By: Richard L. Smith
On the 9th day of our Black History Month tribute, RLS Media celebrates the indelible impact of Mr. Charles Whigham, a Newark native whose legacy is woven into the fabric of New Jersey's history.A proud graduate of Malcolm X. Shabazz High School and the Renouard School of Embalming in New York City, Charles Whigham embarked on a journey that would forever change the landscape of his community.
In 1946, he laid the foundation of Whigham Funeral Home, a beacon of compassion and service in Newark.
Starting from his home and later moving to its renowned current location in 1967, the funeral home became a symbol of dignity and respect, earning widespread admiration from the NJ community.
Charles's contributions extended far beyond his professional endeavors.
His leadership roles in the Essex and Union County Funeral Directors Association, civic engagements, and memberships in pivotal organizations like the Newark Boys and Girls Club, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and the NAACP underscored his commitment to uplifting his community.
Yet, it was his visionary establishment of City National Bank, the state's first minority-owned and operated national bank, that underscored his profound understanding of economic empowerment.Against all odds, Charles's foresight and determination provided a vital financial cornerstone for Newark, fostering growth and opportunity.
Charles Whigham's legacy of service, leadership, and community empowerment continued until his passing on November 7, 1993. In honor of his remarkable contributions, Newark city officials named the corner of Green Street and Broad Charles L. Whigham Square a fitting tribute to a man whose life work enriched the lives of many.
Through his enduring legacy, Charles Whigham stands as a testament to the power of vision, perseverance, and community spirit.
As we celebrate his life and achievements, let us draw inspiration from his example to continue building a brighter, more inclusive future for all.
INFORMATION & IMAGE CREDIT: Whigham Funeral Home
SPONSORS: Nino's Ristorante & Pizzeria, Bergen Street Harrison, NJ, Jorelle Green S. Green (Keller Willams Realtor), Champions Action Martial Arts (Union, NJ)