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Charles Martel Wightman

Obituary for Charles Martel Wightman

September 13, 1927 - February 20, 2018
Owensboro, Kentucky | Age 90


Charles Martel Wightman, 90, of Owensboro, passed away Tuesday, February 20, 2018. Martel was born September 13, 1927, in Valdosta, GA to the late William Strother and Ora Martel Wightman. He graduated from Miami Edison High School, and the Atlanta Art Institute in 1951. Martel worked many jobs at various times in his life including McNeel Marble Company as an Artist and Designer, WAGA-TV as an Artist, Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph as an Artist, owner of Green River Poster Advertising, owner of Set-Rite Door Company, Manager of Firestone service station, and retired from Texas Gas Transmission Corporation. He was also a decorated Veteran in the United States Navy, and served in World War II aboard the U.S.S. Bogue – CVE 9/AIR Pacific Theatre. Martel owned a houseboat, the "Georgianne", on Kentucky Lake where he was Captain with his First Mate Anne for over 40 years.

Martel had many board memberships while serving the citizens of Owensboro, starting earlier in life with the Owensboro Arts Commission, United Way, Hydrofair, RSVP, Kentucky Easter Seal Society, Mercy Hospital Development Team, and American Academy of Achievement. He was Chairman of Owensboro Committee on Aging, and Campaign Chairman of Wendell Foster Center from 1997-1998. Martel also served as President of the Owensboro Art Guild, Levy Memorial Home, Girls Club, and Charter Member and President of Owensboro Toastmaster's Club.

Later in his storied life he was involved with memberships to Leadership of Owensboro Board, OMHS Foundation Board, Bluegrass Music Fellowship, Selective Service Board, International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians, and the Commodore of the Grand Lakes Yachting Club in 1997. Martel was also the Mayoral Appointed Chairman in 1980 of the Housing Authority of Owensboro and served as a Deacon and Elder at First Presbyterian Church. He was a former Secretary / Treasurer in 1960, President in 1980, and a Paul Harris Fellow in 1987, of the Owensboro Rotary Club.

He was a great entertainer at all times, but mostly known as "Ahab the Arab", in addition to many other roles in the world-renowned PU Band.

He was also preceded in death by his loving wife of 59 years, Anne Foust Wightman; and his brother William Strother Wightman Jr.

Those left to cherish his memory include his daughters, Edie Stewart and her husband Jerry, and Georgia Coomes and her husband Jimmy, all of Owensboro; grandchildren, Stacy Allen (Steve), Luke Castlen (Leigh Anne), Wayne Castlen (Laurie), Sally Springob (Michael), Kristen Hayden (Paul David), and Jordan Coomes (Chelsea); great grandchildren, Duke, Jack, and Clayton Allen, Lola and Vivi Castlen, Karter and Kooper Castlen, and Parker, Abbi, Will, and Jacob Hayden; a brother, Hal Wightman II (Judy); and a sister-in-law, Jane Foust Gilbert.

A funeral service will be Noon, Saturday, February 24, 2018 at Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory, with Rev. Christine Coy-Fohr officiating. Burial will follow in Rosehill Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 2 until 7pm, and Saturday after 10 at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may take the form of donations to Cliff Hagan Boys and Girls Club, Wightman Unit.

Memories and expressions of condolences may be left at

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Cliff Hagan Boys and Girls Club (Wightman Unit)
    3415 Buckland Square
    Owensboro, KY 42301

Arrangements By

Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory

900 Old Hartford Road
Owensboro, KY 42303
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