An Ovation for Charlie

Charles Kaman

If ever a man deserved an ovation for a life well lived, Charlie Kaman would stand front and center.

He lived a long life…91 years, when he died Monday at his home in Bloomfield.

But my oh my, what he did with those 91 years.

He started Kaman Aircraft with in his mother’s garage in 1945, with $2,000 he got from a couple of buddies.

Kaman HOK from 1950s

In 1960, he and his wife Robbie established the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, which has bred and trained thousands of dogs who give “eyes” to the blind.

And in 1966, he founded Ovation Instruments, which produced a guitar worthy of the talents of John Lennon, Jimmy Page, Glen Campbell, and dozens of other stars.

Any one of these accomplishments would have defined a lifetime. 

What a life it was.

———

Update:  And speaking of Ovation Instruments, check out this bizarre weather-related story.

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About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
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8 Responses to An Ovation for Charlie

  1. anne says:

    Oh wow, i had no idea that he started the Fidelco Guide Dog Organization. Interestingly, i have a cleaning customer who used did the Fidelco Guide Dog training and she was very great with each dog she had in her home.

  2. Steve says:

    I had the pleasure of interacting with him several times while with Bloomfield PD over the years both in aviation and guide dog activities. What a great gracious and interesting man. He will be missed.

  3. Kevin says:

    good stuff Gerry, what an interesting resume ,didn’t know much about the man, but use to fish a pool that is about a stones throw behind his guitar factory.

  4. Thanks for sharing this Gerry. My husband and his first wife fostered 3 German shepherd puppies for Fidelco and got to know Charlie and Robbie. What amazing people they both were. They will be sorely missed.

  5. Charlene Picard says:

    Mr. K was a huge success as a businessman and a humanitarian. I am honored to have met him on many occasions at Fidelco. He was larger than life. The world could use a few more like him.

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