Charles A. Syvertsen, of Wading River, NY, passed away on his 91st birthday, on July 31st, surrounded by his family.
Born July 31, 1928 in Brooklyn, NY he was the eldest of twin sons, baby brother James Syvertsen and wife Elizabeth of St. James, NY and a younger daughter, late sister Ethyl Lysloff and husband Claude, of the late Claus and Genevieve Syvertsen.
Being of Norwegian heritage, and having attended Metropolitan Maritime High School in Manhattan, it was pre-ordained that Charles would pursue a career at sea after graduation. He made multiple trips on the original Liberty ship USAT Zebulon B. Vance, transporting military dependents between the United States and Europe, but while preparing for another trip to Europe in March of 1947, a severe accident and critical damage that nearly resulted in the amputation of his foot put his maritime career on indefinite hold. After a year in the hospital and 9 surgeries, Charles pursued and received training as a letterer and sign painter/graphic artist and operated a sign business for the next 10 years, while simultaneously running his father’s fishing party boat with his twin brother James and the inimitable DA out of Gerritsen Beach. During that span, at the age of 26 he met 15 year old Eileen Lapp. They eventually married in March of 1960 and in 1968, after looking for 6 years in five states for the ideal location to raise a family, the couple moved with their young son and daughter from Brooklyn to Wading River, where they resided ever since. He is survived by their son Jim and his wife Seiko of Chesapeake, VA, their daughter Carol and fiancé Luke of Hanover, MA and three grandchildren Daniel, Charlie and Bryan. He is predeceased by his daughter Susan and wife Eileen and was loved by many nieces, nephews and longtime friends.
The siren call of the sea still tugging at his heart, Charles resurrected his maritime career in 1958, jumping at an opportunity in New York Harbor offered by his future in-laws. He later went to work on tugboats and subsequently coastwise oil tankers for Poling Brothers after earning a Masters and Pilots license and during which he earned pilotage from Baltimore to Maine. He retired in 1988. A passionate watercolor and oil painting enthusiast since his early teens when when his father gave him his first paint set, Charles then pursued his lifelong passion as a full-time fine artist, earning acceptance in prestigious art associations such as American Artists Professional League, North Shore Arts Association, Hudson Valley Arts Association, American Society of Marine Artists and Academic Artists. He earned further distinction winning numerous awards over his career, including the Museum Purchase Award in Mystic Seaport Maritime Gallery, the Paul Strisik, NA, Memorial Award for Excellence in Oil in Hudson Valley, an Award of Excellence in Mystic Seaport, the Joseph Santoro Memorial Award, the Academic Artists Juror’s Choice Award, and the Newington Award for “Best Painting Any Medium” at the American Artists Professional League’s Grand National Exhibition at NYC’s Salmagundi Club among many others.
Visitation will be held at Alexander-Rothwell Funeral Home in Wading River Saturday, August 3rd from 4-7 PM and interment will be held at Wading River Cemetery Sunday August 4th at 10AM.