Charles Roden

All Services are Private

Obituary of Charles Edward Roden

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Charles Edward Roden, 92, of Freehold, NJ, passed away on Saturday February 17, 2024. Charles was a long-time resident of Colts Neck, NJ. He was born in Cambridge, MA on July 7, 1931, and graduated from Somerville High School in 1949. He spent his summers in Cape Cod, where he learned to sail and first learned of the opportunities that the Massachusetts Maritime Academy could offer. He graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 1952 with a BS degree in Seamanship and Navigation. Charles served in the Merchant Marines from 1952-1954 and as an officer in the US Navy until 1956.

 He was the recipient of the National Defense Service Ribbon and the Occupation Service Medal (European Clasp) for service during the Korean War. He graduated from MIT in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. In 1962, Charles earned a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from NYU. He began his career at Bell Laboratories in 1959, a career that would span 29 years until his retirement in 1988. He is the author of several books on Submarine Cable Mechanics and Recommended Laying Procedures. He also holds several design patents for his work on the Transatlantic cable. His love of the water was evident in his career as well as his personal life. He was an avid sailor. Charles was a member of the Monmouth Boat Club and spent most weekends racing his boats. Sailing was a family affair; everyone took their turn as a crew member because it made him happy, and they knew it would end with a stop at Dairy Queen. Later in life, Charles’ creative side began to emerge. He studied art, began painting, and building boats. One of his passions was building radio-controlled model boats.

Charles became a member of the Marbleheaders of Spring Lake (NJ) Radio Control Model Yacht Club, building and racing vintage model yachts. Charles was instrumental in setting up a mentoring program for model sailboat building for middle and high school students through the Court Street School Education Community Center. Charles was a devoted member of the Colts Neck Reformed Church where he served as a deacon and elder. He was treasurer of the Freehold Area Habit for Humanity focusing much of his time on fundraising. During his tenure, he oversaw the building of several homes in the Freehold Area. Burial services will be private.

Charles was predeceased by Dorothy, his wife of 64 years, his parents William and Ethel Roden, sister Barbara Crosby and her husband Walter, brother William Roden and his wife Rita, daughter-in-law Teresa Holden, and grandson Kelly Patrick Roden. He is survived by his children Kenneth, Janet (Joseph Witcofsky), Barbara (David Sowell), and Susan (Herbert Clarke). He was a proud Grampa to nine grandchildren and two great-granddaughters. He was a loving uncle to many nieces and nephews.

Burial services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Charles’ name to: Colts Neck Reformed Church (checks payable to Colts Neck Reformed Church) 139 Route 537 PO Box 57 Colts Neck, NJ 07722. To leave a condolence, visit

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