In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Charles Smith

It is with a heavy heart and personal regret that we announce the passing of our good friend and colleague Charlie Smith, co-founder of MRG GEO.  Charlie suffered numerous injuries from a fall on Thursday, December 17 while helping a friend remove a tree limb.  He passed away Sunday morning, December 27, 2015 at Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Charlie’s unexpected, tragic death is an incredible personal and professional loss for MRG GEO, the geospatial services community, his family, friends and colleagues.  Anyone who met Charlie could see his unbounded energy for life.  When he wasn’t developing a work process improvement or solving a technical issue, Charlie could be found cheering on Chelsea FC (his favorite English football club), fishing with friends, tending his crab traps, entertaining with his wife Jane a house full of family and friends, exploring a foreign country, searching for an addition to his collection of antique survey instruments, or simply reading a book.

In addition to his passion for new remote sensing technologies, Charlie was an accomplished entrepreneur and business professional within in the private sectors of geodetic surveying, photogrammetric mapping and related geospatial services.  He began his career in 1969 as a photogrammetric technician with a large European mapping firm and later became a supervisor. In 1977 Charlie moved from England to the United States and continued his career as a project manager with Air Survey & Design, Inc.  From 1985 to 2001, Charlie became a principal/co-owner of two geospatial services firms, one of which had an international reach with 112 employees and seven office locations.  In 2001 Charlie and his since-deceased partner, Richard Williams, formed Mapping Resource Group, Inc. (now known as MRG GEO), with offices in Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.

Charlie never met a stranger and was always there to lend a hand to family and friends.  He would consistently amaze you with his knowledge of English and American history, early rock music artists, sports, world geography, cooking and—yes—wine, beer and spirits of all flavors. In life and in business, he had the unique flair for finding workable solutions for seemingly dire challenges. Charlie never missed an opportunity to make you laugh, with a joke or a story about one of his life experiences, and he could inject just the right level of humor into each business conversation. This trait alone is certainly what led to his many successes.

With energy and enthusiasm, Charlie pushed himself both personally and professionally, inspiring everyone around him to do the same.  He was enthusiastic about the future—both personally and professionally—and considered every new day to be an opportunity for a fresh start. Charlie will be dearly missed by the many friends and colleagues he inspired and mentored and we will never forget his countless contributions to the geospatial profession.

This is truly a difficult time for all of us but none feel the loss more than Jane—the love of Charlie’s life—his son Matt, daughter Alison, his five grandchildren and other family members. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of them.

Services for Charlie are scheduled for Saturday, January 9, 2016 at the Craig Flagler Palm Funeral Home, 511 Old Kings Road South, Flagler Beach, Florida. Visitation will be from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EST followed by a memorial service beginning at 4:00 p.m. EST.

Our thanks to the numerous friends and associates of MRG GEO who have sent us messages of condolences. Condolences can be sent to in-memoriam-charlie@mrggeo.com