Cover photo for Charles Leon Gaudry, Jr.'s Obituary
Charles Leon Gaudry, Jr. Profile Photo

Charles Leon Gaudry, Jr.

November 10, 1936 — February 4, 2024

Atlantic Beach

Charles Leon Gaudry, Jr.


Charles Leon Gaudry, Jr. died peacefully in his sleep on February 4, 2024, at age 87.  He lived a long and fulfilling life, bringing great joy and happiness to all who had the privilege to know him.

 Charlie was born on November 10, 1936, in Norfolk, Virginia, the first of five siblings (Jean Clarke, Dorothy Anne Estes, Joel Gaudry and Jerri Wells). His childhood stories were full of boyhood shenanigans, as well as hard work.  He was very proud of his first jobs, delivering groceries for tips, and then delivering the newspaper, already saving for his dream of medical school.  During his years at Granby High School, he became an accomplished student and athlete and formed dear friendships that he cherished.

 He went on to attend “The University” (i.e. the University of Virginia) for both college and medical school and his years there truly defined the man he became and the values he strove to uphold throughout his lifetime.  He was an extraordinarily kind and compassionate person, full of empathy and warmth for everyone with whom he came into contact.  He had a sense of integrity that was unparalleled.  He was intellectually exacting, striving for perfection in everything from his academic and professional work to his beloved games (Scrabble, Jumble, Spades and Free Cell were particular favorites that brought out his highly competitive nature).  He was a dedicated athlete, lettering in four sports while at the University of Virginia, serving as Captain of the wrestling team and even becoming the Atlantic Coast Conference champion in wrestling his senior year.  He continued his active lifestyle with a variety of sports throughout his life, especially tennis, hiking and running.  He was the president of his UVA graduating class of 1958, as well as a member of Zeta Psi Fraternity, ODK national leadership fraternity, Skull and Keys, P-K Dance Society, TILKA, 13 Society and Z Society.  He loved the University of Virginia for all the values it instilled in him, and also for the lifelong friendships he made while there.

 Charlie proudly served in the U.S. Navy for two decades, retiring with the rank of Captain.  During his time as a physician in the Navy he specialized in pediatric hematology/oncology and family practice medicine.  His Navy career included postings in Bethesda, MD, Wichita Falls, TX, Jacksonville, FL and Camp Pendleton, CA.  Among his many significant professional achievements were appointments as the Chairman of the Department of Family Practice and Director of the Residency Program at the US Naval Hospital and, after his retirement from the Navy, as the Chairman of the Department of Family Practice at University Medical Center, and later as the Chief of the Hematology Division of the Department of Pediatrics of the University of Florida Health Science Center, all in Jacksonville, FL.

 After his time in the Navy, Charlie lived with his beloved wife, Lana Brennan, in Fort George Island, Florida for many years.  He loved his time in the outdoors there, avidly sailing, bird watching, running and playing tennis.  Later Charlie and Lana made their home in Burnsville, North Carolina, where he added hiking and kayaking to his many athletic pursuits.  In his later years, they moved back to Jacksonville, Florida to be closer to family.  Charlie was a devoted father to Amy Gaudry Dulin and Justin Gaudry, and grandfather to Alex Dulin, Camille Dulin, Chloe Dulin and Lola Myers.  He is also survived by his son-in-law Mario Espinosa; stepson Michael Brennan; and siblings Jean Clarke, Joel Gaudry and Jerri Wells. He was predeceased by his first wife and mother of his daughters, Margaret Harris Gaudry McClain, and is survived by his second wife, Dodie Stewart. His family will always remember his kind heart, optimism, sly humor and boundless enthusiasm for life.  He will be dearly missed. 

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