Charles W. Supik

Re­tired cus­toms in­spec­tor who was ac­tive in the Czech and Slo­vak com­mu­nity and loved mu­sic dies at age 85

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - By Jac­ques Kelly

Charles W. Supik, a re­tired chemist who be­came a cus­toms in­spec­tor and who was ac­tive in the Czech and Slo­vak com­mu­nity, died of Lewy body de­men­tia July 16 at Grand Oa­sis As­sisted Liv­ing in Tow­son. He was 85 and had resided in Guil­ford.

Born in Baltimore and raised on North Port Street at Ea­ger, he was the son of Ed­ward Supik, a po­lice of­fi­cer, and his wife Elsie Svec, a housewife.

“Both his par­ents were of Czech de­scent. He ini­tially lived with his par­ents, a brother, grand­mother, great-grand­mother, un­cle and aunt in 14-foot-wide row­house,” said his brother, Mark D. Supik.

“Even­tu­ally the house next door be­came avail­able and my par­ents bought it. They raised their six chil­dren there and Charles lived with them un­til he got mar­ried. In those days, you didn’t move ten miles away.”

He at­tended St. Wences­laus School and was a 1952 grad­u­ate of Mount Saint Joseph High School, where he was a mem­ber of its wrestling team. He earned a de­gree in chem­istry at what is now Loy­ola Univer­sity Mary­land.

He worked at Pemco Porce­lain Enamel Co. on Eastern Av­enue in Bayview and helped make dyes and pig­ments for ce­ramic coat­ings. He later joined Amer­i­can Bi­tu­muls, a di­vi­sion of Chevron Oil, mak­ing as­phalt prod­ucts.

Mr. Supik changed ca­reers in 1969 and be­came a U.S. cus­tomers in­spec­tor and worked from an of­fice at the Cus­toms House on Gay Street.

“He felt this was the best job in the world. He got to board vis­it­ing ships and meet crew mem­bers from around the world,” said his brother.

He re­tired in 1999 from the U.S. Trea­sury De­part­ment as a se­nior cus­toms in­spec­tor. Dur­ing the Balkan wars he served a 90-day tem­po­rary duty in Mace­do­nia as part of a team of U.N. sanc­tions mon­i­tors.

“His work with U.S. Cus­toms cre­ated an in­ter­est in his Czech heritage and led to his be­ing one of the founders and pres­i­dent of the Czech & Slo­vak Heritage Singers,” his brother said.

Mr. Supik was a founder and for­mer pres­i­dent of the Czech and Slo­vak Heritage As­so­ci­a­tion and the Czech and Slo­vak Heritage Singers. He was in­stru­men­tal in or­ga­niz­ing the Czech-Slo­vak Fes­ti­val for the last 34 years.

He loved mu­sic, from play­ing the bari­tone horn in the St. Wences­laus Drum and Bu­gle Corps to play­ing clar­inet in the Loy­ola Dix­ieland Band.

He sang for 30 years with the choir of the Cathe­dral of Mary Our Queen.

He also sang with the Baltimore Sym­phony Cho­rus, and the Baltimore Con­cert Artists’ “Mes­siah” group, the Johns Hop­kins Com­mu­nity Cho­rus, the Han­del Choir, Bach in Baltimore, the Herb Dim­mock Singers, the Har­ford Choral Arts So­ci­ety and the High Holy Day Choir at Beth Am Syn­a­gogue.

In 1997 he trav­eled to Wales for a con­cert tour with Cor Cym­raeg Re­hoboth, based in Delta, Penn­syl­va­nia, and sang with the group for sev­eral years.

He started vis­it­ing the Czech Re­pub­lic soon af­ter the Vel­vet Rev­o­lu­tion. He at­tended Czech lan­guage school at Charles Univer­sity in the Czech Re­pub­lic.

A fu­neral be held at 10 a.m. Satur­day at the Cathe­dral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles St., where he was a mem­ber.

In ad­di­tion to his brother, sur­vivors in­clude his wife of 31 years, Margaret Dees, a re­tired North Har­ford High School English teacher; a son, Howard Supik of Port De­posit; a daugh­ter, Carla Supik also of Port De­posit; a step­son, James H. Dees of North Carolina; two step­daugh­ters, Peggy Dees of Baltimore and Ellen Dees of Nash­ville; two other broth­ers, Paul Supik of Rock Hall and Ed­ward Supik of Hick­ory; two sis­ters, Eliz­a­beth Hale of Had­dam, Con­necti­cut and Jane Craven of Baltimore; and 13 grand­childen.

A son, Ed­ward Supik, died in 2015. His first mar­riage to He­len “Pat” Wil­liams ended in di­vorce.

Re­tired chemist Charles Supik sang with a va­ri­ety of choirs and cho­ruses.

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