Dr. Charles Pressley Roberts Tisdale passed away at home in Bethany on March 17, 2021. He was preceded in death by his parents Rebecca Wright Roberts Tisdale and Thomas Sumter Tisdale of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Charles leaves behind his first wife, Ms. Josephine Rainey Evans Tisdale, with whom he shared daughters Frances Caroline Tisdale of Greensboro and Rainey Tisdale and husband Graham of Boston, Massachusetts. In addition, he leaves behind one beloved grand-child, Frances Ann Moseley of Greensboro. Charles further leaves his second wife, Dr. Laurie Elaine McCollum, of Bethany, and their children, daughter India Elaine Tisdale and son Charles “Truman” Tisdale.
Charles also leaves behind his brother, Thomas Sumter Tisdale, Jr., and wife Nina of Charleston, South Carolina, sister Natalie Tisdale Bergholz and husband Warren of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and beloved cousin, friend and confidante Elizabeth Rhodes of Sumter, South Carolina.
Charles's nephews and nieces included Sumter and Reese Tisdale, Rebecca and Peter Bergholz, Claire-Grace, Sophie, and Lucy-Eliza Lewis, Ethan and John-Everette Webster, and Ronin McCollum.
Charles’ wishes for the distribution of his ashes illustrates his wide-ranging interests and how he committed to his life’s goals. First, he requested that his ashes be dispensed in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where he was born and grew up in the company of a loving family and some lifelong friends. He also asked that a portion of his ashes be scattered at McCollum Farm, where he greatly enjoyed his walks in nature and took many photographs—some published with his poetry-- of the natural beauty he found in his surroundings. Thirdly, he desired that his ashes be distributed at the University of the South at Sewanee, where he and other Tisdale family members matriculated. Charles’ daughter India continues that tradition; like her father she is also a Phi Beta Kappa student and member of the Order of the Gown at Sewanee.
Charles also desired that his ashes be distributed at UNCG, where his 30- year teaching career included time spent as co-founder of the Residential Learning College, Chair of the Faculty Senate, and recipient of the Gladys S. Bullard Award for Service upon his retirement. He was a dedicated teacher who cared deeply about his students and promoted the focus of faculty on teaching as their first priority throughout his career. Moreover, Charles requested that his ashes be scattered at the grave site of his parents in Stateburg, South Carolina, and the family property he shares there with his siblings. Last, he requested his ashes be dispensed at the Basilica Cathedral of Saint -Denis in Paris. Charles’ love of family, nature, poetry, writing, and teaching will continue to affect many in the years to come.
Those who would like to make a memorial contribution should consider the Greensboro Opera. Charles was a great lover of opera, and a contributor himself. There will be a special category in the next playbill in January: In memory of Charles Tisdale.
Charles was greatly loved and will be deeply, deeply missed. Due to Covid-19, the service to honor Charles’s life will be scheduled at later date.