Mr. Charles Gaillard

Mr. Charles Gaillard

Mr. Charles Gaillard

Mr. Charles Gaillard
November 5, 1940 – June 14, 2020

Charles Warren Gaillard Age 79, of Naples, FL, died Sunday, June 14, 2020. He was born November 5, 1940 in Louisville, KY.

Charlie lived a full and accomplished life. After graduating from Atherton High School in Louisville KY in 1958, Charlie attended Dartmouth College, graduating in 1962. He met his future wife, Jane Vanderweil of Cohasset MA, in the Hofbräuhaus in Munich while stationed in Germany as a ROTC tank platoon leader with the Army. The two married on June 24, 1967.

Upon returning to the U.S., Charlie earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1966 and began his business career with an entry level position in marketing at General Mills in Minneapolis. He held roles of increasing responsibility within the Big G cereal and other divisions until his retirement as President of General Mills more than three decades later.

Prior to his retirement, in a defining moment of his life and his career, Charlie was named chief executive of a new joint venture between General Mills and Nestle called Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW) in 1990. He started CPW with 14 employees and grew it to $1B revenue in less than four years. Charlie and Jane lived in Switzerland during those years and spent many fond weekends traveling Europe together and with family and friends.

Charlie had many personal interests and talents. As a lifelong lover of music, Charlie enjoyed playing guitar, singing, and sharing his music with his friends and family. From a raft on the Ohio river, to a 50’s rock & roll band at Dartmouth, to many gatherings of friends throughout his life, Charlie’s love of music was often a focal point and highlight of time with others.

Charlie could often be found playing his music on a sailboat. He learned to sail on Lake Minnetonka MN with Jane in their first years of marriage and as with many things in his life, Charlie progressed rapidly. From small sailboats on Lake Minnetonka he soon led dozens of overnight sailing trips on Lake Superior and the Virgin Islands with family and friends. He ultimately owned his own 46’ sailboat “Rocinante” in retirement, which brought many adventuresome and fond sailing memories for Jane and him.

Once he retired from sailing, Charlie found a new passion as a part-time cowboy while living in Santa Fe and went from signing on a sailboat to singing by a campfire. This part of the country was perfect for Charlie’s love of reading and history. He was constantly learning about local history wherever he, friends and family traveled. With his great memory, he loved to share stories and historical trivia wherever the family found itself.

After a short battle with pancreatic cancer, Charlie died at home “in paradise” in Naples FL. He is survived by his wife Jane; son Andrew Blackman Gaillard, daughter-in-law Megan, and their three sons Jack, Henry, and William; son Charles Bradford (“Rusty”) Gaillard, his partner Alexandra, and son Teddy; and sister Judith Gaillard Jones and brother-in-law Steavan. He was preceded in death by his parents, Warren Keller Gaillard and Josephine Blackman Gaillard.

Memorials may be given to Habitat for Humanity of Collier County in Charlie’s name. A memorial service for Charlie will be held on November 21, 4 pm at Trinity by the Cove in Naples FL.



June 17, 2020, 10:44 am

We were saddened to learn of Charlie’s passing.
John and Jane Doddridge

Rhett J. Robicheaux

June 17, 2020, 2:01 pm

Mrs. Gaillard:

I’m so sorry to hear of your loss our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

God bless.

Marty Everett

June 17, 2020, 11:00 pm


We were so sorry to learn of Charlie’s passing from the Hermans today. We had asked the Reidys about you and Charlie when we saw them a couple of weeks ago. You are in our thoughts.

Marty and Mike Everett

Sherry Brooks

June 18, 2020, 2:05 pm

Charlie will be extremely missed by our family. We surround you with love, Jane.
My love also to his sister Judy, whom I have known for forty years as the result of her daughter and I being friends since our Boston days….how fortuitous that my parents and you & Charlie became dear Naples friends and travel companions.
May God bring you all strength and comfort.
~ Sherry (Engelhardt) Brooks
Westlake Village, CA

John Schwab

June 20, 2020, 1:03 am

I am saddened to learn of Charlie’s passing. I worked for him at General Mills. He pushed me to be as good as I could be. Quite a guy! He will be missed. John Schwab

Susan Oppen

June 22, 2020, 4:34 pm

I just learned of Charlie’s passing and am sadden by the news. I worked for him at General Mills. He was tough but brilliant and I learned so much from him. Happy sailing Charlie!

Brad Stoll

June 29, 2020, 4:40 pm

Charlie was such a great person!! I will miss our small summer conversations.

Brad Stoll- Minnetonka Pool and Spa

Judith Jones

November 21, 2020, 9:48 pm

It was a beautiful, beautiful service. We felt we were there with you, sharing pride in Charlie’s accomplishments and huge sorrow at his loss. We were singing for him, too. Judy, Steaven, Lawry

Elva and Bob Busch

November 21, 2020, 9:50 pm

What a beautiful memorial service for Charlie today in such a lovely setting. Charlie’s sons and grandsons along with his daughter-in-law did him proud with their wonderful song at the end. A beautiful tribute to a special man and a wonderful send-off. We send all our best wishes to Jane in the days ahead.

Tom and Robin Wheeler

November 21, 2020, 9:56 pm

Dear Jane,
Having just witnessed the beautiful service for Charlie, we send you and your family love and support. We had so many wonderful times with you both and have warm memories of them. Tom will miss Charlie on the golf course and his delightful sense of humor on all things reverent and irreverent. Please know we are thinking of you and send our deepest sympathy. Love, Robin and Tom

Gail and Norm Thomson

November 21, 2020, 10:00 pm

What a perfectly beautiful service Jane. Wonderful stories of his magnificent life.
What a joy to see and hear your family. We will forever miss Charlie.
Sending much Love and Respect, Gail and Norm

Shirley Spengler

November 21, 2020, 10:01 pm

Dear Jane and family,

I loved seeing Charlie’s beautiful service. The tributes from friends and family were so touching and reminded me of his incredible zest for life and his perfect sense of humor. I know he loved hearing the amazing song done by his wonderful grandsons and sons. I am sure he was looking down with a loving smile the entire time, especially at the end; saying quietly, just as I planned it! Pitch Perfect.

With love and deepest sympathy,

Randy & Kathleen Pugh

November 21, 2020, 10:02 pm

Sail on my friend…..

Randy & Kathleen

Jane Borchers

November 21, 2020, 10:15 pm

It was a lovely service today at Trinity-on-the-Cove. In spite of Covid restrictions your family made us feel so included in honoring Charlie’s remarkable life. Rich and I will always remember him for his dry humor, intelligence, grace and love of music. May the Good Lord bless you all.

George and Susan Knaysi

November 21, 2020, 10:45 pm

Charlie’s service today captured him so well.
My wife Susan and I met the Gaillards when we both had summer homes in Maine and they wanted to join a club of which we were members. I remember asking him where they lived and he said Naples, Florida now, but we used to live in Minneapolis where I worked. I asked him if he worked at 3M. He said no, it was General Mills. I said “you are the folks who make Cheerios” and he said yes. I told him I heard they were good for you. He said “I know”. I asked him what he did for General Mills. He said he was the president. I told him that he certainly could get into our crummy little club!
Until they moved to Santa Fe for summers, we spent many hours together in York Harbor. Since then we would get together three or four times a year in Florida, where we spend winters. We played golf at RP, went out to dinner with Susan and Jane on occasion, and occasionally ate high on the hog at the Port Royal Club.
We weren’t very modern guys, but we developed a predominantly on line friendship. We communicated almost daily for many years, discussing politics, world affairs and exchanging jokes. We agreed on almost everything. When I brought up most subjects, he had read a book about it. When I didn’t know about something, he would say it was because I went to Cornell, not Dartmouth. I addition to that he would remind me that I never graduated, going to medical school after my junior year. He was brilliant, but said that Rusty and Drew were smart predominantly because Jane was smarter than he was. I think he really meant it. He sang and played guitar at his 75th birthday party. Over the years I discovered how multitalented he was. He was modest but lived large. Every day, when I email a joke to someone, I wonder how Charlie would like it.
I miss him every day.
Jane, Susan and I send love your way. We hope to see you before too long.

Jane & Philip Francoeur

November 22, 2020, 6:34 pm

Philip and I “attended” Charlie’s funeral at Trinity and were deeply moved by the service, most especially by the participation of your sons and grandsons. We remember with great fondness our trips with you and Charlie on Rocinante in Maine and in the Bahamas. Charlie will always be a memorable figure in our hearts, quick with wit, strong in his eagerness to share his knowledge, and a wonderful tour guide!
With much love, Jane and Philip Francoeur

Leave a Condolence

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *