Charles Michael Rascoll

Charles Michael Rascoll died July 29, 2021, at Bridge Haven Memory Care in Lawrence, Kansas. He was born Aug. 8, 1950, in Oceanside, NY, to Doris Meyer and Thomas Rascoll. He grew up on Long Island and graduated from Baldwin, NY High School. Charlie attended several universities, most notably Kent State, where he was an anti-Vietnam War activist. He worked in restaurants from an early age and was a self-taught chef. At the age of 21, he opened his first restaurant, Top of the Falls, in High Falls, NY.  In 1985 after several months of exploring and absorbing the foods and cultures of Europe, he returned to the Hudson Valley and became a Chef/Instructor at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.  In 1987 he married Debbie Howe. Their daughter Lucy was born in 1992. Charlie and his family moved to Lawrence in 1994 where he was a founding partner and general manager of WheatFields Bakery and Cafe. He returned to teaching at the CIA in 2000 and was Associate Dean of Global Cuisines at the time of his retirement. In 2012, Charlie & Debbie moved back to Lawrence where they became founding partners in Limestone Pizza Kitchen Bar.

Debbie and Lucy Rascoll currently live in Lawrence.  Charlie is also survived by his brother Thomas, his wife Jackie, their daughters Kim, Kristine, Kelly and their families, Charlie’s mother- in-law Wilma, sister-in-law Peggy, her husband Paul, sister-in-law Susan, her husband Galen and their family.  Charlie had a unique gift for friendship and a winning smile. He will be missed by many.

Charlie was known for the community he built around great food. He understood that cooking is more than a vocation – it is a way of life, a way to connect with one another. He used this philosophy in his teaching and mentoring of young chefs. He was deeply interested in the relationship between food and culture — how geography, history and politics influence cuisine.  Charlie was an early proponent of partnering with farmers and cooking that focused on local, seasonal ingredients.

A memorial celebration will be held at Limestone on Aug 21 for fully vaccinated family & friends.

Contributions can be made in his name to The Alzheimer’s Association in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.

Messages & Condolences

From EJ Hernandez...

Dear Debbie and family. So sorry to hear of Charlie’s passing. A great guy and good friend. I knew him from Baldwin High School and we were roommates at Plattsburgh State U. for a year. Such a friendly guy with a great smile. Made good pizza too! My best to you, his brother Tom and his wife Jackie. He will be missed by many people.

From Connie Emerson...

Debbie and Lucy, Charlie was a gift to us who knew him and the community. His warmth and charisma live on as a warm memory as does the genuine love you showed in your care for him. Much love to you both.

From Connie Emerson...

Debbie and Lucy, Charlie was a gift to us who knew him and the community. His warmth and charisma live on as a warm memory as does the genuine love you showed in your are for him. Much love to you both.

From Martha S. Vaughan...

Dear Debbie and Lucy, my heart goes out to you at this sad time. Charlie meant so much to all of us in our high school class and I am safe to say that he was beloved by all who met him. He will always be in my heart. Martha

From Mark Feldman...

Top Of The Falls remains one of our all-time favorite restaurants for the food and the ‘hang.’ Charlie was ahead of his time time in creating a wonderful eating experience. Kayla and I extend our sincerest condolences

From Frank Fimmano...

Debbie and Family….I’m terribly sorry to learn of Charlie’s passing, and now doubly glad I had the opportunity to have dinner with you and Charlie at Limestone in February, 2020. He was still unmistakably Charlie then, and I’m certain his personality and smile are now making Heaven an even brighter place. May God bless him and all of you. Frank

From Walter McTernan...

Thanks for sharing the very sad news about Charlie passing away. Today would have been his 71st birthday. I always remember his b’day as it is close to my own. In recent years I have sent Charlie a birthday greeting on his day, and he’d reply and we’d catch up on our lives.

Charlie’s family moved to Baldwin (on the RVC border on Seaman Ave.) from Hicksville in the summer of 1958, and Charlie joined us in Plaza School. He was in my 3d grade class. The guy was a ball of energy, fun and good humor from the start. We were close pals in elementary school.

I was invited to Charlie’s 9th birthday party and I was really looking forward to it. He had a fairly large above ground pool. Unfortunately, I came down with the measles and had to stay home. I was really pissed to miss that party! For some odd reason I have remembered that every year since.

One winter Saturday afternoon in 4th grade we watched Bela Lugosi as Dracula on TV at the Rascoll house. Charlie pulled all the curtains shut to make the room as spooky as possible. It worked! I went home after the movie ended, and it was quickly getting dark. As I pedaled my bike home, I imagined ol’ Drac pursuing me and I pedaled my ass off to get home before full dark.

He could be an instigator. At one assembly in 5th grade, during a bike safety lecture by two Nassau PD cops, he egged me on to ask a very stupid and impertinent question, which got me in hot water with the teachers.

Every year at Plaza there was a musical show put on. The highlight was the performance of the “Barbershop Quartet” (really a dozen), comprised of the supposed best boy singers in the 6th grade class. (This was prior to voices changing. Now I sound like a frog being vivisected if I sing.) Somehow, I survived the cut, as did young Mr. Rascoll (who really could be quite a rascal, living up to his name). Our song was the old classic “Won’t you come home Bill Bailey”. At its conclusion we were to exit stage right, after taking a well-earned bow to the audience. 11 of us did, as instructed. However, Charlie remained on stage continuing to bow. The audience loved it! Off-stage we could hear them laughing uproariously. The late Trip Ullrich (another great guy from ’68 gone way too soon) and I went back on stage. We each grabbed one of Charlie’s elbows, and we lifted/carried him off stage. Charlie kept bowing all the way off stage.

Sadly, when we moved on up to junior high, I was one of the kids bussed down to Baldwin Harbor JHS (which I hated, because – although making a new bunch of friends from South Baldwin – I missed my brothers and sisters from Plaza), and Charlie was one of the majority of the Plaza ’62 kids who attended the old Baldwin JHS in your neighborhood. It was nice to link back up when we made it up to BHS. Charlie hadn’t changed a bit.

He was one of the good ones. He’ll be missed by many. May he RIP. Take care of yourself, old friend. God bless.

Semper Fidelis & Very Respectfully,

Wally

From Maryjean Tocco...

To Charlie’s family and friends I send my sincere condolences. Charlie was a one of a kind. Always fun to be around at the restaurant in the Well basement , The Top and later at the CIA…. His kitchen a favorite to eat at by the staff. He brought out the best in his students and made cooking great food seem so easy. RIP dear Charlie. You will be missed.

From Ann McDermott...

I drove Charlie back to Manhattan after one of our High School Reunions. The ride with him was so memorable. I remember laughing the whole way. He will be missed.

From Diane simpson...

What inspiration Charlie provided for us. Love diane

From Bryan Welch...

He was a fine person of great courage, and a pleasure to be with. We miss him.

From Gary Lynch...

Wow what a shock this is I worked with him @ The Canal House in High Falls he always had a great smile and will be missed by all R I P Thoughts & Prayers🙏 go out to the Family 😪

From Kathi Frank...

Dear Debbie, please accept my condolences to you and your family.
with Love,
Kathi Robinson Frank

From Jerri DuBois...

I am so sorry to read this very sad news. I have lots of great memories of Charlie from the times of the original Top of the Falls to the move to the new Top & years afterward.Charlie had an amazing talent & a wonderful personality & smile to go along with it. You could just tell he truly enjoyed life & everything he did. My thoughts & prayers
are with you all. I know Charlie will be missed by all that knew him.

From Eve Felder...

Dear Debbie, I am so very sorry. Charlie was my mentor and my colleague. He was always a kindred spirit and such a bright and shining light. Please know I am thinking of your and Lucy from the deepest part of my heart.

From Harvey Schwartz...

Charlie’s passing was such sad news. I have so many wonderful memories. Charlie was a “winner”.
Plain and simple. He had that amazing blend of funny, tough, Street smart and sensitive. I will miss him so much.

I remember like it was yesterday when Charlie and I would take long road trips out on Long Island.

We’d clown around as only Charlie could do. Laughing the whole ride through.

I wish you peace and your family all the best that life has to offer. My love and thoughts to you all.

Much love, Harvey Schwartz.

From Jeanne LaRocco...

Dear Debbie — Sending my heartfelt condolences. It’s been so many years. I still have such wonderful memories of Charlie and those years at The Top of the Falls. The innovative menus, the cool jazz, the great people, and such good times. My best to you, your family, and all who loved Charlie.

From Cathie Doyle...

Dearest Deb, I send my heart to you, Lucy, all of Charlie’s family and friends. His eminence at The Top made for much joy, laughter, love during our formative years.

From Terri Pippert...

Debbie and family, I am sorry to read about Charlie. Please know you are lifted up in our hearts and prayers. May you find peace in your fond memories. He will be missed by all. Terri and Bill Pippert

Messages are closed.