St Thomas developer and contractor Charles William Bushfield of 60-7 Estate Caret Bay East, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, died peacefully Monday, June 28, at home after a brief illness. He was 64 years old.
Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Mr. Bushfield, or Charlie, as he liked to be called, was the son of the late Raymond Bushfield and Mary Savile Bushfield of Calgary, Canada. He attended Airdrie High School where he was an avid hockey player graduating in 1961. He also graduated from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in 1964 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Building upon his childhood love of hockey and his own semi-pro hockey career, Charlie later owned the award winning Alberta Rose Hockey Team of the Canadian Hockey League.
In 1979, Charlie moved with his family (Carolynn, Keith and Sheri) to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, where he loved sailing throughout the Caribbean on his sailboat, “The Alberta Rose.”
Charlie was a member of the St. Thomas Gun Club and participated in various regional and International Skeet competitions representing the USVI. He also was an avid big game hunter, having traveled all over the world pursuing his passion for hunting. He hunted in such locales as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, Iceland and the Yukon.
Charlie was known for his creativity and entrepreneurial interests including Cyclone Fencing, and C. Bushfield Contracting. He developed subdivisions in both East and West Caret Bay, as well as several commercial developments in Canada. Additionally, he owned and developed many business ventures in St. Thomas including the St. Thomas Hydroponic Farm, which he created in conjunction with The World Bank Foundation and Wes Moffat, inventor of the microwave oven. He was very proud of this project because it was designed to be a template in aiding third world countries to grow food crops in drought stricken areas. In the mid-1990s, Charlie started another company, Charlie’s Pesto. This organic, homegrown, homemade pesto was grown and manufactured on St Thomas and shipped throughout the Caribbean and the Eastern United States. He was probably most well known for his chain link fencing, concrete pouring, contracting, woodworking and mechanical inclination that he used to help anyone at anytime on island.
When Charlie wasn’t on his sailboat, exploring the Caribbean, shark fishing in far too small a boat or snorkeling in front of his house, he enjoyed the simpler things in life such as woodworking. He cared deeply about the community and lent a helping hand to anyone in need. He greatly enjoyed being a member of the Rotary Club of St. Thomas II and a charter member of the Rotary Club of St. Thomas Sunrise.
Mr. Bushfield was predeceased by his parents. Surviving are his wife, Carolynn Louise Bushfield of St. Thomas; son, Keith Patrick Bushfield and his wife, Carol, of Calgary, Canada; daughter, Dr. Sheri Louise Vanino of Denver, Colorado; granddaughters: Alexis Bushfield and Reiss Bushfield of Calgary, Canada, and Isabella and Mia Vanino of Denver, Colorado; brothers: Walter Bushfield, Archibald Bushfield, both of Calgary, Canada; and sisters: Dorothy Donner of Collingwood, Ontario, Canada, Hazel O’Brien of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and Pat Harvey of Calgary, Canada.
Charlie was known by most to be adventurous, genuine, kind, hard working, generous and entrepreneurial. His presence, stories and fun loving spirit will be missed by many.
A celebration of Charlie Bushfield’s life will be held at one of his favorite island hangouts, Hull Bay Hideaway, from 2-6 p.m. on Sunday July 18. Anyone and everyone interested in celebrating Charlie’s life are welcome. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Charles Bushfield Fund, Rotary Club of St. Thomas Sunrise, Post Office Box 302757, St. Thomas,VI 00803.