Eight Bells: Charlotte Barringer

Published on August 18th, 2020

Charlotte Barringer

Charlotte Riker Perry Barringer, 94, passed away in her sleep August 15 at Essex Meadows in Essex, CT.

Born in New York City in 1925, ‘Sharlie’ spent her childhood years in Greenwich, CT where she attended Greenwich Academy and The Ethel Walkers School. Her family then moved to Southport where she enjoyed being surrounded by large numbers of Riker and Perry relatives.

She grew up across the street from the Pequot Yacht Club, and while her parents were not sailors, her sailing interest led her dad to buy Atlantic #6, Carolina, for her at the age of 14. Racing in the fleet, which included Fred Bedford, “Swing” Starring, Briggs Cunningham, Joe Bullard and, a little bit later, John Hersey.

Her sailing education would lead to victories in the Adams Cup and then the 1944 Atlantic Class Championships when she was 18 years old, and still to this day the only woman to have son the class title. For a 2010 interview, click here.

Sharlie met her husband Rufus at party following a regatta in Cold Spring Harbor, in the home of Mrs. Willis Wood on Lloyd Neck, Long Island. They were married in Southport, CT and raised their family in Cold Spring Harbor. She ran the junior sailing program at Cold Spring Harbor Beach Club for several years where she inspired a love of sailing in her children and other kids that is still strong today.

She wanted to be remembered mostly for her participation in groups that cared for people in need. She served on the boards of the Farmington Valley and Middletown Visiting Nurse Associations, Middletown Home Health Services, Inc. and was active in the hospice program in Branford, CT and Middlesex Hospital. She summed this up by calling herself the “Soup Lady” who loved giving comfort where she could.

She was predeceased by her parents Charlotte Riker and Hoyt Ogden Perry of Southport, her brother Hoyt O Perry, husband Rufus, and son Perry R Barringer. She is survived by daughter Susan, sons Paul and Hoyt, daughter-in-laws Nancy and Tonia Barringer, and grandchildren Sam, Perry, August, Lucy, and Cecelia Barringer.

A gathering to celebrate her life will be held at a later date. If so inclined, her family asks that donation be made in her memory to:

St. John’s Episcopal Church
3 Cross Streeet
Essex, CT 06426

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