Charles O. Von Essen
August 14, 1934 ~ June 24, 2014
Charles O. Von Essen passed away at home on June 24, 2014, at the age of 79. He was born in Springdale, AR on August 14, 1934, to parents, Lucy Brown and Otto Von Essen. After a couple years, they moved to Yakima, WA and bought an orchard, where he grew up. He was the fourth of five children, including Harry Schmidt, Teresa Greiner, Alice Beattiger and Jim Von Essen. He was an Eagle Scout and attended Marquette High. He met his first love, Marlene St. Mars, at a high school dance and courted her in Toppenish, WA. He played football, even though he would have to walk or hitch-hike home. He attended Yakima Valley Junior College and married Marlene on May 5, 1956, before the Army sent him to Germany, where he was a surveyor. Upon returning to Yakima, he started a family that ended up to be six children: Debra, Denise, Jeff, Doug, Phillip and Chuck Jr. He was an inspector for the USDA in fruits and vegetables for ten years, before he was transferred to Wenatchee as a supervisor. His pride and joy was watching his children play sports and he never missed a game of football, basketball or baseball. He was a successful Little League coach, with his sons on his team. After the kids were raised, he announced for the high school baseball teams, including All Star games. He ran the score clock at ball games at Wenatchee Valley Community College and always kept up with the Mariners. After retirement, he worked at the Nogales border as a fruit inspector. He so loved the Arizona life, he became a snowbird. After 43 years of marriage, in 1999, his wife died and the next year, he met and married Pat Durand. During the 14 years of their married life, they enjoyed Mesa, Arizona and East Wenatchee and the many trips they took including Niagara Falls, Australia, Hawaii, and the Galapagos Islands. Chuck loved the flora and fauna everywhere he went and loved talking and visiting with old friends and new ones he met. He loved crabbing on the coast with his family, growing tomatoes and cucumbers up north, and oranges and grapefruit down south. He played shuffleboard and was the league President and earned a bronze medal at the 2008 Washington Senior Games. He and Pat were involved in many clubhouse events in their park at Mesa.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Marlene; daughter, Debra; and son, Phillip. He is survived by his wife, Pat; children: daughter, Denise Smith, husband, Chris and grandchildren, Kiel, Stryker, Blaze and Tenika; son, Jeff Von Essen, wife, Tamara and granddaughters, Kristina and Stephanie; son, Doug Von Essen, wife, Sonja and granddaughters, Lacey Kniepp, Kayla Clark and great-grandsons, Kohbey and Tysen; and son, Chuck Jr., step-daughters, Dana Lee, husband, John, grandchildren, Josh and wife, Jackie, and Kiersten, Karin Sandidge, and grandchildren, Casey and Aubyn Honeysett, and Milena Sandidge.
A Funeral will be held Thursday, July 3, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Apostles Catholic Church in East Wenatchee, with Interment following at Evergreen Memorial Park. Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, at Jones & Jones~Betts Memorial Chapel in Wenatchee. Please express your thoughts and memories on the online guestbook at jonesjonesbetts.com. Arrangements are by Jones & Jones~Betts Funeral Home, Wenatchee.