Share this article

print logo

Charles W. deLaunders, 100, musician also taught Hawaiian guitar

Feb. 28, 1915 – Oct. 20, 2015

Charles W. deLaunders, a musician and radio performer who built his home by hand and helped in his family’s Newstead restaurant business, died Tuesday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, following an illness of about a week. He was 100.

Mr. deLaunders lived in Newstead for most of his life, after his parents moved there in 1920 from Buffalo, where he was born.

He attended school in Clarence.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Mr. deLaunders helped his parents run their family business in Newstead, Pierre’s Sandwich Shop, which was located on Route 5. The family later sold the business.

“He still has a menu from that restaurant,” said Carol Minnick, one of his children. “Roast beef sandwiches were 10 cents.”

During World War II, he worked for a company that manufactured machine guns.

Mr. deLaunders was a musician who taught guitar and specialized in Hawaiian music, which he performed on a radio show called “Pacific Paradise” that aired on a local station during the 1930s.

He first got to know his wife, the former Luella Hall, when she was in high school and was one of his Hawaiian guitar students.

The couple named their first daughter after a Hawaiian song. The two were married in 1941.

Mr. deLaunders also drove a school bus for about 20 years, working for districts including Clarence and Akron, as well as for a Lockport company. He also was a driver for Kreher’s egg farm in Newstead.

With his wife, Mr. deLaunders lived for many years in a log cabin in Newstead that he built beginning in the 1950s.

He loved the outdoors and nature, as well as pets and wildlife, and had birdhouses that he tended for a long time.

Besides his wife and daughter, survivors include another daughter, Leilani Winstrom; a son, Richard; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Friday in Shepard Brothers Funeral Home, 10690 Main St., Clarence.

There are no comments - be the first to comment