Jacques Charlton Guequierre
How do you know Jacques? Please share your stories and photos, and help spread the word about this page!
Jacques Charlton Guequierre, age 90, was cleared for departure and "flew West" January 18, 2020, from Seasons Hospice at the Christiana Hospital, Wilmington Delaware, with his daughter, Leci, by his side.
Born in 1929, in Philadelphia, he was the oldest son of Dr. Alice Charlton Guequierre and Dr. Jacques Pierre Guequierre. In addition to his parents he was pre-deceased by his two brothers, Daniel R.C. Guequierre and Dr. Evans C. Guequierre.
After growing up in Wayne, PA and attending the Haverford School, Mercersburg Academy and Radnor High School, Jacques found he loved mechanical things more than school work. His father was all too happy to sign the paperwork to allow him to enlist in the Marine Corps early following his junior year. He enlisted and served two years from 1946-48 as an auto mechanic with the Aircraft Engineering Squadron at MCAS Cherry Point, NC.
After serving in the Marine Corps, Jacques went on to enjoy a career in aviation that included working for Piasecki Helicopter and the Vertol Helicopter Division of Boeing Vertol as a technical field representative. While working for Boeing, he lived in Paris for three years. This enabled him to acquire a good command of the French language, which he enjoyed practicing when given an opportunity.
Following Boeing, Jacques owned his own helicopter charter business in the late 60s and early 70s called, Main Line Helicopters. He is fondly remembered by many for giving rides at birthday parties and flying Santa to various shopping center appearances, as well as helping various local law enforcement agencies before they had their own helicopters.
The need for an easier way to move his two helicopters into the hangar sparked him to invent his trademarked "Helicopter Handler" dollies (landing platforms for skid-type helicopters). The business grew over the years as he made many modifications and improvements. Though he sold the business when he turned 84, it is still going strong today with "Helicopter Handler" dollies being used by various branches of law enforcement, the military, corporations and individual helicopter owners all over the world.
Jacques' love of mechanical things, especially helicopters and cars, followed him all his life. He traded a Lincoln for his first airplane, a BT 13, that he had yet to learn to fly. During his check ride in that airplane, the cotter pin came out of the instructor's control stick, leaving the instructor waving the stick around in the air saying "Get this thing on the ground." Jacques did, and passed his check ride. He owned numerous transportation modalities over the years including Indian motorcycles, TEN Oldsmobile Vista Cruisers, Volkswagen Beetles, various boats including a Chris Craft, a Bell Jet Ranger, and a Bell 47 helicopter that he used to fly himself and Marina away from their wedding reception.
Jacques' fifteen minutes of fame came in 1953 when he was chosen to be a stunt skier in the Esther Williams movie "Easy to Love," which was filmed at Cypress Gardens in Florida where he was working as a water skiing instructor.
Over the years, Jacques lived in Chadds Ford, PA, Wilmington, DE and Newark, DE. In July 2017, he chose to move to Maris Grove retirement community in Glen Mills, PA. Since arriving there, he made many new friends and acquaintances. He truly enjoyed this new community of caring friendships like a second family.
Jacques was a Master Mason in good standing for over sixty-eight years with the University Lodge No. 51 in Philadelphia, PA, and a 32 nd Degree member of the Scottish Rite. He was also a member of the Nur Shrine in Wilmington, DE. As an avid aviator, he held dear his nearly fifty- year membership with the Keystone and then Wilmington hangar of the "Quiet Birdmen." He was also a member of the Twirly Birds (a club for twenty-plus -year helicopter pilots) for over thirty years. Additionally, he was among the founding members of The American Helicopter Museum in West Chester, PA.
Jacques' dedication to his family was matched only by his dedication to driving and maintaining his independence. He made many trips to IL in the eleven years Leci, Bill and Jack lived there; even helping to trailer stuff to NH when they moved in 2015. In recent years he could be seen driving between DE and NH to visit them. His last solo road trip was in September to help Leci recover from knee surgery. Jacques was able to maintain his independence to the end; even driving himself the hospital.
Jacques leaves behind, his wife, Marina Kaiser, of Delray Beach, FL; their daughter, Leci McCrillis, her husband Bill, and their son, Jacques, all of Hopkinton, NH; and an empty bar stool at Feby's Restaurant on Sunday nights.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to the doctors and nurses at Christiana Hospital, especially the 6C Stroke Unit for their wonderful care and attention, and the Seasons Hospice staff.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday May 9, 2020, at 11:00 am, Christ Church Christiana Hundred, 505 Buck Rd, Wilmington DE. Burial will be private.
Memorial donations may be made to: Shriners Hospital for Children, The American Helicopter Museum, (West Chester, PA) or a charity of one's choice.
For online condolences, please visit www.chandlerfuneralhome.com
Friends & Family
Looks like something went wrong.
Reload the page and try again.