Charlie Belden was born in Northampton, MA on October 25, 1928. He was the second of two sons of Mary Alice Marston Belden and Clifford Luce Belden of Hatfield, MA, and lived and worked on the Belden family farm. His older brother served in WWII while Charlie stayed back to help run the farm with his father and younger brother. They grew mostly potatoes, onions and some tobacco.
In 1952 Charlie married Mary Lue Barton of New London, NH. They lived in an upstairs apartment of his parents’ home initially and soon built a house down the road on the family property. It was a close-knit extended family, all living in the Bradstreet section of Hatfield which had been in the family since the 1600s.
In the mid- fifties, Charlie began working with Consolidated Cigar Corporation where he worked for many years as a farm manager and then as the purchasing agent. The family moved to Bloomfield, CT in 1963. Charlie was an active member of the First Congregational Church of Bloomfield, Civitan, and the Farm Bureau. He was also an intense bridge player, gardener and an avid skier.
They bought their cottage in 1961 in New London, NH on Pleasant Lake where they enjoyed many summer and winter weeks on the lake with family. After retirement, Charlie and Mary Lue made the cottage their permanent home. There he continued volunteering his time with the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust. Charlie lovingly cared for his wife, Mary Lue, at home as her dementia advanced. They were married 61 years.
Charlie leaves behind his children and spouses; Caroline and Dr. Edwin Harrington of Mankato, MN; Steve and Mary (Parson) Belden of Hopkins, MN; Betsy and Mark Makuch of Storrs, CT and Melinda and Steve Silverstein-Belden of Nelson, NH; and grandchildren: Colin, Brian, Katie and Justin Harrington; Hanna and Haley Belden; Kim, Edward, Frank, Joseph and Annie Makuch; Will, Zosha and Shanti Silverstein; 9 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Charlie was predeceased by his wife, Mary Lue, an infant son, his parents, and his two brothers, Richard Drew Belden and Clifford Luce Belden Jr.
Charlie was known for his ability to fix almost anything, biking around Pleasant Lake, his many walks at the lake and later to the Coop in Keene, always in shorts with socks up to his knees. Mostly Charlie was known for his quiet presence yet eagerness to engage anyone in conversation.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust, ausbonsargent.org.