Charles Arthur Sistrunk was born June 22, 1957 to the late Charles Alfred Austin and Mary E. Smith in Camden, New Jersey. Charles went home to be with the Lord and reunite with his beloved wife and brother on October 16, 2019. Charles was raised in a Christian home and learned to love God and appreciate music. Charles graduated from Woodrow Wilson high school in 1976. Immediately after high school, he enlisted in the army, specializing in missile repair. Throughout his military and civilian career, Charles received numerous awards and commendations. He was considered a technical genius. As a child, he would experiment with his sister’s dolls by taking apart the voice box so he could study how it worked. He was fascinated by all things electronic, and his sisters had to hide their toys from him. Charles worked as a technical engineer for over thirty years but was sidelined because of injuries he suffered while working on a satellite dish.
While in high school, Charles met Andrea Cutler, who would later become his wife. Charles said “The moment I met Andrea, I knew this was the woman I would spend the rest of my life with.” They were married on July 16, 1977. They began their married life in Germany where Charles was stationed. They shared a love of travel, music and painting.
After his military career, they settled in the suburbs of Chicago, where their children were born. Charles was a loving, faithful and devoted husband and father. Love is an action word and Charles demonstrated this throughout his lifetime. After his wife became ill, Charles took on the role of caregiver. He never gave up on her, fighting the good fight until she passed in January.
Charles loved music, especially jazz. He felt that jazz was becoming a dying art and to revitalize jazz, he created his own radio station, Diversity Music Network, calling himself DJ POP. Charles loved the artists he promoted, always bragging on how good they were.
Charles was many things, but most of all he was a good man. He rose above any challenge he faced. He believed that discipline was the key to success. If you had discipline, you could accomplish whatsoever, you desired.
Charles valued and treasured his family and was always there to lend a helping hand. He was so full of love that it spilled out of him onto you. Charles brought love, joy and laughter to everyone he came in contact with. When talking on the phone with Charles, you had to be prepared for a two to three hour conversation. Charles always ended the call with the words “love you.”
We, his family, already miss Charles (Pop). There are tears of sorrow, but there are also tears of joy knowing that he is reunited with the love of his life.
Charles is survived by, his loving mother, Mary Sistrunk Smith, daughter, Andrea L. Akins (Michael), sons, Charles A. Sistrunk, II, and Nathaniel D. Sistrunk, sisters, Anita Sistrunk, Cheryl Sistrunk, Zakeia Smith, five grandchildren, one aunt, two uncles and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Andrea, brother, Dennis and father, Charles Austin.
Date: Saturday, October 26, 2019
Time: 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Date: Saturday, October 26, 2019
Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Reception to follow.
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