US Air Force veteran

NORTH READING — Charles W. (“Charlie”) Encarnacao, age 84, of North Reading, formerly of Wakefield, passed away peacefully with loved ones by his side on Friday, May 10 at the Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington.

Born in Wakefield on January 10, 1940, he was the son of the late Julio and Olivia (Sousa) Encarnacao. Charlie attended Wakefield High School where he played football along with his brothers, serving as the team quarterback and co-captain in their 1957 Middlesex League Championship win.

After high school, Charlie pursued work in the food and beverage industry, starting out in the kitchen at Howard Johnsons to soon after opening his own restaurant and years later a catering business with lifelong friend Jimmy Horne. During his early years, he left for California to further his studies and play football at Palomar College. While living in California, Charlie served in the U.S. Air Force. He also married and started a family before returning home to Wakefield.

Charlie spent most of his working years in paving, excavation and general construction, first working for others before he started his own business, Charles W. Encarnacao & Sons which he proudly retired from in his mid-70s.

Charlie stayed connected with the Wakefield community throughout his lifetime. He was a past president of the Crystal Community Club and was honored as Man of the Year in 1977 for his contributions to the town. He continued over his many years to regularly read the Wakefield Daily Item and attend mass in town.

Charlie was most content outside tending to his gardens. His vegetables were enjoyed by many and his flower gardens were his greatest source of serenity. He will be forever in the hearts of those who loved him.

Charlie was the beloved father of Alicen Encarnacao and husband Ron Racca of North Reading; Yvonne (Encarnacao) Blacker and husband John of Lynnfield; Linda Encarnacao and husband Tom Liebert of Louisville, CO; Joe Encarnacao and wife Karesa of Reading; and Tom Encarnacao and wife Chris of Billerica. He is also survived by his former wife and mother of his five children, Ann Encarnacao. He was the loving grandfather of 13 and the cherished uncle to many. He is also survived by his dear friend Helen Lanagan of Burlington.

Charlie was the brother of MaryAnn and Elizabeth Encarnacao, both of Wakefield. He was predeceased by his brothers Anthony “Tony” Montrond, Julio, Manuel, Arthur, Richard, John and Robert Encarnacao; and his sisters Ann Custodio and Mae De Cruz.

His funeral Mass will be celebrated at The Lazarus Center for Healing Shrine/St. Florence Church, 47 Butler Ave., Wakefield on Thursday, May 23 at 10:30 a.m. Visitation for relatives and friends will be held at the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield on Wednesday, May 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. Interment, Forest Glade Cemetery, Wakefield. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Encarnacao Family Fund, which was established to help Wakefield students in need pay for higher education costs. Checks should be made payable to The Scholarship Foundation of Wakefield with the memo “The Encarnacao Family Fund” and mailed to P.O. Box 321, Wakefield, MA 01880. For online guestbook and directions, visit