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Mass Celebrated to Honor Charlie Coudert '49

Mass Celebrated to Honor Charlie Coudert '49
Meredith Berry-Toon

Charlie O. Coudert '49, the 2004 Canterbury Medal recipient, a 2016 Hall of Fame inductee, and former member of the Board of Trustees, died on September 16, 2018 at the age of 87. He was a longtime resident of Sherborn, MA and most recently Framingham, MA.

While Charlie was born in Dayton, OH, he grew up on the East Coast and spent his youth in Greenwich, CT, sailing out of the Indian Harbor Yacht Club with his siblings. Upon his entrance to Canterbury School, Charlie quickly became a standout member of the community. He received the Headmaster's Award at his graduation ceremony, which, as noted by then Head of School Walter Sheehan, was "presented to that boy who by performance in athletics and School citizenship represents Canterbury the best." Charlie led the School as Head Sacristan, South House (now Carter House) Supervisor, and captain of the Varsity Football team during his Sixth Form year. A remarkable scholar-athlete, Charlie was a multi-sport competitor, contending for the Saints on the Varsity Football, Hockey, and Track & Field teams. He was an exceptionally gifted football player and served as the starting guard for four consecutive years. For his athletic duty to the School, and with special regard to his football career, Charlie was inducted into the Canterbury Hall of Fame in 2016.

Following Canterbury, Charlie matriculated to Yale College, CT where he was a member of the Bulldog's Varsity Football team. He received his bachelor's degree in English and further continued his studies at Columbia University Business School, NY.

Charlie spent his career in dedication to his country. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1953 through 1958 in both Guam and Morocco. He then became a career diplomat with the United States Foreign Service and was Second Secretary at the American Embassy in New Delhi, India. He was posted at locations across the world including Pakistan, Egypt, France, and the United Nations in New York. He retired from the Foreign Service in 1991 though continued to consult as an independent advisor in the field.

Upon retiring from his exceptional military and diplomatic career, Charlie served the School as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1994 through 2001. As a member of the Development Committee, he spearheaded the Board's efforts to grow the Endowment through the planned giving program and he himself was a generous supporter of the Annual Fund and Class of 1949 Endowed Scholarship Fund. From his years as a student through his service as a Class Agent and Trustee, Charlie devoted his considerable talents and energy for the advancement of our School. In 2004, Charlie was honored with the Canterbury Medal. As noted at the ceremony, at each stage of his life, Charlie embodied every aspect of what it meant to be a Canterbury Saint.

A Mass was held for Charlie on Sunday, October 21, 2018 at The Chapel of Our Lady at Canterbury School, with his brother Rene Coudert '55, nephew Paul Coudert '86, and family in attendance.