Charles Daughtry Towers Jr., managing partner of the Rogers Towers law firm, died Thursday at the age of 91.
Known as “Charlie” to his colleagues and friends, Towers led a life of generosity, leadership and philanthropy in addition to his legal career that spanned more than 65 years.
Born in Jacksonville in 1923, he was the son of C. Daughtry Towers Sr., also a prominent attorney and civic leader.
After graduating from Robert E. Lee High School, Towers attended Princeton University before enlisting in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
He earned the Silver Star at Okinawa for rescuing wounded sailors whose vessel had been attacked by a Japanese Kamikaze pilot.
When the war ended, Towers returned to Princeton and completed his degree and then earned his J.D. from Stetson University.
He then returned to Jacksonville, where he married and raised five children and rose through the ranks of what was then Rogers, Towers and Bailey.
Under Towers’ leadership, the firm expanded from a single office in Jacksonville to eight offices in Florida. With 80 attorneys, Rogers Towers is North Florida’s largest law firm.
His colleagues recall Towers as a man who listened and always respected the opinions of others, even when he disagreed.
“Charlie insisted on letting everyone be heard,” Rogers Towers shareholder J. Kirby Chritton said in a news release from the law firm.
Towers contributed to countless civic initiatives and charitable causes. His name is found on the list of donors, members or volunteers for, among many others, the Salvation Army, United Way, North Florida Council Boy Scouts of America, Mercy Ships, Prisoners of Christ, The JAX Chamber and Rotary Club of Jacksonville.
“Just think about how many people don’t even know Charlie Towers helped them,” said Bill Scheu, Rogers Towers shareholder.
While steadfastly maintaining a desire to be anonymous in his philanthropy,
Towers received numerous awards of recognition for his work, including the Bernard V. Gregory Servant Leader Award from Volunteer Jacksonville and the chamber of commerce Distinguished Citizen Award.
Predeceased by his first wife, Louise (Devore) “Beezie” Towers, Towers is survived by his second wife, Katy (Warren); five daughters: Cathy Hardage, Jacksonville; Morley Towers, Jacksonville; Sally Ragsdale, Jacksonville; Susan Dennard, Dalton, Ga.; and Margaret Towers, Hendersonville, N.C.; 11 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and sister, Sarah Van Cleve. He also is survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and other family and friends.
A memorial service is scheduled at 11 a.m. Monday in the First Presbyterian Church at 118 E. Monroe St.