Charles J. Milligan, 97, of Palmyra, a member of the board of directors of the Riverton Free Library since the mid-1970s, died Saturday, Feb. 27, at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden.

The library is managed by a not-for-profit volunteer association and is a branch of the Burlington County Library, its website states.

A Palmyra resident for 60 years, "he lived in Palmyra when it was a little town," and over the years "he became pretty civic-minded," son Charles M. said.

Mr. Milligan grew up in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia and graduated from what is now Thomas Alva Edison High School and John C. Fareira Skills Center.

In 1939, Mr. Milligan worked in the Grand Canyon region for the Civilian Conservation Corps, his son said.

During World War II, "he trained to be a pilot, flying off carriers," and studied at Auburn University, his son said, but was assigned to nonflying duty on the carrier Boxer.

When he returned to civilian life, he became a tool and die maker for Philco in Philadelphia.

In 1979, Mr. Milligan retired after more than a dozen years as a purchaser at what was then the Naval Air Station at Lakehurst, N.J.

In his job, his son said, "he bought fasteners for airplane wings." As part of gathering information on such material, "he got to travel somewhat with his wife, and enjoyed that."

Mr. Milligan was a member of the Palmyra Planning Board in the 1970s and a board member of what is now the Palmyra School District in the 1980s.

A lifelong member of the Democratic Club of Palmyra, he was a member of the Irish Society of South Jersey from the late 1960s to the mid-1990s.

Besides his son, he is survived by sons Dennis and Joseph, daughter Catherine Gerew, two sisters, seven grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter. He was predeceased by his wife, Catherine.

A visitation was set from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 3, at the Weber Funeral Home, 112 Broad St., Riverton, before an 11 a.m. Funeral Mass at the Church of the Sacred Heart, 103 Fourth St., Riverton. Interment is to be private.

Donations may be sent to Riverton Free Library, 306 Main St., Riverton, N.J. 08077.

Condolences may be offered to the family at

610-313-8134 @WNaedele