Charles P. Pike, Jr, 81, passed away on February 15th, 2023, with his family by his side following a long and courageous battle with Parkinson's Disease. Charlie, as his family and friends affectionately knew him, was born and raised in Winthrop, Massachusetts. His love for the coast was fostered there at an early age. He spent much of his youth fishing, sailing, and cultivating an appreciation for the outdoors, which was evident later as he loved to spend summers on Cape Cod and in Maine with his family. Charlie also gave back to his community by joining the Winthrop Volunteer Fire Department. Later in life, Charlie would often tell stories about his adventures as a fireman while he listened to emergency calls on his shortwave radio. He met his loving wife, Sheila Hazel, on the sandy beaches of Revere, Massachusetts. There they started a wonderful life together that led them to their home in Lynnfield, Massachusetts. They lived there for 45 years as they raised their two daughters, Kristen and Stephanie. Charlie's interests expanded to the sciences as a young boy, which ultimately led him to the heights at Boston College. There he excelled in the physics program, and he truly found a home in the BC community. Upon his graduation in 1963, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the university, he was inspired by the commencement address of then President John F. Kennedy. His dedication to his country led him to a career working for the US government. Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Massachusetts, became his second home. While earning a master's degree in Physics from Northeastern University, his passion for research began to flourish. As Branch Chief of Aerospace Physics and Defense, Phillips Lab, he became one of the leading researchers in ionospheric physics. Many of his research experiments were launched on several space shuttle missions. He and his team traveled the world developing, patenting, and progressing projects that would later change how space and defense technology could protect and serve our country. Charlie often joked that these business trips would take him "off the grid," but his family always knew that deep down, his work was truly making a difference. After 45 years of service, Charlie retired in 2008. He left behind a legacy that was truly unmatched. Because of his accomplishments and leadership abilities, he was once again called back to Boston College. He was proudly given a research and consulting position in the physics department. In this position, he could give back to the university that gave him his start. As a husband, father, and papa, he was adored. Some of his happiest moments were spent with his grandchildren. On weekends and summer nights, he would often encourage his grandkids to look up to the stars so they could see the wonder he found in space. He also loved driving to the coast and enjoying a signature Maine lobster roll. He was a gentle, kind, and loving man, and his soft nature will be forever missed. Preceded in death by parents Charles and Ruth Pike. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Sheila Hazel Pike, and daughters Kristen Landolfi and Stephanie Martino. Proud grandfather of Olivia, Samantha, Paige, Jack, and Charlotte. And brother to Joseph Pike and Constance Pike. He will be remembered as a loving husband, devoted father, brilliant physicist, published author, and gentleman.
Family and friends are invited to attend his Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 am on Wednesday, March 1st, at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 758 Salem Street Lynnfield, Massachusetts.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Parkinson's Foundation, www.parkinson.org.
For online condolences please visit www.mackeyfuneralhome.com.
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