Long time Ocean Navigator contributing editor and all-around marine expert Chuck Husick died Monday, September 13, following several months of poor health. Chuck was not only one of the most knowledgeable writers on marine science and technology, but he was also one of the most prolific and enthusiastic contributors to this magazine and to several others. Chuck was a member of the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime (RTCM) an influential technical panel that sets standards for marine technology. And that was only one of the many boards, advisory panels and industry groups to which he belonged.
I had the great fortune to work with Chuck for more than 15 years. He was an insightful, charming friend and a wonderful teacher. His wide-ranging knowledge of marine topics was matched by an equally broad grasp of aviation technology. Indeed, not only was Chuck a pilot with more than 6,000 flying hours, he was also once an executive vice president of Cessna Aircraft and a member of the radio technical commision for aviation (RTCA), the flying counterpart to the RTCM.
Born in Brooklyn on January 10, 1933, Chuck went to Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and then served in U.S. Army in postwar Europe. He held a number of executive positions in the aviation and marine world, including president of Chris Craft and president of Narco Avionics and Konel Marine Electronics.
The list of Chuck’s accomplishments is long and impressive, but the thing Chuck liked best was simply answering a question. Whether it be from a reader of Ocean Navigator or from me, Chuck had a far-reaching and encyclopedic mind and he took the greatest pleasure in broadening other people’s knowledge and understanding. I would often call or email him with a question regarding marine technology and after an in-depth explanation that took no account of the time expended or the need to repeat the parts I had a hard time grasping, his last words were always to thank me for interrupting his busy day to ask him a question. Chuck was formidable in his knowledge and tireless in his enthusiasm for improving the sport of voyaging. More than anything, he was the best of friends.
Chuck’s son Lawrence has put together a website to honor his father. It’s worth a visit.