VANDERGRIFT, Pa. – Charles S. "Chas" Armitage, Jr., 52, a resident of Parks Township and president of Uncle Charley's Sausage Company, died when the private plane in which he was traveling crashed near Peru, W. Va., at about 9 p.m. on Oct. 2. The wreckage was located at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 6 by Civil Air Patrol after rescue crews searched the remote and rugged terrain, fighting poor visibility and trees.

Also killed in the crash were Armitage's friends, Laura Stettmier, 49, co-owner of The Addison House Restaurant in Leechburg, Pa., and pilot Michael Garrone of Allegheny Township, Pa. The group was returning from Myrtle Beach, SC.

Armitage is survived by his children, Logan and Ryan of Freeport, Pa.; his parents, Charles S. Armitage, Sr. and Frances; brother Jon of Cranberry Pa.; and sisters Charla Ray of North Jefferson, NC, and Julie of Hudson, Ohio.

In 2005, Armitage assumed the presidency of Uncle Charley's Sausage from his father and company founder Charles S. Armitage, Sr. Chas, who served as vice president of operations of the company, worked with his father over the years to help grow the company. Under Chas' guidance, Uncle Charley's Sausage Company was introducing new products, such as convenient heat and serve sausage products.

Chas Armitage was respected in the meat processing industry, and he was known to be generous in sharing his knowledge as an officer in the American Association of Meat Processors. He recently was recognized for his contributions during his service as a national director of the AAMP from 2007-2010.

"Chas brought a fresh dynamic to the organization and solid ideas on business." said Dr. Jay Wenther, AAMP executive director. "He provided a high degree of business structure as one of our national directors.

"Uncle Charley's Sausage is a strong, well-managed company," Wenther added, “and (Chas) brought to our membership fresh perspectives on financial planning, resource management and marketing initiatives. We truly appreciated his input, thinking and dedication. We will all truly miss him and our sincere condolences to the Armitage family, as well to the families of the others on board."

Funeral arrangements are pending.