Charles Andrew "Chuck" Black, who led a multi-year effort to get the U.S. Navy to name a ship the USS FORT LAUDERDALE (LPD 28), passed away Monday, July 11. He was 63. Mr. Black served a distinguished career in the Unites States Navy for 20 years. He was involved in putting on the annual Fleet Week activities at Port Everglades and was active in the Navy League Fort Lauderdale Council. He served on the Navy League's national board of directors, as well. The Navy announced in March it would name an amphibious transportation dock vessel for the city that Black took to heart since moving here in 2003. Chuck was recently named the city's 2016 Citizen of the Year. Chuck was born in Spartanburg, SC and for a time called Melbourne, FL home. He retired as a Senior Chief Petty Officer (SCPO). Chuck served on 5 different types of ships during his naval career and moved to many great beach destinations, as well as Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. He finished his Naval career at the Navy Annex in Washington, DC. After retiring from the Navy, Chuck worked as a yacht broker in Annapolis, MD for 10 years selling blue water cruising sailboats. During that time, he also had his own acting company, Funautics. As a character actor, stilt walker, fire eater, and a clown, Chuck performed in the DC/Annapolis/Baltimore triangle. He performed twice at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, as well as several times in New York City. During his acting career, he developed clown characters, “Repo Zest” and “Back Creek Billy.” For several years, Back Creek Billy cheered on the Annapolis/Eastport “Tug of War” teams. Billy always cheered for the Eastport teams like “the sailors of Eastport” versus “the power boaters of Annapolis.” In 2003, Chuck moved to Fort Lauderdale with his wife and business partner, Lynn Elsasser. Together, they owned and operated Image360 – Fort Lauderdale (formerly Signs By Tomorrow) in FATVillage. Signs By Tomorrow – Fort Lauderdale was named Small Business of the year by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber in 2008 and Image360 Fort Lauderdale was named Small Business of the Year in 2014. The same year, Chuck Black was named Small Business Person of the Year. Image360 – Fort Lauderdale continues to operate under the leadership of Lynn Elsasser and the talented and skilled Image360 team. Chuck graduated from the University of Maryland, University College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in College Park, MD and the National Conservatory of the Dramatic Arts in Washington, DC with a diploma in acting. Chuck chaired the commissioning of the USS JASON DUNHAM (DDG109) in 2010 and the USCGC RICHARD ETHERIDGE (WPC 1102) in 2012. He served on multiple boards including the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale, the Marine Advisory Board, Lake Ridge Civic Association and the Council of Civic Associations. As part of the USS JASON DUNHAM Commissioning, Chuck commissioned a commemorative tribute coin for the crew, the volunteers, and the commissioning donors. After that commissioning, Chuck became the co-founder of America Remembers Our Heroes (AROH), an organization to honor the Fallen. AROH’s Mission is “To ensure the active memory of those members of our Armed Forces who have given their lives for our Freedom through the issuance of Personalized Tribute Coins in their Honor.” A 6-year passionate pursuit ensued, along with the co-founders, to raise funds for the tribute coin launch. Chuck was “busting at the seams” excited to know that, in June 2016, AROH reached an agreement to join forces with the Travis Manion Foundation. Under the operational leadership of the Travis Manion Foundation, the tribute coin launch will roll out beginning in April 2017. Chuck is survived by his wife: Lynn Elsasser; son & daughter-in-law: Jonathan & Chan Black; sisters: Gail Bowick and Lisa Belcher; grandson: Andrew Black. He is also survived by his Golden Retriever, Bonnie and Maine Coon cat Lord Nelson. In addition, Chuck is survived by sisters-in-law: Demi Elsasser Wheeler, Maryann Elsasser Miller, Bea Dekker Elsasser and brother’s-in-law: George F. Elsasser, Scott Wheeler and Mike Miller and nieces: Jessica Wheeler Richardson, Kyra Elsasser, and Devon Elsasser and nephew: Jeffrey O’Kane Wheeler. A “Celebration of Life” Service will be held: Saturday July 30, 2016 at 10:30 am The Sanctuary Church 1400 N Federal Highway Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to your favorite charity, or to one of the two funds listed below: The USS FORT LAUDERDALE (LPD28) Commissioning Fund Check payable to: NLUS – Fort Lauderdale Council Memo line: USS FORT LAUDERDALE Commissioning Fund (memory of Chuck Black) Mail to: Lynn Elsasser c/o NLUS – Fort Lauderdale Council* 1007 N Federal Highway, #321 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 America Remembers Our Heroes (AROH) Checks payable to: Travis Manion Foundation Memo line: AROH (memory of Chuck Black) Mail to: Travis Manion Foundation* 164 E State Street Doylestown, PA 18901 *NLUS – Fort Lauderdale Council and Travis Manion Foundation are 501(c)(3) organizations.