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Charles W. Fleming, 85

June 09, 2010
  • Charles W. Fleming
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-MARCH 25, 2010

Charles W. Fleming, a social worker whose career spanned community agencies and private industry, died Friday. He was 85.

He was the widower of Edna Ruth McFarland Fleming, who died March 25, 2010.

As longtime executive director of the Richmond Area Community Council, Mr. Fleming was instrumental in founding the Richmond Community Action Agency, the Community Foundation and the Capital Area Agency on Aging. He later retired from Reynolds Metals Co. in 1993, where he served as manager of handicapped and veterans compliance. A veteran of World War II, Mr. Fleming retired from the Air Force Reserve as a lieutenant colonel.

Mr. Fleming is survived by two brothers, John Fleming of Sebastian, Fla., and Lynn Fleming of Cockeysville, Md.; a sister, Mrs. Virginia Bentz of Hagerstown, Md.; and three half-brothers, John, Joe and Ken Fleming, all of California. He also is survived by his son, Stephen, and daughter-in-law, Barbara, of Richmond; his daughter, Sharon Richter of Huntington Beach, Calif.; three grandchildren, Kate Fleming and husband, Joseph Phillips, of Portland, Ore., Stephanie Richter of Huntington Beach and Joseph Richter of Seattle, Wash.; and one great-grandchild, Elizabeth McFarland Phillips of Portland.

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Mr. Fleming was preceded in death by his parents, John William Fleming and Grace Athey Fleming, and brothers, G. Robert Fleming of New Mexico, and James H. Fleming of Winchester, Va.

Born in Galestown, Md., Mr. Fleming grew up in Keedysville, Md., and graduated from Boonsboro High School. After service in World War II, he attended college and graduate school on the GI Bill, graduating from Western Maryland College in 1948, and earning a master's degree in social work from The University of Pennsylvania in 1950.

After working in the Pennsylvania Prison Society and the Veterans Administration, Mr. Fleming founded the Big Brothers Agency in Florence, S.C., where he ran an integrated social service agency in the segregated South from 1954 to 1957. In Richmond, Mr. Fleming served 17 years as the executive director of the Richmond Area Community Council. He joined Reynolds Metals Co. as manager of handicapped and veterans compliance in 1975. He also served as field work supervisor, lecturer and adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina and Virginia Commonwealth University.

As a volunteer, Mr. Fleming served as president of the Virginia Council on Social Welfare and the Blue Ridge Institute of Southern Community Service Executives. He served on the boards of Action Alliance for Virginia's Children and the Telamon Corp. In retirement, he volunteered for the United Way and Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.

Burial will be in the Fleming family plot in Fairview Cemetery in Keedysville. The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Virginia Council on Social Welfare Scholarship Fund, Council for Community Services, P.O. Box 598, Roanoke, VA 24004, or to the Barbara W. Fleming Endowment of Children's Health Involving Parents of Greater Richmond, The Community Foundation, 7501 Boulders View Drive, Suite 110, Richmond, VA 23225.

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