ALBANY — Dr. Charles “Chuck” Lingle was known as a man who loved and served his community.
Lingle, who served three four-year terms on the Dougherty County School Board and another two on the Dougherty County Commission, died on Thursday. He also served on the Hospital Authority of Albany-Dougherty County,
Many knew Lingle as a veterinarian who worked in his profession in Albany for 31 years.
Jeff Sinyard, former Dougherty County Commission chairman, remembered Lingle as a man of his word.
“If he told you something, you could take it to the bank,” Sinyard said. “He didn’t always tell you what you wanted to hear, but he told you what he meant.”
Over the course of 48 meetings a year over eight years together on the commission, Sinyard said he got to know Lingle well.
“He was a good friend and a true south Georgia gentleman that loved his family, loved the outdoors,” the businessman said. “There’s not enough men like him in the county, or state or country. He was built the right way. It was very sad, but he’s in a better place. He was a very special man, he really was.”
Over the years Lingle served the community in a variety of capacities, Sinyard said.
“He had a servant’s heart,” the former commission chairman said. “He always looked after the people on so many boards he was a part of.”
Joel Wernick, retired President/CEO of Phoebe Putney Health System and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, also described Lingle as a servant.
“His broad shoulders seemed to always be nearby when our community needed some heavy lifting,” Wernick said. “It was my distinct honor to know Chuck as a community leader. (He was) an avid turkey hunter, woodworker, sage advisor and, most importantly, a trusted friend. I have no doubt those who had the good fortune to have crossed paths with Chuck Lingle would agree their lives were enriched for having known him.”
As a member of the County Commission, Lingle was part of several large projects in downtown Albany, current County Commissioner Lamar Hudgins, who also served eight years with Lingle and is Dougherty County/Albany’s longest-serving elected official, said Monday. Those included parking decks and one of the county governmental buildings.
“He was very instrumental with that,” Hudgins said. “A lot went on during that time downtown.”
Lingle’s interests also included woodworking, and Hudgins remembered Lingle showing him some of his work during a visit.
“I missed him when he retired from the commission,” Hudgins said. “He invested a lot of his time and talents in this community. He was a good man. He really looked after Albany and Dougherty County.”
The organizations with which Lingle was involved included the Lower Flint-Ochlockoknee Water Planning Council. He was a member, past president and treasurer of the Dougherty County Rotary Club, and also served as treasurer and lieutenant governor of Rotary District 6900.
A native of Independence, Kan., Lingle moved to Albany in 1967 after serving as a U.S. Army chaplain and entered veterinary practice as a partner with Dr. Wilson Joiner.
Lingle was a member of Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church, where he was a former member chairman of the church’s Administrative Board.
“Chuck Lingle was as devoted a community servant as I’ve ever worked with,” said Lem Griffin, chairman of the Phoebe Putney Health System board. “He dedicated his life to improving the lives of others in Albany and Dougherty County, working especially hard to make sure people in our area had access to quality education and excellent health care. The Phoebe Family will miss him and his steadfast commitment to the health and well-being of our community.”