Charles Edward England

Published 8:01 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Charles Edward England, 85, of Smithfield, passed away on March 21, 2020. He was born in Lee County, the son of the late Grace and Ulysess England.  Mr. England was also preceded in death by his wife, Martha Howard England. He attended St. Charles High, now Lee High School, where he played and excelled in baseball and football.  He played sports at LMU where he met Martha Howard, his wife of 52 years.  Charles was a Korean War veteran.  He graduated in 1960 from East Tennessee State where he played sports also.  His first job was at Jonesville High in Lee County, now Lee High.  He won several district championships in football, girls’ basketball and baseball. “Coach” England, a self-described “mountain boy,” moved to Isle of Wight in 1967 where he and his wife lived for the next 50 years.  “Coach” England led the first integrated football team in Isle of Wight County, when the Westside Seahawks joined with the Smithfield Packers in 1969.  He went on to become the winningest coach in Smithfield’s history, where he also served as the high school principal for 10 years.  He was an instrumental part of many young students and athletes’ lives for his entire life.  After his retirement, he enjoyed spending time in the outdoors and especially rabbit hunting with his best friend, Mike Serig and his hunting dog Buddy. He is survived by his sisters, Ann Jeter, Bobbie Garrett, Cathy Terelmes, Glenda Kline and Diana Eakens; brothers, J. B Sowders and Jerry Sowders; and many loving cousins. A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, March 25, 2 p.m. in Central Hill Baptist Church Cemetery. Online condolences may be registered at

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