Obituary: Charles Lincoln Jewett

Charles Lincoln Jewett
Charles Lincoln Jewett

C. Lincoln Jewett — “Link” to all who knew him — died peacefully on April 8, 2018.

Link was a lifelong learner and explorer, pursuing his curiosity and expanding his knowledge into his final days. He was a gentleman and a snappy dresser. Those qualities, plus his innate kindness and sense of fun, endeared him to people around the world.

The son of Paul Norris and Etta May Jewett, and stepmother Hazel Bell Jewett, he was born July 15, 1921, in Boston and grew up in Brookline, MA.

Link attended Michael Driscoll grammar school and Brookline High School and graduated from the Rivers School. He was a proud member of the University of Maine class of 1944. In both high school and college, Link had played the cornet in the marching band. This contributed to his love of jazz and big band music. Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman were among his heroes.

Along with many of his Greatest Generation classmates, Link interrupted his studies to fight in World War II. He enlisted in 1943 and served as a First Lieutenant in the Army Signal Corps, operating communication systems in France, Belgium and Holland to support the Allied troops.

In Marblehead, MA, Link met Truda Lee Cleeves, whom he called “T.” and who shared his love of sailing and travel. They married in 1954. They were a great team. They spent the early years of the marriage in Cambridge and Washington, DC. They moved in 1963 to Darien, CT, where they raised their two daughters and had remained ever since.

Link was drawn to the intersection of science and industry. Early in his career, he worked for the science and engineering firm of Arthur D. Little, Inc, in Cambridge and Washington, DC and at Union Carbide Corporation in New York. At ADL, he marketed pioneering cryogenic products, which became the foundation for rocket propellants for ballistic missiles, moon shots and space shuttles, among other applications. At Union Carbide, he worked in the field of industrial pyrogenics. He was a founder of the New England Chapter of the American Rocket Society and National Rocket Club in Washington, DC. He was also a member of the International Order of Characters which, besides having a great name, was dedicated to improving the fields of aviation and aerospace.These roles reflected his interest in exploration of the outer limits.

For 35 subsequent years, he was a partner at North American Realty Advisory Services, a Manhattan-based consulting firm specializing in adaptive reuse of closed industrial plants and military bases.

Link logged countless hours and nautical miles on Sam Cat and Sam Cat II, beloved family powerboats. Together with T., friends and relatives, Link sailed and cruised in Greece, Bermuda, Turkey, Egypt, the Caribbean Islands; Long Island, Block Island and Vineyard Sounds; Massachusetts Bay; Maine; Canada; the Chesapeake Bay; British Columbia; the Great Lakes; the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers; the Erie Canal; and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

He also journeyed by land, water and air throughout Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Eurasia. He published articles about some of his more exotic travels in periodicals such as Power & Motor Yacht, Boating, PassageMaker, and the Darien Times. Particular travel highlights for Link included Vietnam, Burma, New Zealand, Cuba and Siberia.

Link was a member of New York Yacht Club, Noroton Yacht Club, Darien Boat Club, Darien Sail and Power Squadron, The Corinthians, Wee Burn Country Club, Congressional Country Club and the Darien Advisory Commission on Coastal Waters.

One of Link’s enthusiasms was celestial navigation. It is fitting then, that to T., Lisa and Lolly, Link was the family pilot — the sailor who has detailed knowledge of the waterways, winds, currents and tides at any port of call; who maneuvers ships through dangerous waters, bids them off on their journeys, and ushers them back into safe harbor. Link had plenty of adventures of his own, but he was ever their navigator.

Link’s wife T. died in October 2017. He is survived by his daughters, Lisa Jewett and Laura (Lolly) Jewett, his sons-in-law Joseph Remski and Abner Oakes, and his grandson Charles Jewett Oakes.

A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. on May 18 at Noroton Yacht Club.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Greenwich Hospital Home Hospice, 500 West Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830.