Charles Duane Sopher

Published 9:52 am Friday, May 19, 2023

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Charles “Chuck” Sopher, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 14, 2023, at the age of 83. He was a resident of Cypress Glen Retirement Community in Greenville, NC.  Chuck was born in 1939 in Dahinda, IL, to Amos and Trella Sopher.  After beginning his formal schooling in a one-room schoolhouse, he graduated from Knoxville High School in 1957, and with almost no money and little encouragement, he enrolled in Western Illinois University on the day before classes started, graduating just three years later in May 1960.  He subsequently graduated with an MS Degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1963, then earned his PhD in Agronomy from North Carolina State University (NCSU) in 1969, specializing in soils, statistics, and economics.

After receiving his PhD, Chuck continued working as a professor at NCSU, teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, as well as working for the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service.  In 1976, he joined RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, moving his family to Edenton, NC for 9 years while directing research at Avoca Farms in Merry Hill, NC, before briefly transferring to the RJR office in Winston-Salem, NC in 1985.  In 1987, he and his wife moved across the country to Walnut Creek, CA, after Chuck was named the Director of Agricultural Research and Seed Operations for Del Monte USA.  He retired from Del Monte in 1996, and began the final chapter of his career, returning to North Carolina and starting C&S Agrisystems, a consulting firm specializing in food technology and safety, which he ran with his wife until her death in 2014.

Chuck traveled extensively internationally for his work, making multiple trips to China, Russia, South America, and Europe, and he loved to talk about his adventures.  He was an active member of the Methodist Church, serving in leadership positions at churches he attended in Cary, Edenton, and Washington, NC.  He enjoyed spending time at the Outer Banks with his family and was beyond proud of his four grandsons.  Even though Chuck lived in multiple regions of the US, and traveled more than he ever dreamed, at heart, he was always an Illinois farm boy, and was so proud to be a Soil Scientist.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00pm on Thursday, May 25, 2023 in Wesley Hall, at First Methodist Church Washington, officiated by the Rev. Kenneth Hall, Jr.  Burial will follow at Oakdale Cemetery.  The family will receive friends prior to the service, beginning at 1:00pm in Wesley Hall.

Dr. Sopher was predeceased by his beloved wife of 56 years, Sharron, whom he married in 1957. He is survived by his daughter, Kellie Souza, and son-in-law Michael, of Alexandria, VA, his son, Matthew Sopher of Washington, NC, as well as his grandsons, Tyler Souza, Jacob Souza, Nathan Sopher and Joseph Sopher. He is also survived by his brother, Joseph Sopher of Knoxville, IL, as well as a special cousin, Dale Sopher and wife, Estelle, also of Knoxville, as well as several other surviving cousins, nieces, and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to First Methodist Church Washington, P.O. Box 715, 304 West Second Street, Washington, NC 27889.

Services entrusted to Paul Funeral Home & Crematory of Washington. On-line condolences may be shared with the family by visiting  The family wishes to thank the staff of the Cypress Glen Memory Cottage and the Cypress Glen Skilled Nursing Facility for their care during the past several years.