Charles Joseph Trainor, age 82, died peacefully in his home on Sanibel Island, Florida on September 17, 2020. Charles was born on December 13, 1937 in New Brunswick, New Jersey to Elizabeth deRussy and John James Trainor.
A devout Roman Catholic, he attended St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, New Jersey, where he was a talented athlete who proudly earned the title of state high hurdle champion. He also served as class president his senior year. Charles graduated from Saint Peter’s College in May, 1961 and always held a place in his heart for the Jesuits. Upon graduation, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Corps of Engineers. He served in active duty from October 1, 1961 until September 30, 1963. He spent his last nine months of service as a Company Commander in the 86th Engineers.
In October, 1963, Charles began work in the concrete forming equipment industry in the New York Metropolitan area. In 1969, he started his own company––Conesco Industries, Limited––based in Little Ferry, New Jersey that specialized in tunnels, bridges, and other construction projects. He proudly served as CEO of the company for 33 years, and eventually expanded to offices in Atlanta and Chicago, with a factory in West Virginia. His work took him to steel mills in South America, air bases in Israel, military bases in Saudi Arabia, and water and sewer projects in Egypt. Conesco was a key asset to rebuilding the New York City subway system after 9/11. In June, 2002, Charles sold the company to DOKA, an international company based in Austria.
Charles and his first wife married in 1962 and had four children, whom they raised in Montclair, New Jersey. In 1979, he met and wed Kay Logan Russell, to whom he was happily married for 41 years. They raised their two children in West Orange, New Jersey, where they lived for over 25 years before retiring to homes in Blowing Rock, North Carolina and Sanibel, Florida.
Charles was fiercely intelligent, passionate about politics, an animated storyteller, and a loving family man. He loved to travel and visited dozens of countries and six continents. He relished being in charge, whether at home, in the office, or anywhere in between. Family and friends called him “Mr. T,” “Chief,” “the King of Duke,” “Boss,” “14–0 Charlie,” “a warrior,” and “legendary,” but to his children and grandchildren, he was just “Pops.” Charles loved any reason to celebrate, and to the hundreds whose lives he touched, he will be celebrated––always.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Elizabeth deRussy and John Joseph Trainor; siblings John Jr., Mary Ann Publicover, Suzanne Salvatore (Louis), and Julie Rogel (Edward); and in-laws Ralph and Jean Russell. He is survived by his wife, Kay Russell Trainor; six children, Charles (Omega), John (Elise), Patrick (Mary Jane), Ann (Joel Krikston), Michael (Kathryn), and Amy (John) Ashby; sixteen grandchildren; brother-in-law Robert (Joan) Russell; and three generations of nieces and nephews.
A wake will be held on Sunday, September 27 from 1–4 p.m. at the Gosselin Funeral Home (660 New Dover Road, Edison, New Jersey, www.gosselinfuneralhome.com). A funeral service will be held on Monday, September 28 at 10 a.m., at Saint Aedan’s: The Saint Peter’s University Church (800 Bergen Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey, www.staedans.org).followed by a private grave service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hope Healthcare Hospice Program, in Fort Myers, Florida (hopehcs.org/donate/) or Saint Peters Prep in Jersey City, New Jersey (spprep.org).
To view the Mass as a live stream please go to www.tinyurl.com/cjtfuneral.
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