Charles H. Block, 88, of St. Petersburg, Fla., passed away Monday, Nov. 15, 2010 at his home in North Redington Beach, Fla. 

Born May 27, 1922 in Gibson County east of Fort Branch, he was the son of Henry and Amelia (Nenneker) Block.

He received his elementary and high school education in Fort Branch, graduating in the class of 1940, and his college education at Indiana University, Purdue University and the American Institute of Banking.

During WWII, he served in the Adjutant General’s Dept. with 30 months of overseas duty in Northern Ireland, England, France and Belgium.

He began his 50 plus-year-banking career with the First National Bank and Trust Co. in Crawfordsville. In 1955, he and his family moved to Palm Beach County, Fla. where he served as executive vice president of First Marine Bank in Riviera Beach.  In 1965, Mr. Block and his family moved to St. Petersburg, Fla. where he served as the president, CEO and a director of the Bank of Seminole.  In the late 1960s, he began organizing state charted commercial banks in Pinellas, Pasco and Manatee counties in Florida.

In the mid 1970’s, Community Banks of Florida was formed with Charles Block as president and CEO.  Eventually, Community Banks would grow to have 24 banking offices in three counties in Florida.  In 1981, Mr. Block, as president and CEO, led the negotiating team for the sale of the Bank Holding Co. of Community Banks of Florida to Southeast Banking Corp. of Miami, Fla.  Mr. Block and his associates then formed Community Bank of Bradenton, Fla. where he maintained the position of chairman.  In 1985, Mr. Block joined with several businessmen in chartering Marine Bank in St Petersburg, Fla.  This successfully operated bank was sold in 1998 to South Trust Corp. 

Mr. Block served on many boards of directors and committees during his banking career including, chairmanship of the Commercial, Real Estate and Investment Committees of the Florida Bankers Association, president and director of the Seminole, Florida Chamber of Commerce, president and director of the Kiwanis Club of Seminole, Fla., co-founder of the Upper Pinellas County Florida Bankers Council, member of the Advisory Council on Banking for the Comptroller of the Florida State Banking Dept., member of the Bond Investment Review Committee of Pinellas County, Fla., certified instructor for the American Institute of Banking in the fields of bank investments and banking law and director of COX Lumber Co. until he was 82. 

He was also a member of the St Petersburg, Fla. Suncoasters, Seminole, Fla. Tuesday Club, Over the Hill Gang, St Petersburg, Florida Yacht Club, Committee of 100 of Pinellas County, Fla., as well as charter member of the Seminole High Twelve Club, a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge, a lifetime member of the American Legion Post  273, Madeira Beach, Fla. and a lifetime member of the Seminole, Fla. VFW Post 9272. 

As a dedicated Kiwanian, he received the Jesse W. Johnson Distinguished Fellow Award, the George F. Hixon Fellow Kiwanian Award. He was named an honorary Lifetime Distinguished Kiwanian.  For many years, he was a trustee of the Seminole, Fla. Kiwanis Foundation.  He was also named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary International Foundation. In 1994 he was chosen to represent the community of Seminole, Fla. .as “Mr. Seminole.”

Mr. Block was an active member of the Seminole, Fla. United Methodist Church since 1965.  He served in many church offices including chairmanship of the Financial Committee, Chairmanship of the Church Maintenance Foundation and investment advisor of the Church Cemetery Foundation.

In 1946, he married Rose Jean Spencer of Crawfordsville. They have two children, Shirley and Roger. 

Charles and Jean traveled extensively around the world, visiting all seven continents and more than 100 countries.  Charles was most proud of their two trips when they took their entire family, including five grandchildren, to see some of their favorite places in the world.  In 1987, the family went to England, Egypt, and on safari to Kenya and Tanzania and in 1991 the family flew around the world and visited France, India, Nepal, Thailand, China, Japan and Korea

Charles’ loving wife, Jean, passed away in August of this year after 64 years of marriage. 

Survivors include a daughter, Shirley Gould (Ken) of Clearwater, Fla.; a son, Roger Block (Lori), of Eden Prairie, Minn.; a sister, Mary Ann Schuessler (Art), of Kentucky; five grandchildren, Chad Gould (Crystal) of Largo, Fla., Ryan Gould (Claudia) of New York City, N.Y., Jennifer Lisek (Chris) of Clearwater, Fla., Jason Block (Jill) of Carver, Minn., Jamey Kline (Nick) of Wesley Chapel, Fla.; and eight great-grandchildren, Isabella, Rebecca and Brianne Block, Olivia Kline, Spencer and Matthew Lisek and Ruby and Charlie Gould. We all love you and you will be missed.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010 at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ east of Fort Branch.   Burial will be at the church cemetery where his grandparents, parents and many relatives are buried. 

Friends and relatives may call on 6-8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29, from 6 at Stodghill Funeral Home, on Ind. 168 West in Fort Branch.