Charles Egerton

Obituary of Charles Gray Egerton

Egerton, Charles Gray, 91, of St. Petersburg, died Sunday April 30, 2000 of cancer at Hospice House-Woodside. Born in Louisberg, NC, he launched a successful retail career in one the mecas of the industry-New York City. He worked for a large retail manufacturer, who in 1934 sent him to St. Petersburg to help one of their struggling businesses. Shortly after arriving, he met G.K. Moore, a fellow North Carolinian. The two found they had much in common, including a fascination with the garment industry. It wasn?t long before the two became partners, opening a men?s clothing store. The year was 1935 and the legacy of Egerton & Moore was born. Egerton & Moore?s success flourished in St. Petersburg for many years, with the business moving to larger and larger locations. Over time with continued business success, the partners also added more stores, eventually ending up with five, one even in Ft. Lauderdale. It had always been Gray?s philosophy that ?Any man who earns his living in a community owes that community a certain amount of civic obligation.? And, Gray certainly fulfilled his. For more than half a century, he contributed in anyway he possibly could to the growth and prosperity of St. Petersburg. Whether it was helping charities like the Red Cross raise money, or providing leadership for the local YMCA, Gray was always there to lend a hand. For years, he participated in fund drives, helping to raise thousands of dollars for local charities. In addition, he served on a number of different boards, including the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and was president of the chamber in 1955. But perhaps the greatest joy in his life was his involvement in the Suncoasters in St. Petersburg. Along with being one of the founders of this organization, for years he was a key organizer of this group?s main function each year?putting on the renowned Festival of States Parade. As many as 100,000 people attend this parade every year in downtown St. Petersburg, featuring high school bands from all over the country, elaborate floats, local dignitaries and many other participants. In 1968, he was named ?Mr. Sun? for the Festival of States Parade, one of the highest civic achievement awards anyone can receive in St. Petersburg. He was a Merchant Marine during WWII and a member of First United Methodist Church. He was former President of Lakewood Country Club and the YMCA; a Member of the St. Petersburg yacht Club and the Al Lang Baseball Committee; and member of Nitram Lodge #188, F&AM. Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Mary Love Henry Egerton; one son, Charles H., Orlando, FL; one sister, Louise Passmore, Louisberg, NC; several nieces and nephews; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Anderson-McQueen Funeral Homes & Cremation Tribute Center-Ninth Street Chapel, St. Petersburg.
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