Charles Isaac Sheaffer, 84, died at his home in Carolina Meadows, in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Jan. 19, 2011.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Mary Ann Brewster Sheaffer, in 2006.
Charlie was born in 1926 in Acton, Ind., to the late Earl and Mary Sheaffer. He was preceded in death by his brother, Robert Sheaffer, and sister, Dorothy Fox.
Charlie was a beloved pediatrician in Chapel Hill for more than 30 years, and he was a pioneer and driving force in addressing child abuse in the state. He worked tirelessly evaluating and treating victims. After retiring as a practicing physician, he established a nonprofit organization to conduct pediatric medication-effectiveness studies.
Charlie had become known fondly as the Bird Man since moving to Carolina Meadows in 2009. He carved and painted countless birds, and his creations now adorn the entire facility.
For years, Charlie was an avid gardener, and his abundant flowers and vegetables were a joy to many. He shared his knowledge and skill with family and friends, and his gardening prowess remains evident across the state. He also loved hunting and fishing and enjoyed spending time at the Roanoke and Tar River Hunt Club.
Charlie received his medical degree and a masterâ€™s degree in botany from the University of Virginia and a bachelorâ€™s degree from Butler University in Indiana. He served on the admissions board at UNC-Chapel Hill Medical School and on the faculty for many years.
Prior to his graduate studies, he served in the Navy during World War II.
Surviving are his four children, Beverly Sheaffer of Greenville, N.C., Debbie Sheaffer and husband, Ron Earp, of West Linn, Ore., Chris Sheaffer and wife, Cindy, of Winston-Salem, N.C., and Mike Sheaffer of Asheboro; five grandchildren, Kelsey Sheaffer, Nate Earp, Logan Yarnell, Mary Earp and Dylan Sheaffer; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, 120 Wall St., 19th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10005, jdrf.org or to a charity of the donorâ€™s choice.