Staff Engineer, Senior (1995-2020)
Remembrance by Lisa McFarlane
March 29, 2021
Just a week ago, I found out that Chuck had died in January of 2020, over a year ago. My father, in Houston Texas, also died around this time. I missed Chuck’s memorial, which I really would have liked to have attended, had I known of it. In lieu of that, I offer this eulogy of Chuck. I also have some photographs of him to share, below.
Chuck enjoyed travel as much as I did, and, he was an outstanding travel companion. Chuck told me that I had first given him the idea of light weight travel clothing. We share the love of traveling light. We periodically reached out to one another over the years. It was while trying to reconnect with him when I heard the bad news that he had passed away.
Chuck had so little ego. He walked through life as someone who always put in the work, always did a great job, and always got the job done. One of the jobs he excelled at was social director, which included organizing lunches and other events. Many memories come to mind, all of them pleasant. I recall the hours and hours that he and Bashar spent calibrating DISR in the clean room. I remember all those tests at the top of the tower atop Mt Lemmon. I remember Chuck at all those meetings over in Europe. I remember him driving his little sports car. I remember hanging out with Chuck in the Orsay Museum (among others) in Paris and other cities. I remember how Chuck’s favorite veggie was sugar snap peas, though chocolate was always preferred. Like me, Chuck had some pack rat like tendencies. I can’t recall ever seeing him angry; he had such an even keel. Chuck was very generous, and a frequent giver of gifts.
Traveling with Chuck in Portugal is one of my fondest memories. Even not speaking the language, Chuck was able to negotiate an outstanding deal for he and I to stay at a place with a balcony, right on the beach. I remember Chuck being game enough to cut my hair, again, right there on the beach. I remember sitting at the bus stop with some locals who were clearly on their way to a funeral. I remember the time some random guy overseas was bugging me. Chuck used his loud voice (his words) and yelled at the guy to go away. It worked! Chuck and I stayed with my uncle Gunner in Copenhagen Denmark and we took him out for a fancy dinner to thank him for letting us stay with him. Chuck was along when we went up the coast after the Cassini launch and met up with my parents.
I had not heard from Chuck in a long while and hoped to get together with him, and possibly to travel with him. It was a complete shock to me that he had died. I kept putting off writing this; I think the reason is that it really means that he’s gone, and I don’t want to believe that. Chuck was always up for anything, and I will miss that most about him. Chuck is one of the finest souls that I have known on this planet, and I will miss him dearly. I don’t think I ever told him that, and now I surely wish that I had. The world is less bright for the loss of him. Lisa McFarlane