Charles Wickham Skinner Jr. died on January 28, 2019 in St. George, Maine. He was born on February 20, 1924, in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Wick earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from Yale, Class of 1944. Enlisting in the U.S. Army after graduation, Wick was assigned to work on the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Honorably discharged in 1946, Wick enrolled in the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration where he earned his MBA. He joined Minneapolis Honeywell upon graduation in 1948. After 10 years of successful management experience in Minneapolis and Florida, he returned to Harvard, earning a PhD in Management in 1960. Wick then began a distinguished 24-year teaching career at Harvard Business School. Wick recalled his gratitude he felt in 1960 when the Harvard faculty approved his degree. “I climbed up the steep hill behind the house in Weston (Massachusetts) to look at the stars and felt awash in appreciation for all that had happened. I descended, feeling that I had expressed my thanks that winter night to the cosmos.” He became a recognized expert in industrial production, did research in Turkey, Pakistan, and Vietnam, was an advisor to INCAE (Instituto de Centro America de Administracion de Empresas) in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, served as Associate Dean of the Business School, and was appointed James E. Robison Professor of Business Administration.

In 1946, Wick married Alice Sturges Blackmer. Wick and Alice were summer residents on Spruce Head Island beginning in the early 1960s, and when Wick retired from the Harvard Business School in 1984 at the age of 60, he and Alice settled into a busy life in St. George, where they had moved years earlier. “I did not want to continue (teaching at HBS) until I dropped in my tracks or failed,” Wick explained years later. “I was ready for a new environment, one that would be more balanced and diverse, with opportunities to make a big contribution, work on important issues, and be successful. And I wanted to do it in Maine.”

Wick continued professional activities as a member of many corporate boards, including Bath Iron Works, Scientific Atlanta, and Helix Technology, and was active in many educational and community organizations, including the Natural Resource Council of Maine, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, and the Georges River Land Trust. He served as President of the Farnsworth Museum Board of Trustees, and was a board member of the University of Maine system. As Wick put it, “After moving to Maine, I worked in many sectors: research, writing and speaking, consulting and serving on various boards of trustees, being elected president of the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS), fundraising for nonprofit organizations, becoming a painter, sailing, and working on a 28-acre saltwater farm.” Wick and Alice were active sailors, enjoying over time a series of cruising boats. He was also an avid tennis player, continuing to embrace the competitiveness of this sport into his early 90s. Wick said, “Flying, like sports, boats, painting, nature, and the beauty of Maine, had over the years lifted my whole life into excitement, with tangible, fulfilling experiences.” With typical determination, Wick obtained his pilot’s private license in Rockland, Maine, at age of 60. Throughout his life, Wick was a tireless traveler. He never failed to bring his paper, brushes, pens, and his watercolors to record the everyday aspects of his visits.

Wick conveyed a spirit of positive energy and good will to all who interacted with him. Besides being a wonderful mentor to former students and local businessmen, Wick was a caring father, grandfather and uncle. He and Alice welcomed family and friends to their home with gracious hospitality, where stimulating conversation reigned. In particular, his family and friends will treasure their visits to Spruce Head Island and Saint George as well as Wick’s visits to family in Virginia and Vermont for annual Thanksgiving celebrations, which always included a spirited touch football game and a Friday evening talent show. Wick was a consummate storyteller. His children, nephews, and nieces grew up on Wick’s “Car 703” episodes.

He died at his home in St. George, in the company of his two children Charles B. Skinner of St. George and Jacqui Skinner Light, and her husband Galen David Light, of Danvers, Massachusetts, and his grandsons Galen W. Light of Buxton, Maine, and Charles F. Skinner “Chip” of St. George. He leaves a sister Perry Skinner Martin of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Bridgton, Maine, a brother-in-law Hugh Blackmer of St. George, a dozen nieces and nephews, three grandchildren — Noelle Fay of Danvers, Massachusetts, and the previously mentioned, Galen W. Light and Charles F. Skinner — and three great-grandchildren. His wife Alice predeceased him in 2010, as did his sister Carol Skinner Lawson in 2016.

A memorial service for family and friends will be held in the coming months. Time and place to be announced.