1932 - 2022

Charles Warren Rathbun, a clarinetist, saxophonist, and singer, was an active performer, music teacher, and school administrator for most of his life.

He was born on December 10, 1922, and raised in West Medford, Massachusetts, the older of two sons of Paul Malcom and Edna Alice Milliken Rathbone. From his earliest years he was fascinated by music and became a singer and accomplished player on clarinet and saxophone.

After graduating from high school, he attended Boston University, worked briefly for an insurance company, and then trained as a physical therapist in the New England Sanitarium in Stoneham, MA.  While at NES, he and his future wife, Eleanor Marie Daniels from Medford, MA, became members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  He trained for two years at Fort Devens, MA, as an Army Medical Trainer during the Korean War, and then served for four years in the U.S. Army Reserve.

He attended Atlantic Union College where he served as concertmaster of the college band and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and history in 1959. For the next sixteen years He worked as a teacher and high school administrator in SDA schools in California, Connecticut, New York, Virginia, and Massachusetts.  

In addition to serving as band and choir director, he taught in several areas, including music, Bible, and history. His dedication to his students and inspiration as a teacher were referenced as a significant factor in later years by persons who led successful careers in many areas.

Charles enjoyed being with his family and church friends and attending camp meeting and reading his Bible, as well as books about music and history, particularly the American Revolution. He loved classical orchestra music and Big Band music from the 1930s.

The Rathbuns had six children: David, John, Paul, Mark, Martha (Peddle), and Mary (DeSantis). Eleanor preceded him in death in 2020 after 64 years of marriage. Both parents and his younger brother, Reverend Robert Paul Rathbun of Lowell, MA, also predeceased him. He was survived by his children and their families. Charles was living in Woburn, MA, when he died on May 11, 2022, at age 89.


Sources: online biography: personal knowledge