Charles Aldan Ferrell, ex-Clayton mayor

Charles A. Ferrell
Charles A. Ferrell
Posted: June 30, 2014

Charles Aldan Ferrell, 72, a history teacher at Clayton High School from 1964 to 1996 who was the borough's mayor from 1984 to 1991, died of a heart attack Tuesday, June 24, at his home.

John Mitchell, who was Clayton mayor from 1996 to 1999, said Mr. Ferrell "was an inspiration to me from the day I met him."

Being teacher and mayor at the same time was not a burden, Mitchell said, because "he was quite capable to do multitasking."

Mr. Mitchell noted that Mr. Ferrell "was always cognizant of the fact that we need to do better for the folks around us."

Mr. Ferrell was a member of Borough Council in 1982 and 1983 and for a time was president of the Board of Education there.

And he was president of the Gloucester County Mayors' Association in the 1980s.

Known as Dan, Mr. Ferrell grew up in the Gloucester County borough, graduated from Clayton High School in 1960, and earned a bachelor's in political science at Franklin and Marshall College in 1964.

In both high school and college, his sister Kay Ferrell said, he was on the varsity tennis teams and, at 6-foot-7, on the varsity basketball teams.

"In high school," she said, "he was president of the student council in his senior year."

And, she said, "my memory of him when he was away at college was that he was involved in lots of activities," as well as sports.

In the late 1960s, he studied history and education at what is now Rowan University and later at Gloucester County College.

"He came to live with my mother when my father died, and he took care of her for 20 years, until she died in 1997," Kay said. He had long been divorced.

"Teaching school, running the borough, and taking care of his mom," she said. "He was one of those who apparently believed in giving back to his community."

For a time, Mr. Ferrell "coached girls' and boys' basketball at the high school. I think it was before he was mayor."

At the First Presbyterian Church of Clayton, he was at various times a Sunday school teacher, clerk of session, elder, and treasurer.

He was the current recording secretary for Clayton Historic Preservation Inc. He was serving a term ending in 2016 as a mayoral appointee to the Clayton Historic Advisory Committee.

He was a former trustee for Wilson Lake Memorial Park.

And as a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, his sister said, "he did some coaching for sports teams" when they were in slumps.

Since the late 1990s, he had been a master of Reiki, the Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation.

Besides his sister, Mr. Ferrell is survived by a nephew and two nieces. He was predeceased by a brother, Frederic, and his former wife, Marjorie.

A viewing was set from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 29, at the Barclay Funeral Home, 208 Maple St., Clayton, with a visitation from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Monday, June 30, at the First Presbyterian Church of Clayton, 205 N. Delsea Dr., 08312, before an 11 a.m. funeral there.

Donations may be sent to the church at the above address.

Condolences may be offered to the family at

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

comments powered by Disqus