Charles John Fradley
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Charles John Fradley

Charles John Fradley
December 19, 1919 - March 22, 2001

Charles Fradley passed away Thursday, March 22, 2001 at his and Dorothy’s home in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Charles was a good man, an honest man, independent, a loving husband and father, a good friend.

Charles was born in Lorain, Ohio, in 1919. He was 8 years old when his parents divorced. He never saw much of his father, Charles, when he was growing up. Didn’t see too much of his mom, Clara, either. She had to work long hours to support them. He had no brothers or sisters. Didn’t go to church. He confided that he was well on his way on the wrong path in life ... that is, until he met Dorothy Lavish.

He said he knew from the beginning that this was the woman with whom he would spend the rest of his life. He was, of course, right. He married Dorothy in 1941, worked various jobs – including working in the shipyards, playing the piano and singing occasionally in clubs in Lorain. Following his mother’s death in 1949 and driven by his desire to provide better for the family, which by 1950 already included 6 kids, he and Dorothy took a big risk and headed off to Florida. No money in their pocket, six little ones piled into an old broken-down car – and a dream of finding a good paying job as a night club entertainer.

And he did well. Took on the stage name of Charlie Paige, played in a number of well-known clubs on Miami Beach, including occasional gigs with famous singers and entertainers, including Billy Holiday. He entertained the South Florida scene in the 50's, 60's, 70's, and into the 80's.

He never became too famous to forget to carry his rosary with him to work. Often, between sets he would take a walk outside and pray. Charles prayed often, and taught his children to “talk” with God, not merely to recite prayers.

The family grew to 10 children in Florida. There were good times, and because of his line of work there were times when the jobs weren’t there. Supposedly, at those times we were considered “poor”. If so, his kids didn’t realize it. There was always something going on at the house. He organized games and sports (playing catch with a football on the street in front, Indian ball in the park, track meet in the back yard....). The children always had things to do. And kids throughout the neighborhood liked to hang out at the Fradley house – because their Dad made it a fun place to be.

Charles once confided in his oldest son, Dennis, that he regretted not being able to leave a monetary inheritance to his children. This astonished Dennis, as it would any of the children. To this, Dennis prepared the following tribute:

Dad I cherish the treasure you provided us. You taught us the important things in life: To be honest, to keep one’s word, to accept responsibility and be accountable. Through your example you taught us about commitment and caring for family. About the value of prayer, and faith in God. And dozens of other values that guide each of us through life. You provided an inheritance worth far more than any amount of money.

This site was last updated 11/30/19

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