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Died March 28, 21010

On March 28, 2010, Retired Colonel Charles Hairston passed away peacefully surrounded by his family and close friends.

Charles, also known as "Little Denny" in his youth was born Aug. 7, 1930, to the late Malissa and William Russell Hairston of Goldsboro. Charles was the youngest of three children. His sister, Dorothy Lee Hairston Boone preceded him in death on Sept. 21, 2009.

Charles was nurtured and guided toward decency by his mother, grandparents, aunts and uncles, who lived with them or nearby.

He enrolled at School Street Elementary and graduated from Dillard High School. He was a member of the High School Band, where he played three different instruments. He graduated from high school with top honors. He attended Kent State University in Akron, Ohio where he studied Business Administration and joined the Army ROTC program.

His love for music blossomed, as he became a member of the Kent State University Symphonic Band.

Upon Charles' graduation, he was inducted into the US Army as a 2nd Lieutenant and was assigned to his first base at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. He married Grace Arlene Macke and the marriage produced five children.

The young officer got to know the Far East as a Battery Chief from 1954 to 1955. After his return to the United States, he attended a missile school at Fort Bliss, Texas, which prepared him for the next East tour.

In January of 1964, Major Hairston was Assistant Senior Advisor to South Vietnam Province and later attended the Armed Forces Staff College to prepare for his commanding position in Landshut, Germany as the 7th Commander of the 6th Missile Battalion. Major Hairston also founded the German-American Ladies Club.

During his military career Charles Hairston was a highly decorated officer. He received the Bronze Star Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Korean Sami Award, Army Commendation Medal (2 Oak Leaf Cluster), Vietnam Campaign Medal, 4 O/S Bars, Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/Gold Star, Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/Palm, Vietnam Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Basic Missileman Badge, Artillary Badge (1st Class), Armed Forces Honor Medal (1st Class), Legion of Merit (1 Oak Leaf Cluster). Over his outstanding US Army career, he commanded more than a thousand soldiers and retired as a Colonel in Fort Meade, Md.

Upon his retirement from the US Army, Charles spent two, seven-year tours in Saudi Arabia. For his first tour, he was a consultant to the Royal Saudi National Guard as an Aramco contractor. On his second tour, he was head of logistics and worked directly for the Royal Saudi Navy.

In 1990, he met and married Patricia Tompkins of New York, N.Y. and Jacksonville, Fla. They remained married for 20 years until his death.

He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, Patricia Hairston of the Home; five children, Charlene Hill (Don) San Deigo, Calif.; Michael Hairston (Debbie) Denver, Colo.; Kim Walkley, Stephen (Maureen), Tony, all of Colorado Springs, Colo.; a brother, William Russell Hairston, Jr. of Falls Church, Va.; 14 grandchildren; four great-grand-children; two nieces, Patricia Burden, Goldsboro; Ann Marie Hairston, Brooklyn, N.Y.; and a host of cousins and friends.


Published in Obituaries on May 30, 2010 10:15 AM