Found contentment tending to his beautiful gardens and hosting friends and family


NORTH READING — Charles W. (“Charlie”) Encarnacao, 84, of North Reading, formerly of Wakefield, passed away peacefully with loved ones by his side on Friday, May 10, 2024 at the Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington.

Charlie was known for his warm smile, his giving nature, and his deep love for family, friends and community.

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. The friends he made while playing a sport he loved were friends for life.

After high school, Charlie 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.

One of Charlie’s true passions was preparing meals for others. He cooked, fed and nourished many people over the years, and he loved doing it. During his early years, Charlie pursued work in the food and beverage industry, starting out in the kitchen at Howard Johnsons in Stoneham to soon opening his own restaurant and years later a catering business with lifelong friend, Jimmy Horne. Together they hosted countless weddings and life celebrations at the Crystal Community Club of Wakefield and also prepared holiday meals for the Salvation Army.

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 Wakefield.

Throughout his life Charlie found much joy while tending his gardens, first at his childhood home in Wakefield and then in North Reading where he raised his family of five. His home-grown vegetables were enjoyed by many and his colorful flower gardens were his greatest source of serenity.

When Charlie was ready to relax, you could find him on his backyard patio, where he would have a fire going in the outside stove, sports or music playing on the radio, and he would offer you a glass of homemade wine along with lively conversation. When he was out and about, he loved to participate in a game of darts, bocce, horseshoes or pool, whether competing with close friends or family members of all ages.

Charlie was the beloved father of Alicen Encarnacao and her husband Ron Racca of North Reading; Yvonne (Encarnacao) Blacker and her husband John of Lynnfield; Linda Encarnacao and her husband Tom Liebert of Louisville, Colorado; Joe Encarnacao and his wife Karesa of Reading; and Tom Encarnacao and his wife Chris of Billerica. He is also survived by his former wife and mother of his five children, Ann (Burgess) 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 blessed to grow up in a large family and is survived by two sisters, MaryAnn and Elizabeth Encarnacao, both of Wakefield. He was predeceased by his seven brothers, Anthony “Tony” Montrond, Julio, Manuel, Arthur, Richard, John, and Robert Encarnacao; and two sisters, Ann Custodio and Mae De Cruz.

He will be forever in the hearts of those who loved him.

His funeral Mass will be celebrated at The Lazarus Center for Healing Shrine/St. Florence Church, 47 Butler Avenue in Wakefield on Thursday, May 23 at 10:30 a.m. Visitation for relatives and friends was held at the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield on Wednesday, May 22 from 4 to 7 p.m. Interment in Forest Glade Cemetery, Wakefield.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Encarnacao Family Fund, which was established to help Wakefield students in need pay for higher education costs. Make checks payable to The Scholarship Foundation of Wakefield with the memo “The Encarnacao Family Fund” and mail to P.O. Box 321, Wakefield, MA 01880.

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