In Memory of




Obituary for Charles R. Waterman

Charles R. Waterman, 87, of West Suffield, passed away peacefully at home on March 13, 2023. Known to family and many friends as “Buster” or “Chuck” (and “Poppy” to his many grandchildren), he was born January 6, 1936, the son of the late H. Earl Waterman Sr. and Louella (Canterbury) Waterman.

Growing up in West Suffield on the family’s large dairy farm, it was not only the foundation of his youth but continued throughout his life. In 1963, he designed a home that was built on part of it, next door to his parents’ home, and there raised four sons and two daughters with his beloved wife of 67 years, Marianne (Carney) Waterman.

After graduation from Suffield High School (Class of 1954), Charles attended the Connecticut State Technical Institute and graduated from Tri-State College (now Trine University) in Angola, Indiana, earning a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.

On Nov. 3, 1956, he married Marianne, his high school sweetheart.

Charles began his professional career in 1957 with Combustion Engineering in Windsor, Conn. as an electrical control engineer. He would become an expert in the nuclear power field, developing a safety sequence analysis regimen for nuclear power plant and plants under construction to demonstrate compliance with new licensing requirements for fire protection. In 1959, Electric Boat hired him as test director of the nation’s first Polaris missile nuclear submarine (USS George Washington) from launch to sea trials, the highest priority job in the U.S. at the time.

Returning to CE, he managed the S1C submarine prototype and oversaw the training of U.S. Navy crews needed to operate their nuclear subs.

Charles left CE to focus more on turning around distressed companies, many of which were nuclear power-related, becoming president of six of them – Electro-Mechanics, Sensor Engineering, Engineer Planning and Management, Onsite Systems, Delas-Weir and ABB/CE Steam Generator. In 1997 he retired as Executive Vice President at ADtranz, a joint venture of ABB Daimler-Benz Transportation.

He became known as a man who could “fix” companies – turn them from losing operations into profitable, successful businesses. But that talent really was nothing new – from his high school days he’d been “fixing” things for family and friends – from broken TVs and radios to appliances to cars. Just about anything, didn’t matter what was wrong with it. He didn’t do it for money, probably more for the challenge. For those who knew him, that’s only a guess because Charles was a quiet man. He didn’t say much, but his many acts of kindness and help throughout his life spoke volumes.

He also was involved in his community. He was a member of the Second Baptist Church in Suffield; coached in Suffield’s Little League and Senior League baseball programs and was a Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 66 in West Suffield. He was inducted into the Suffield Academic Hall of Honor in 2012.

His many personal interests also included all manner of electronics projects, tending to the farm’s fruit orchards and an incredible talent for woodworking and furniture-making.

Charles is pre-deceased by his parents, brothers H. Earl Waterman Jr. and Roger Waterman, and a sister, Nancy (Waterman) Lawson.

Besides his wife Marianne, he is survived by sons Glenn Waterman and his wife, Tammy; Todd Waterman and his wife, Bernadette; Shawn Waterman and his wife, Becky; Gregg Waterman and his wife, Gina; and daughters Lori Waterman and Amy Waterman Gettings and her husband, Jeremy.

He is also survived by 13 grandchildren – Tyler Waterman, Todd Waterman Jr., Andrea Waterman, Danielle Waterman, Jack Waterman, Heidi Waterman, Camille Waterman, Kevin Waterman, Josh Waterman, Ryan Waterman, Ben Waterman, Charlie Gettings and Ashley Gettings.

The family would like to offer special thanks to the Webster family – Jeff, Millie and Raymond (“RJ”) - for all their continued help and support they offered so often to us throughout this time.

Calling hours will be Saturday, March 25, at Heritage Funeral Home, 1240 Mountain Road, West Suffield, from 9:00 to 11 a.m., followed by a funeral home service at 11:00 a.m. and graveside service at St Joseph Cemetery, Hill Street, Suffield.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.