Charles Samuel Macaluso of Darien and Kiawah Island, South Carolina died on Feb. 22 at the age of 77.
Affectionately known to friends and family as Mac, Charles was a selfless man of generous spirit, intellectual curiosity and often, irreverent humor.
Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, he was the son of the late Samuel and Josephine Macaluso.
A graduate of Siena College and Rutgers University, he held masters degrees in English and public administration. His doctoral studies were at SUNY Albany.
He began his career in public health in New York and New Jersey before moving into the field of mental health, serving as executive director of residential facilities in Westchester and Dutchess Counties in New York. He served on numerous state and federal mental health boards and was a former board member of the Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan.
In 1988, Mac joined his longtime friend, Dort Cameron, as a partner in The Airlie Group, an Investment Banking firm headquartered in Greenwich; thus began his long and distinguished career in corporate finance.
Renowned for his innovative leadership style, he served on numerous corporate boards and played a pivotal role in several corporations, including Global Crossing, Flag Telecom, Woodbine Acquisitions Corp. and Geo Speciality Chemicals.
At the time of his death, Charles was CEO and founding principal of Dorchester Capital Advisors, chairman of the board of Williams Industrial Services Group, a director of Landec Corporation, Pilgrims Pride Corporation and lead director of Darling Ingredients, a position he held for the past 14 of his 19 years of service to the company.
Mac was a trusted friend and advisor in both his personal and business life. He enhanced lives and careers by astutely identifying an individual’s strengths. He spread confidence and self-worth but never falsely. He was quick to point out flawed thinking, to advise against an idea or action if he believed it would create disappointment in the long run.
“Never set a person up for failure” was one of his self mandates. He was kind and considerate but he was always truthful. One of his greatest leadership strengths was his ability to recognize his own weaknesses and surrounded himself with others from whom he could learn.
Fifty-plus years of brilliant and ethical leadership is his business legacy. His oft’ heard motto, “Every day’s a holiday, every meal, a banquet,” is how he lived his life. He was an inspiration.
He is deeply mourned by his wife and partner in life, Lynn Jaynes, their children: Kelly Coles (Richard) of Harrison, New York, Jeff Macaluso (Andrea) of Ridgefield and Chris Macaluso (Irene) of Rye, New York; his six grandchildren, Isobel, Corbin and Theodore Coles, Charles “Chase” and Olivia Macaluso and Kiki Macaluso.
He is also survived by his sisters, Sandra Mueller, Geraldine Blyskal and Jacqueline Canavan of Westfield, New Jersey; his sister and brother-in-law, Heather and Robert Chipley of Charleston, South Carolina; and three nephews: Evan, Hunter and Chris Chipley of Charleston, who considered him their “other Dad.”
A private, family service was held on Saturday Feb. 27, 2021 at the Talmadge Hill Community Church in Darien. Plans are underway for a celebration of Charles’s life when COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.
His family requests that those wishing to honor Charles consider a gift in his memory to either The Trevor Zoo, Millbrook School, Millbrook, New York or Kiawah Conservancy, Kiawah Island, South Carolina.