Paul G. Charbin

Nov. 5, 1933 - Nov. 01, 2017
Paul G. Charbin, Nov. 5, 1933 - Nov. 01, 2017

Paul Charbin of East Hampton and France died unexpectedly in his sleep at home on Pony Ramble, at Dune Alpin Farm, on Nov. 1. His family said that he had had a weak heart but otherwise had seemed in good form. Mr. Charbin was 83.

He was born on Nov. 5, 1933, in Norwich, Conn., to the former Simone Eymard and André Charbin, who were from Lyon, France, and had come to the United States to run J.B. Martin, the family textile company that produced silks and velvets and that had its headquarters in Norwich. It was, his family said, considered to be the foremost manufacturer of fine velvets. His guiding principles during his tenure at the family business were, his family said, to “take care of the people and make a good product.” He ultimately became chairman of J.B. Martin.

Mr. Charbin grew up in Norwich and Groton Long Point, Conn., graduated from Portsmouth Abbey, a Benedictine boarding school in Rhode Island, and went on to graduate from Princeton University with the class of 1955. At Princeton he majored in engineering, even though he was drawn to the arts, especially literature and philosophy. For two years he served in the Army, working at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency in Huntsville, Ala. It was after leaving the military that he took up his career at J.B. Martin. 

In retirement, Mr. Charbin was able to spend more time in Lyon, alternating between there and the East End. Throughout his life he enjoyed reading French and American literature and works of philosophy, as well as fishing, tennis, and nature. He was “fascinated by global current affairs and a loyal supporter of all New York-based sports teams,” his family wrote.

He was married twice, the first time to the former Joy Pinoncely in 1963, and the second time to the former Elaine Learson in 1981. Both of his former wives survive, as do his three sons, Cedric Charbin of Montreal, Andrew Charbin of Manhattan, and Adrian Charbin of St. James. A grandson and a granddaughter also survive, as do three sisters: Peach Brossette of Switzerland and Bird Pinoncely and Bonnie Cuvelier of France.