Charles Jacobs Fendig was born in New Orleans on November 25, 1920. His family moved to Tampa when Charles was young, and he attended Tampa public schools, including H. B. Plant High School. He joined the U.S. Army Signal Corps and served in both France and Germany during World War II. During that conflict, Mr. Fendig was a lieutenant and was later promoted to captain in the Florida National Guard. After the war he returned to Tampa and joined his uncle, Charles Jacobs, in the insurance business. He later became president of the Jacobs-Fendig Insurance Company, a position he held until his retirement in 1998.
Mr. Fendig was heavily involved in the Tampa Bay community. He was appointed to the Tampa Public Library Board in August 1955 by Mayor Curtis Hixon and served for nearly 20 years. He actively promoted library services for the area, and provided leadership in establishing the foundation upon which the Tampa-Hillsborough County Library System was built. He was instrumental in having the library system receive funding when the State Aid to Libraries law was passed in 1961. He also worked with the Friends of the Library to acquire an art collection which is housed at the John F. Germany Public Library.
Mr. Fendig was also president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Greater Tampa, leader of the Jr. Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club, University Club, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, Tampa Club, and the Tampa Sports Club. He was an avid sports fan and had supported the University of Florida Gators since his days at Plant High School.
In November 2001, Mr. Fendig was honored by having the South Tampa Peninsular Library named for him. The move to rename the branch was initiated by Hillsborough County Commissioner Chris Hart and was approved by the commission and the Tampa City Council. The Peninsular Library at 3909 West Neptune Street was established in 1968 and the original dedication plaque with Mr. Fendig's name listed as President of the Board of Library Trustees is in the main section of the library. After receiving this distinction, Mr. Fendig was remembered for his weekly visits to the branch and his kind and courteous manner.
Mr. Fendig died on April 11, 2003. He was 82 years old.
Cited from:The Tampa Tribune, November 8, 2001 and April 13, 2003; eMmail from Eloise Hurst, former branch manager of Charles J. Fendig Public Library