Beloved sporting goods store owner Charlie Domenici dies at 88

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – He is remembered for his love of the outdoors and his ability to connect with customers.

Albuquerque-native and business-owner of¬†Charlie’s Sporting Goods, Charlie Domenici, died a week ago Sunday at his home. He was 88-years-old.

An old friend of his says he is already missed.

“We all grew up together in Albuquerque,” said Jim Hulsman. He added that it is hard to forget an opponent like Charlie Domenici.

“Charlie played down at Saint Mary’s High School and I was at Albuquerque High School,” Hulsman said.

Back in the mid-1940s, the Albuquerque High School basketball community was small.

“So we all knew each other pretty well,” he said. Domenici’s basketball skills stood out.

“He was a very good player, he was a good athlete, he played hard, he played strong and they used him every place they could,” Hulsman explained.

He says talks of those old high school days on the court came up often over the years when he spoke to his old friend.

Domenici went on to play basketball for the College of St. Joseph’s on the Rio Grande before getting drafted into the Korean War.

When he returned, he worked at a local sporting goods store before opening his own.

Charlie’s Sporting Goods on Menaul opened in 1972. It was a family business, and now they have three generations working there.

“Oh that was definitely a passion,” said Hulsman about Domenici’s love for the outdoors.

Those who knew him also said he cared deeply about his customers and was always up for a chat.

“Oh yeah, he would do anything for a customer. He was a master of public relations and he got along with people and he knew his business and that sure made it nice,” Hulsman said.

A star athlete, husband, father and grandfather.

“He was everything, everything that was good, that was Charlie.”

Charlie Domenici is the cousin of beloved U.S. Senator Pete Domenici who died last year.

Funeral services are scheduled for Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Annunciation Catholic Church.

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