Profile: Charles R. Girimont    
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Profile: Charles R. Girimont

by William J. Girimonti III

This issue's profile is centered on Charles Rowen Girimont from Hillsboro, Ohio. Charles was born on March 6, 1929 in Berryburg, West Virginia to Michael Dominic Girimonti and Anna Maria Marullo. His earlier years were spent growing up in Boomer, West Virginia. He graduated from Gauley Bridge High School, Gauley Bridge, West Virginia and enlisted in the newly formed U.S. Air Force in 1948. While in the military, he served as a courier in Germany during the Berlin Airlift which was a huge airlift operation which brought food, medicine and supplies into Berlin, Germany after the Soviets blockaded all roads and railways into the city. While in the Air Force he acheived the rank of Staff Sergeant and served until 1952. Upon his return to the United States following his military tour, he attended West Virginia Institute of Technology in Montgomery, West Virginia and acheived a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education. He continued on and was certified in the Education of the Mentally Retarded at Miami University, Miami, Florida. He was further certified in Vocational Education at Kent State University, Xavier University, and the University of Cincinnati.

In 1955, he became a high school history teacher at Middletown High School in Middletown, Ohio where he taught for 30 years. Additionally, he taught business at Southwestern College of Business in Middletown, Ohio for two years. With his busy career schedule it is hard to imagine much time for a personal life, but he managed to find time for himself and start a family despite all of this. He got married on March 3, 1951 to Delores F. Ganz and had two children-Toni Marie and Melody Ann. He and his wife where divorced in April of 1967. He remarried in 1979 to his present wife, Connie L. Cole.

I have had the privelege of interviewing Charles, which produced the following:

Can you describe any jobs or work experiences you had as a teen or younger?
"I had a job at age 15 (though I lied about my age) mixing and pouring cement by hand, with a local contractor for 75 cents an hour, which was the hardest work I've ever done."

Can you describe any special holidays; Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc... that were special for you?
"Christmas was always special, because we all came into Montgomery, West Virginia to be with mom and pop for a family get-together and Christmas dinner. Generally 25-30 people. We'd discuss and relive old depression days."

Can you remember any of your joys, regrets, sorrows and thoughts during your military service?
"I was homesick (age 18) while taking Basic Training in Texas. I had never been away from home before. No regrets, except I passed up the opportunity to get computer training. Being in the Air Force was probably the greatest growing-up experience I'd had."

Tell me about some humorous incidents which occured while you attended college.
"I worked full time while attending college full time and ended up in the hospital with an ulcer and kidney stones." [Editor's note: "Ouch!"]

What do you feel were your greatest accomplishments?
"It was my B.S. Degree while raising a family and working full time and having two daughters who made me very proud."

What are your hobbies, interests, talents, and other spare time activities?
"Woodworking, model building, Civil War history, collecting Indian artifacts, and antiques. In addition, my wife and I are building a log cabin, just like the pioneers did, with cedar trees from our woods."

Who were your inspirations and why?
"My parents, because they were both hard working and honest. They came from Italy with very little education and took advantage of opportunities here for them. They also emphasized the importance of improving our lot in life."

How would you like your descendants to remember you?
"Hardworking, honest, enjoying the simple things in life, and as the old saying goes, 'To thine own self be true.' "

Editor's note: It is with deep regret that the following is announced: Charles Rowen Girimont of Hillsboro, Ohio has passed away at his home on the 4th of June, 1996. He is survived by his wife, two chidren, three grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Funeral services commenced on the 6th of June. He was 67 years old.

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