Going through my father’s things, I found a pile of note cards covered with his handwriting. I was fascinated — and then fascinated still more when I discovered that the notes were completely and utterly random: some were science-related, some were quotes from literature, some were seemingly his own thoughts, jotted down as they came to him.

One was a list of what might have been book titles and authors, seeming to be continuing in the theme of “utterly random”.

Charles Heinle Notes #1

However, after some searching, I’ve discovered all are plays, and are collected in a slim volume called Contemporary One-Act Plays — a book originally published by Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1922, and now republished with the notes:

Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.

I’m buying a copy to read these plays which obviously impressed Charles at some point (he was 6 in 1922, so one assumes at some point after that!)

I never knew my father to read a play (he seemed entirely settled on history, biographies, and the science of the mind by the time I knew him), or to show the slightest interest in the theatre. I wish I could go back in time and discuss them with him!

I’ll be going through the notes and posting them up here, so watch this space for more!

I am John David Heinle. I would like to offer my perspective as number 2 son of Charles the great. When someone has been around for 95 years it’s difficult to think of them in the past tense.
Charles Heinle and son John Heinle
While a eulogy, which means to “speak well” of someone, is supposed to be about their positive aspects, one unusual story I remember about Pop touches on his general disgruntledness about working at Chilton Books many long years ago. Let me quickly add that while growing up with him was challenging at times, he delightfully mellowed later on into the amazing man we all knew.

Anyway, one evening at dinner, we asked Pop how his day was at work. Expecting the usual litany of complaints, we were stunned when he replied that it had been a good day at the office. Suddenly, without a word between us, my 2 brothers, my Mother and I spontaneously gave him a standing ovation.

Pop was an amazing salesman. He applied for a job selling refrigerators and while he was waiting for the interviewer to show up he sold 2 refrigerators. In the 1950s, he sold Singer sewing machines door-to-door. The man was a charmer.
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Charles August Steuber Heinle, 95, of Concord, MA passed away Monday, July 23, 2012 at Concord Health Care Center.

Steuber-Heinle FamilyCharles was born December 25th, 1916, on Tioga Street in Philadelphia, to Charles J. Heinle, a pharmaceutical chemist and inventor, and Elisabeth Steuber Heinle, a nurse. He was the second of four siblings, including his sisters Margaretta and Katherine and his brother, Bob, all now deceased. He grew up on Cheltenham Avenue in Crescentville (Philadelphia), an active child who excelled in music (piano, clarinet, organ, and voice). Family summers were spent in Atlantic City with his maternal grandparents, creating some of Charles’s fondest memories of his childhood.

Following the untimely death of their beloved wife and mother in 1933, Charles’ father married Beulah (Betty) Bieber and the family was joined by Charles’ remaining surviving brother, Edward Heinle.

Charles Heinle in opera MarthaCharles attended Olney High School where he performed in his first opera, Martha. He graduated in 1934, and later studied English at Temple University. After graduation Charles pursued an operatic career, studying in NY under the renowned vocal coach Giuseppe Boghetti (who also coached Jan Pierce, Helen Traubel, and Marion Anderson). He had a Carnegie Hall debut. Although he subsequently went on to other pursuits, he remained devoted to opera throughout his life. And he and his sons did a wicked barbershop quartet.

At various times in his life, Charles held a series of varied and colorful jobs, including working for his father marketing and distributing Heinle’s Root Beer (later sold to Hires), selling Singer Sewing Machines door-to-door, owning and operating the Pyramid Coffee and Tea Shop, running a leased department in Gimbels distributing Elna Sewing Machines, serving as a legal and accounting clerk for the Girard Trust, and working as a researcher for novelist Irving Stone in California.

Charles married Ruth Leight in 1938. He is survived by all four children of that marriage: He is survived by all four children of that marriage and their spouses: Dolores Louise Beatty and Albert Beatty; Charles Henry Heinle and Anne Marie Phillips; John David Heinle and Marion Ferry; and Raymond J. Heinle, as well as 10 grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren.
Charles Heinle with children and grandchildren
He published his first book of poetry, Bridges, in 1937. That was followed by On Shifting Sands in 1941.

Charles Heinle Armed Forces Radio ServiceWhen Word War II started, Charles was at first adamant about his ideals as a pacifist, and even though he had a family, was over the draft age, and had not been called up for service, he followed the courage of his convictions and volunteered in order to declare himself as a Conscientious Objector. He spent several months in the CO camp in Mancus, Colorado. However, after consideration and analysis, he realized that the only right course of action for him to take would be to directly combat the atrocities of the Axis. So, with a different courage but equal conviction, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps (Fifth Fighter Command, Pacific). He was stationed in Fukuoka, Japan, from 1945-6. He was especially proud of having created and operated the Armed Forces Radio Station WLKI, in Fukuoka. It was one of the times of his life that shaped and influenced him significantly.

After the war, his deep love of literature naturally drew him to a career in publishing, which spanned five decades. He started as the Sales and Advertising Manager at the John C. Winston Book Company in Philadelphia. From 1947-54, he was the Advertising and Direct Mail Manager for Trade and Medical at J. B Lippincott Publishing Company. In 1955 he joined Chilton Book Company where he created Chilton’s Trade Department, and purchased Greenburg Press. As the General Manager and Editor-in-Chief, he oversaw the Automobile Repair Manuals, the Theatre World Annual, and the Frontiers of Knowledge Series. He first published Frank Herbert’s ground-breaking science fiction novel, Dune. Charles’ personal library, quite literally, was large enough to sink a house! He particularly loved the works of H.L. Mencken, Mark Twain, and Henry David Thoreau, along with historical biographies, esp. Lincoln, Cromwell, Napoleon, Washington, and Jefferson.

Charles HeinleIn 1962, he started Chilton’s Educational Division, The Center for Curriculum Development (CCD). As the President of the CCD, he became the American distributor for the materials published by the French Ministry of Culture, including Voix et Images de France. He set up workshops that were run nationally for teachers of the new audio-visual materials.

Charles’ interest in foreign-language education led to his meeting Dr. Paul Pimsleur in 1966. This was to be an event that had a most profound effect on his life. Charles immediately recognized that he had discovered a way to truly teach a language. When Dr. Pimsleur was unable to successfully market his courses, he handed them over to Charles, who spent the rest of his life devoted to building the courses from an obscure, unheard-of brand (The Tapeway Series) with four languages to one of today’s most successful language programs in over 50 languages: The Pimsleur Language Programs. Through his passion, charisma, and charm, Charles was a consummate salesman, personality traits that were nowhere more evident than in his lifelong evangelism of the benefits of the Pimsleur Method.

Charles and Beverly Heinle at Walden PondOn December 25th, 1973, at Walden Pond, Charles married Beverly D. Hoffman-Voigt, his partner in both life and business, pursuits which were inseparable for him. Beverly and their two children, Elisabeth Weir and Katherine Perry and sons-in-law, Malcolm Weir and Frank Perry, survive him.

When the CCD was sold to Rand McNally, Charles went with the language courses to Evanston, IL. But as they grew in importance to him, he re-acquired the rights to Pimsleur and started Heinle & Heinle Enterprises, Inc., in Concord.

A Thoreauvian throughout his life, Charles realized one of his life’s dreams when he moved to Concord, Massachusetts. He worked for years on a young-adult novel of Henry’s life, but it remains unfinished. For years he gave personal tours around Walden Pond. He was a President of the Friends of the Concord Public Library, and he oversaw the publication of and wrote the Charles Heinle president Friends of Concord Public LibraryAcknowledgments to the 1978 Revised Edition of Historic Concord: A Handbook of its Story and its Memorial with an Account of The Lexington Fight.

Charles also was very much a Francophile, and he brought his family with him to France for many wonderful adventures. He got into many capers with his dearest friend and business partner in Pimsleur International, Henri Didier. He was also especially fond of Briards (French sheepdogs).

Charles Heinle and Seth GershellThe Pimsleur courses were again sold, this time to International Thompson and the company was relocated to Boston as Heinle & Heinle Publishers. Charles expanded the marketing of the courses internationally and began to sell directly to the public through a leased department at the Harvard Coop: the Cassette Learning Centers. In 1982, he again reacquired the rights to Pimsleur and reestablished Heinle & Heinle Enterprises in Concord, eventually locating the company to 30 Monument Square, where it remains today. In 1997 he opened a recording studio on the premises. Having distributed the courses to bookstores for several years, in 1997 Simon & Schuster purchased the Pimsleur copyright and the Editorial Department. Charles then re-established H&H Enterprises as a Sales & Service Agency to distribute Pimsleur to markets other than bookstores. In 2004, he worked with Audiofy in their distribution of the new bookchip editions. He (semi)-retired in 2006.

Charles and Beverly Heinle walking dogsAlways a dapper, elegant gentleman, Charles was almost never dressed in anything less than a full two- or three-piece suit, regardless of the weather. He also had a fondness for hats, and could usually be spotted in his well-loved and worn “Donegal patch” walking hat or his Russian fur hat in the blustery New England winters. He loved his pets and was often seen walking one of his dogs around town. In the evenings the family’s Burmese cat (first Emery and then Ellery) would curl up in his lap.

In nearly a century of life, Charles packed more than most into his years, witnessing all the major innovations of the 20th century with his characteristic curiosity – everything from the early Model T’s (he retained his fondness for Ford throughout his life), to the first television (he saw the debut first hand at the World’s Fair in New York in 1939), to computers, the internet, and email (which he quite enjoyed, but typed rather in the style of a telegram).

Charles Heinle with daughtersCharles A. S. Heinle was a man of humor and wit, who dedicated his whole life to learning new things and educating himself. A fiercely proud, self-made man, he was a gourmet (with a particular appetite for fine wine, ripe cheeses, and any pie which would hold still long enough), a poet, and a lover of classical music and art. He was a profoundly passionate individual who lived life to the fullest, but was most singularly happy at home in his burgundy leather armchair with his family and pets around him, reading a good book.

An inveterate swearer, Charles was a fantastically creative curser, and his inventive invectives will live on in family legacy. He was also a wonderful storyteller, usually spinning those of the tall tale variety. Stubborn, irascible, and sometimes curmudgeonly, Charles was loyal to a fault, generous, and cared deeply about friends and family. He will be sorely missed by the many people who loved him.
Charles Heinle with family at Christmas
A Memorial Gathering will be held at the Concord Art Association, 37 Lexington Rd., Concord MA on Saturday, August 4th from 2:00 – 5:00 pm.

Concord’s town flag will fly at half-staff on Saturday in recognition of Mr. Heinle’s service to his country in the United States Army Air Corps.

Donations in Mr. Heinle’s memory may be made to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, 34 Washington St., Suite 200 Wellesley Hills, MA 02481.
Charles Heinle

From: Dee Funeral Home

Charles A.S. Heinle – July 23 in Concord, MA. Beloved husband of 38 years of Beverly D. (Hoffman) Heinle. Father of Dolores L. Beatty of Philadelphia, PA, Charles H. Heinle of Princeton, NJ, John D. Heinle of Santa Cruz, CA, Raymond J. Heinle of Philadelphia, PA, Elisabeth Beryl Weir of San Francisco, CA and Katherine Margaretta Perry of Melrose, MA. Brother of the late Robert V. Heinle, Katherine Lochel and Margaretta Roik. Half-brother of Edward Heinle of Rockford, IL. Also survived by 10 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

Army Air Corps veteran WWII. Graveside services in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, MA are private.

All are invited to a Memorial Gathering Saturday, August 4th from 2 to 5 pm at the Concord Art Association, 37 Lexington Rd., Concord, MA.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, 34 Washington, St., Suite 200, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481.

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In the meantime, if you’re on Facebook, head over to the Pimsleur Page to see the nice things being said about Charles and the Pimsleur Language Learning System

My father, Charles Heinle, passed away peacefully this afternoon. He had on headphones that were playing Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45, one of his very favourite pieces of music.

He was born in 1916. He had seen the world change in so many ways, and despite being an old-fashioned gentleman to his last breath, he had been unusually skilled in keeping up with that world in his vital, charismatic way.

He spent the day passing into deeper and deeper rest, listening alternatively to music, and to Kate reading the final chapters of Danny, The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl, which he had read to us as children, and which we never grew tired of hearing.

Those who loved and admired him can be assured that he passed in as much comfort as the hospice care and the love of his attentive family could make him.

Information about the memorial service will be posted here as soon as possible. Beverly, Kate, and I are now very busy dealing with the funeral home and all the other details of losing a loved one.

Please do not send flowers. We will shortly post a suggested charity in which to make donations in his name.

And that name was Charles August Steuber Heinle. A name that will be remembered variously with respect, pride, admiration, high-esteem … and deep, profound love.

Attention everyone: The nurses are now estimating that Charles has only anywhere from 48-72 hours left.

He has completely stopped eating and drinking at this point. He is on medicine to keep him comfortable.

Beverly, Kate, and I are spending as long as we can sitting by his bed, taking breaks only when we must.

We tell him we love him frequently. And we’ve been reading to him: the children’s books he read to us, growing up.

I am home now for a sleeping break. Tomorrow I will be bringing in a digital music player stuffed with his favourite classical pieces. I hope some of it can get through to him, even on a subconscious level, and bring him comfort and tranquility.

I will not update this again until he is finally resting in peace.

They say no news is good news, but in this case I’m afraid that that situation is “No good news isn’t news.”

Charles is doing distinctly worse. It is very hard on Beverly, Kate, and myself.

I don’t want to write more about it — it’s just sad, depressing, and makes you hurt in your heart.

When you think of him, wish him comfort and serenity.

TuxI thought you would all enjoy hearing this story:

Beverly was taking Tux, the dog — a Briard, of which she and Charles are both very fond, to the vet, which happens to be past the home where Charles is now located.

She thought it would be a nice idea to bring Tux in to see Dad on the way back, and asked for me to come and help out, since Tux is quite a large dog, and she had never brought him to the home before.

It was a huge success — Charles was more responsive than we have seen him in a long time. He smiled when he saw him, and actually sat up a bit and reached both hands out for him!

It was wonderful to give Dad such a moment of pure happiness at this time.

We are hoping to get another chance to bring him in to see Charles, since this was such a satisfying success, and seemed to be the only thing that really has made him so happy for a long time.

(I brought in my phone to take an image, but while we were in the moment I had my hands full trying to help Dad pet Tux, so I didn’t get a shot of it. To the right is a shot of Tux, for those who don’t know him.)

Charles continues in his current limbo. It makes for depressing reading, so only click “read more” if you really want to know the details of his decline…

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Charles is no longer able to eat solid food. He is now essentially on a liquid diet.

There is however one pleasure in his life, and it’s a funny one: when I was in Concord last (in May), I introduced Beverly to the taste-bud-pleasing joy that is a Starbucks Frappaccino. She started getting one regularly on her way into visit Charles on a daily basis, and then thought, “Why not get one for him, too?”

Well, Charles took to them like a fish to water. He particularly loves the “Strawberries and Cream.” He’ll just slurp it all up, and keep trying to get more, even when the cup is empty!

So Beverly has been bringing them in to him, and now that I am in Concord I will be partaking in this happy ritual.

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Charles continues to make a lasting impression on people even now.

An aide in the home has taken a real shine to him. She told Beverly that the other night, while praying and asking what she could do to help the people in the home in her care, God told her, “Take care of Charles.” And she said that before this, her rotation took her all around, but since then, she’s been putting him to bed every night, and taking special care of him.

We are very grateful for her and her kindness. At this time, that is the very thing that will make the most difference in his life (such as it is) — the kindness and care of the staff (who are, really, strangers, when it comes down to it). We are lucky to have found a place with such good people, where he can get the care he needs — plus, it seems, a bit of extra TLC!