Obituaries

Charles Laurence Strum, 73, of Weybridge

CHARLES LAURENCE STRUM

WEYBRIDGE — Charles Laurence Strum, 73, passed away peacefully at Helen Porter Nursing Home in Middlebury, Vt., on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. The cause was glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. Chuck, as he was known, was born in Manhattan on Jan. 28, 1948, the only child of Emmanuel and Dorothy (Doloboff) Strum. He grew up primarily in Teaneck, N.J., and spent the first 15 summers of his life on Lake St. Catherine in Poultney, during which time he grew to love Vermont. Chuck attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., majoring in History, where he met and married Rebecca Ware, the day after they graduated on May 25, 1970.
Chuck then began what would be an illustrious 40-plus year career in journalism that started at The Hudson Dispatch in Union City, N.J., and after stops at a few other smaller papers led him to The New York Times in 1979, where he would take on many roles and eventually finish his career as Associate Managing Editor, retiring in 2014, but continuing to work as an editor for the Marshall Project, the nonprofit journalism site that covers criminal justice.
Though his work was always a priority and the topic of long-winded dinner table stories, Chuck was also a lover of tennis in his younger years and music throughout his life. He played and studied the clarinet, most recently taking lessons at the Middlebury Community Music Center.
As evidenced by the outpouring of messages and calls as he entered hospice and the Twitter storm from journalists across the globe upon his death, Chuck meant a great deal to so many both personally and professionally. He was one of the best editors at one of the finest journalism institutions in the world, but he would happily hold audience with students and friends and spent a great deal of time with a red pen on his children’s high school term papers, which it took them years to truly appreciate.
After his childhood summers in Poultney and their parental visits to Middlebury while son Alec was in attendance at the college, Chuck and Becky decided to retire to the area, and in 2016 they moved to Weybridge, where they quickly found a strong community of friends and activities. In his short time in the area, Chuck became a member of Town and Gown and served on the Board of Directors of H.O.P.E.
He is survived by his wife Becky, daughter Kate Strum, son Alec Strum (Middlebury ’08), and his beloved first and only dog, Catesby, who enjoyed visiting him at Helen Porter. Those who knew him well will remember his wit and long-windedness and will feel his absence as a supreme conversationalist and warm storyteller. His family is grateful for the support of their community in Vermont throughout the pandemic and his illness. 
A celebration of life is being planned for August in Middlebury. Donations in Chuck’s honor can be made to Middlebury Community Music Center mcmcvt.org/giving-matters.◊
PHOTO CREDIT: EARL WILSON/ NEW YORK TIMES

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