January 28, 2021
Editor’s Note: Funeral arrangements are scheduled for former Mayor of the City of Fernandina Beach Charles Albert. Visitation will be held at Prince Chapel A.M.E located at 95189 Hendricks Road in Fernandina Beach beginning at 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 29. Albert’s funeral will be held at the First Baptist Church in Fernandina located at 1600 South 8th Street on Saturday, January 30 at 12:00 p.m. Funerals by T. S. Warden are in charge of arrangements.
The Honorable Charles L. Albert, Jr.
June 29, 1932 – January 24, 2021
Rest in the presence of the Lord.
The Honorable Charles L. Albert, Jr. was born in Nassauville, Florida on June 29th, 1932 to his parents, Charles Albert Sr. and Pearl Blue Albert. He confessed Christ at an early age uniting with Prince Chapel AME Church. He attained his early education in a one room school and then attended Peck High School and later went on to receive a BS degree in Biology from Florida A&M University. Further courses beyond his degree included Organic Chemistry from Tuskegee Institute, CBA Chemistry from College of St. Teresa, and Biological Science from Wake Forest University. He also attended Edward Waters College, Institute of Marine Science and University of North Florida. While in the armed forces, he fought in the North Korean War, Veteran Graves. As a civilian, Mayor Albert taught Science and Chemistry for 35 years before retiring from the Nassau County School District. On June 7, 1958 Mayor Albert married his 6th grade sweetheart, Ernie Tyson Albert. From this union was born two sons and one daughter.
In 1978, Mayor Albert was elected to the Fernandina Beach City Commission. In 1981, he became the city’s first and only African American mayor to date, rendering a total of 18 years with the City of Fernandina Beach. Seeing kids from the community active in a positive light was his pride and joy- this led to him organizing the Elm Street Little League of which he was also an avid coach. The field at the Elm Street Recreation Center was later named in his honor. Mr. Albert served on the Governor’s task force for the reorganization of H.R.S., Take Stock in Children, Keep Nassau Beautiful, Rotary Club- Honorary Member since 1995, Juvenile Delinquent Council, Police Athletic League (PAL), NAACP, American Beach Homeowner Association. Board of Directors for the Nassau County Volunteer Center, Council of Aging, Chamber of Commerce, President of Nassau County Teachers Association (1973-1977), Paula Hawkins Commission of Education (1977-1978), President of NCCDC, President of Elm Street Little League, Teacher of the Year (1981), Who’s Who Among America’s Educators, Special Olympics, and most importantly, Father of the Year.
The Honorable Charles L. Albert, Jr. departed this life on Sunday, January 24, 2021 and was preceded in death by his Father, Charles Albert, Sr., Mother, Pearl Albert and Brothers, Robert (Maudine) and Prince Albert (Vinesse). He leaves to mourn his death- his wife of over 62 years, Ernie Albert; two sons: Reginald (Felecia) Albert and Rashad (Tisha) Albert; one daughter: Regina Albert; six grandchildren: Patreace, Brittney, Taylon, Malcom, Alexus, and Dillon; two great-grandchildren: Kamden and Karter; one Godchild: Marsha Grant; brothers: Eugene Albert and Spencer Albert; sisters: Helen Albert and Leola Chaney; close extended family: Eugene and Marion Grant (Michelle and Marsha). A host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, students, and sorrowing friends.
Tributes: Although many tributes have been made in honor of Charles Albert, we have selected a small sampling to share.
A tremendously sad day for our community. Charles Albert was devoted to calm, thoughtful leadership and demonstrated genuine respect for the opinions of others even if those opinions dramatically differed from his own. I was always thrilled when we would run into each other and he would ask me how things were going in the schools. He spent his life in service to others whether it was in a classroom or as an elected official. His gentle demeanor could not mask his determination to influence others to take the high road and to understand that compromise will get you farther than digging your heels in on any controversial issue. Today’s politicians would do well to follow in his footsteps and learn the art of compromise.
Retired Teacher and Fellow Commissioner
I was saddened by the news of the death of Charles Albert, a long-time friend and former colleague. Charles and I were first elected to the commission in 1978 and served together for fifteen years. I will always remember Charles as one of the kindest, most gracious people I have ever known, a man with a wonderful sense of humor; a true statesman. Also, he has to be remembered by his former students as a beloved teacher and mentor who loved teaching, the classroom, but particularly the students. Mayor Charles Albert will be missed in so many ways, but I will always miss his great smile and our long conversations about “the good old days.”
Joshua Brett Blalock
Growing up years (Compiled from a portion of an Amelia Island Museum Oral History)
Charles Albert, former mayor of the city of Fernandina Beach, was born in Nassauville, Florida a small community over the Shave Bridge and just off of SR 200. His grandfather, Prince Albert came to Nassauville having grown up on Crane Island. The former mayor, was the son of a farmer, Charles Albert, Sr., and a mother Pearl Albert, who stressed to her children, the importance of education. With help from his son Charles Jr, his father planted crops, raised hogs, milked cows, and cut marsh grass to feed the horses. When Rayonier opened in 1937, his father got a job in the segregated mill as a laborer.
Charles Jr., along with 10 – 12 African American’s attended school in a one-room Nassauville schoolhouse until 5th grade. He then attended Peck School in Fernandina. The students were on their own for transportation. For students who could afford it, they rode the McJunkin bus which traveled back and forth from Fernandina to Jacksonville. At times, students picked up rides on the log trucks that were headed to the mills. Albert recognized his dedicated teacher who on occasion, was offered a ride to town, but she often walked a long distance to teach.