held Wednesday Sept. 15 at 9:30 a.m. at Webb-Sanders Funeral Home in Lindsay. Graveside Service will follow at the Lindsay-Strathmore (Olive) Cemetery. Visitation was held on Sept. 13 and 14.

Contributions may be made to Arizona Wing Commemorative Air Force, PO Box 2969, Mesa, Ariz. 85214. Please list memo as In Memory of Charlie Black. Arrangements are under the direction of Webb-Sanders Funeral Home of Lindsay.

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