It is hard to believe the day has come when our close-knit Delaware community is saying good bye to Charlie Cawley. I could talk about the great organization he built or the financial contributions MBNA made to the state, but what really stands out is the man himself. He was a giant, a bigger than life presence in our community for over two decades. It was an era that many of us were fortunate to experience firsthand. Sure, his outreach went far beyond Delaware, but what an impact he had on Delaware!
Mr. Cawley’s leadership changed the landscape of the city of Wilmington. He boosted the nonprofit community through his personal philanthropy, but more importantly, he ingrained that spirit of giving back to the community in his employees. And indeed, they did give back. His leadership style created goodwill in the community that ran deep and touched the lives of many in need. He did most of his work quietly and without fanfare. It goes without saying that his contributions to Delaware were immeasurable. Mr. Cawley’s hands on approach to the community, the personal touch and watchful eye, is sorely missed by our city.
In 2000 Charles M. and Julie P. Cawley were awarded the prestigious Josiah Marvel Cup by the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce. This annual award honors a Delawarean who has made an outstanding contribution to the state, community or society. Mr. and Mrs. Cawley are the epitome of what this award represents. We all share in your loss Mrs. Cawley and send you our deepest condolences.
Everyone has a story of how Charlie Cawley touched their lives. He will be remembered fondly – a mark of a life well lived. It is only appropriate that we honor him in this season of Thanksgiving. I ask you to do something selfless today. Take a moment and think about how you can give back to the community. One act of kindness….in memory of Mr. Cawley.
James DeChene is the Chamber's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.