Listen to this article

URBANA — Charles Wills Haines was born April 14, 1939, to Joseph Edward and Ella Peck Haines, and passed away Dec. 25, 2019, in Urbana. He grew up in Medford, N.J., and attended Moorestown Friends School. He received an A.B. in mathematics and physics from Earlham College in Richmond, Ind., where he also played soccer and met his future wife, Carolyn Hanna Anderson. 

In 1965, he received his M.S. and Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, N.Y., and then briefly taught at RPI and Clarkson College in Potsdam, N.Y., before moving his young family to Rochester, N.Y., in 1971. Over the next 35 years, he held many positions at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), was named Fellow of the American Society of Engineering Education and published several engineering mathematics books. His varied career at RIT included positions as department head for Mechanical Engineering, associate dean of engineering, assistant provost, Mathematics Department head and chairman of the Institute Faculty Council. 

Charlie traveled frequently for work and planned trips for his family, proudly having been to every state except the Dakotas. All year, he and Carolyn looked forward to vacationing in Sanibel, Fla., in the winter, where they loved being outdoors, experiencing nature and spending time with family and friends. He was an avid tennis and racquetball player, skier and all-around sports fan. Upon retirement, he and Carolyn moved to Illinois to be closer to their grandchildren and enjoyed participating in their lives. The past few years, he lovingly cared for Carolyn as she battled Alzheimer’s disease. He was very generous with his time and talents by serving on numerous boards and volunteering throughout his lifetime. Along the way, he made friends easily, was an esteemed colleague, touched many lives and will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Carolyn Haines of Urbana; two daughters, Marie (David) Leonard of Trappe, Md., and Karen (Mark) Linder of Onarga, and their two children; two siblings, Joe (Marilyn) Haines of Traverse City, Mich., and Meg Kendall of Tully, N.Y.; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service in celebration of his life will be held Saturday, March 21, 2020, at 1 p.m. at the Urbana Champaign Friend’s Meetinghouse.

Donations may be made in his honor to Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel, FL 33957, or Urbana Champaign Friend’s Meeting, 1904 E. Main St., Urbana, IL 61802. To share a photo or memory of Charlie, please visit