Charles's Story

CAMDEN - Charles Michael Cawley, 75, a resident of Vero Beach, FL, who also lived in Camden, ME, and Wilmington, DE, passed away November 18, 2015. Charlie was born August 15, 1940 in Beverly, MA to Charles M. Cawley, Sr. and Ruth A. (Walsh) Cawley.

A graduate of St. Benedict's Preparatory School of Newark, NJ ('58) and Georgetown University (C'62), Charlie was a music aficionado, and proud member of the Georgetown Chimes. He began his financial services career in 1963, later co-founding what would become MBNA America Bank in 1982. He and his partners pioneered affinity credit card services and built MBNA into one of the largest credit card financial institutions in the world. Charlie retired as CEO of MBNA Corporation at the end of 2003.

During his long career, Charlie served as a member of the Board of Directors of Georgetown University, receiving the John Carroll Award for service to the school. Charlie was also a Board member of St. Benedict's Prep, where he had earlier attended high school. He founded the Starfire Fund at that school, which provided many scholarships to inner-city boys and girls attending high school and college. In addition, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the George Bush Presidential Library and the University of Delaware's Board of Trustees. He was also a Board member of the American Quality Foundation, the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, DE, and an honorary member of the American Institute of Architecture.

Charlie lived his life enthusiastically, and was an avid collector of vintage automobiles and American artwork¬óhe served as a Board member of the Owl's Head Transportation Museum, The Farnsworth Art Museum, and The Wyeth Foundation. Charlie and his wife Julie also were passionate advocates for the young and the disadvantaged through their support of many educational scholarship programs and the Ministry of Caring in Wilmington, DE. They also supported Indian River Medical Center, Vero Beach, FL and PenBay Medical Center in Rockport, ME. He was a member of Holy Cross Church in Vero Beach, FL and Our Lady of Good Hope in Camden, ME.

Charlie is survived by his wife of 52 years, Julie P. (Murphy) Cawley of Vero Beach, FL and Camden, ME; his two children and their spouses, C. Michael Cawley, III, MD, his wife, Carol and children, Charlie and Emma of Atlanta, GA, Maureen C. Rhodes, her husband, Michael and children, Julia and Thomas of Wilmington, DE; his sister, Constance Devanney of Swampscott, MA, and close friends, Michael and Toni Nash and their children, Hannah, Elle and Sam of Wilmington, DE.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, November 21, 2015, at Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic Church, 7 Union Street, Camden, ME. The Cawley family will greet guests at a reception following the service at The ROC at Point Lookout, 67 Atlantic Highway, Northport, ME. A memorial service is planned for friends and family in Wilmington, Delaware, in January with the date to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, charitable donations may be made to the Sussman Hospice House, C/O PenBay Healthcare Foundation, 22 White Street, Rockland, ME 04841; Office of Advancement, St. Benedict's Preparatory School, 520 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Newark, NJ 07102; or The Ministry of Caring, 506 North Church Street, Wilmington, DE 19801-4812.

Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland. To share a memory or condolence with Mr. Cawley's family, please visit his Book of Memories at
Published in Bangor Daily News
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