TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Charlie Fox is a person with a commanding and engaging personality. The former Lt. Commander in the Navy seems so much younger than his 98 years.

“When you’re LT. Commander and when you’re the executive officer the commanding officer of a ship you get to do things your way, said Fox.


Charlie’s wife Maryella loves Charlie’s commitment to detail and his intelligence.

“Well I always thought he was brilliant, he just opened up a whole new world for me,” said Maryella Fox.

Fox was raised and educated in Terre Haute, and he is quick to point out with pride that he is graduate of Rose Polytechnic as a civil engineer. World War II interrupted his time at Rose and he enlisted in the Navy.

As a junior officer he was assigned to the USS LST 532 . He says he was fortunate that he entered in the war late and was able to avoid combat engagements.

After the war, he remained in the Reserves and landed a job at the AMAX coal company. But when the Korean War broke out he went back to active duty and he served on the USS LSM 525 off the Korean Peninsula.

Following Korea, he went back to AMAX where he worked for 40 years. Throughout that time, he remained in the reserves and was active in the Terre Haute. He says technically he never retired from the military.

Following his retirement from the coal company, he used engineering background to design several neighborhoods in Terre Haute, including his neighborhood.

“It also is kind of like a boss thing when you design a neighborhood even though somebody is paying to have it done, or paying you do it, you get them how you want it to made,’ said Fox.

Recently, he was flown to Washington D.C. as part of the Honor Flight. It’s where veterans receive recognition from a grateful nation. Good friend and 28 year National Guard veteran Gary Dickinson escorted Charlie. It was an experience that was emotional, memorable and very deserving.

“He doesn’t say it, but you could see it in his eyes it’s emotional, it’s an emotional time when you have other veterans and small children coming up to him, people from other countries thanking him for his service and meaning it not just to be saying it,” said Dickison.