April 22, 2005
WINANS -- Charles Francis. Died Tuesday, April 19th at NYU Medical Center at the age of 85. Born New Year's Eve, 1919, of Irish and Belgian descent, ''Charley'' knew no bounds of nationality, race or creed. English teacher extraordinaire, drama coach, master of the A.P. exam, bon vivant, fearless advocate for the poor, champion of the American Indian, forgiving foe of Philistines everywhere and ''the most fully realized Christian I have ever known,'' according to a prominent friend and colleague quoted last year. Associated as a lay instructor with the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) for half a century, he was the Jesuits' ''Mr. Chips'' and, along with the late Rev. Jack Farrand, S.J., almost single-handedly transformed Brooklyn Preparatory School from a 1950's jock redoubt to a creditable institution of learning in the 60's. Marched with the Rev. King, Jr., in Selma, Alabama and elsewhere in the Deep South in the summers of 1964-1965. Tried valiantly with Fr. Farrand to save Brooklyn Prep from extinction in 1972. Friend and co-worker of Mother Teresa at her AIDS Hospice in Greenwich Village for more than a decade of his retirement. He would have chuckled at the notion of dying on the first day of the papacy of Benedict XVI, his doctrinal adversary. Among his favorite ''reads'': Yeats' ''Wild Swans at Coole'' and Joyce's ''The Dead''. Your heart has not grown old, dear mentor, even while snow falls on ''all the living and all the dead.'' Let's clink glasses in the next life's ''Casa Laredo''. ''How do you like your blue-eyed boy, Mr. Death?'' Good-bye for now, old friend. John M. McGowan Brooklyn Prep, Class of 1969
WINANS--Charles. For a generation of students at Brooklyn Prep, he was a dazzling teacher, a wise mentor, a guide to parts unknown, and an insightful mystic. To us, he was simply and always ''Charlie'', and forever the name and the thought of him will conjure for us the noblest aspects of life. The embodiment of the ideal of the great Jesuit tradition, Charlie will be missed by us all, even as we feel his presence always in our lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and with the Jesuit community that so lovingly sustained his magnificent spirit in the last year of his life. His Brookyn Prep Students Viewing: Sunday, April 24 at 24PM and 7-9PM, A.Vigliante & Sons, 171 Court St, Brooklyn, NY. Funeral Mass: Monday, April 25 at 10AM, St. Francis of Assisi, 1081 Nostrand Ave (corner of Maple), Brooklyn, NY.