Charles Albert Oravetz

December 15, 1942January 24, 2023
Obituary of Charles Albert Oravetz
Charles “Chuck” Oravetz, known fondly by a select group as “Pop Pop,” “Chuckles,” or “Cowboy,” passed peacefully in the arms of family at home, in St. Johns, FL, on January 24, 2023, at the age of 80. He was enveloped in love at his bedside. He was born December 15, 1942, in Pittsburgh, PA. He did not have a father. He was raised by his mother Julia and beloved grandmother Bridget Kolarik. He was baptized in January 1943, at the Catholic Church of Saint Wendelin in Pittsburgh. He attended grade school at St Teresa School in Perrysville, PA, until 1950, when he moved to Sanford, FL. Thereafter he attended All Souls Parochial School until grade 10, when he went to Seminole High School. He lettered in basketball and track and held the school high jump record of 5’4.5” for a long while. He was a member of the Latin Club, Key Club, Letterman’s Club, and was Treasurer of the Projectionist Club. He aimed to go to college but could not afford it. He vied for a college basketball scholarship but was unsuccessful. Therefore, after graduating high school in May 1960, he immediately enlisted in the Air Force and served duty at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, and Wheelus Airbase in Tripoli, Libya. He was honorably discharged in May 1964 and with his newly acquired GI Bill, began attending Orlando Junior College, where he sought to become a Pharmacist. He earned his AA degree there, but more notably, met his future wife, Carol. Following on his strong Catholic faith, Chuck received honors of the Third Degree in the Knights of Columbus in October 1965. In August 1966, he transferred to the University of Florida to pursue a pharmacy degree. After three semesters, he decided (or they decided for him) that becoming a pharmacist was not for him. He then transferred to Rollins College in Winter Park, FL, but he remained a passionate GATOR fan for the rest of his life. Year 1968 came with big changes – he changed majors to Business at Rollins College, and made the best decision of his life – he married Carol in August 1968. While going to college, he worked as a regional salesman for Kraft Foods, covering the Central FL area. Kraft awarded him the J.V. Jones Gold award for his outstanding service/performance. He went on to earn his Bachelor’s in May 1971. He then took the GRE and obtained his Master’s degree in Management in May 1972. Chuck and Carol had their firstborn son, Christopher, in January 1972, while living in Casselberry, FL. Soon after graduating Rollins College, he was hired by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as a Marketing Specialist, which required a relocation to Little Rock, AR. There he began marketing fish for the Catfish Farmers of America. In May 1974, he and Carol had their second son, Casey. In early 1975, Chuck transferred to the Protected Resources Division with NMFS in St. Petersburg, FL, where he oversaw programs that helped conserve marine endangered species - sea turtles and whales. He worked his way up to Assistant Regional Administrator and served in that role for decades. He worked during a tumultuous time in marine conservation – when the use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs), which is a grid like device sewn into commercial shrimp nets to allow turtles to escape, became mandatory. The shrimping industry was furious and he bore the brunt of their frustrations at several public hearings in the 1980s and 90s. He worked in furtherance of a U.S. State Department initiative that mandated that all shrimp imported into the U.S. had to come from countries with conservation measures commensurate with the U.S. He traveled to several foreign countries to inspect their shrimp fleets to confirm their use of TEDs – Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guyana, Suriname, Brazil, Belize, Mexico, El Salvador, Thailand, Venezuela, China, etc. Non-compliance resulted in the State Department restricting shrimp imports from that country. Chuck had an exceptional career with NMFS and retired in 2001 with 32 years of total government service. He was recognized with countless honor awards for his performance and leadership. He was an active father and was always there for his family, coaching baseball and soccer, volunteering his time to the Southside Youth Soccer Association and the Lakewood High School soccer program, and keeping his boys on paths to success. He was selfless; often watching over his young grandchildren while Casey was traveling for work and his beloved daughter-in-law Tabitha was working on her doctorate degree. In his retirement, he and Carol built a waterfront home in Flagler Beach, FL, where they lived for 20 years. He enjoyed this time, making close neighborhood friends, hosting family events, gassing up the boat for tubing/wakeboarding, and doting on his three grandchildren, Caitlyn, Ethan, and Ava, who loved him very much. He traveled to see his son Chris while stationed overseas to help cheer him on in the Berlin and Amsterdam marathons. He always enjoyed Gator football, fishing off his dock, traveling with Carol and friends, and making fishing trips to the Keys with his sons and friends. He has left a void in our hearts and will be sorely missed. He knew he was loved dearly. He is survived by his wife Carol, sons Christopher and Casey (Tabitha), and grandchildren Caitlyn (18), Ethan (17), and Ava (14). He was married to Carol for over 54 years. Plans for a Catholic mass and Celebration of Life will be shared at a later date. A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at 11am at Santa Maria del Mar Catholic Church in Flagler Beach, FL. A reception will follow the funeral at Channel Side in Palm Coast, FL, from 1-4. Please reach out to Carol or Casey with questions or to confirm your attendance. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Oravetz family.

Show your support


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.