Backhus, Charles H. "Charlie"
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Charles H. "Charlie" Backhus , 82, passed away peacefully at his home in Scottsdale Arizona on Thursday, January 2, 2014. Charlie was born on March 31, 1931 in Melrose Park, IL to Charles and Berneice (Weikum) Backhus. After graduating from Proviso High School he joined the United States Navy, serving on the Midway and the USS Lake Champlain. On September 26, 1953 Charlie married the love of his life, Ruth Ann Beyer. Charlie and Ruth had known each other from childhood - his mother was her Girl Scout leader. They raised their family in Lombard, Dixon and Morris Illinois. Charlie worked for Northern Illinois Gas Co., retiring in 1989. In 1994 they moved to Scottsdale Arizona, where they enjoyed a wonderful retirement. Charlie enjoyed returning to work as a pipeline consultant, traveling, reading and "puttering" in his very organized garage and in his yard. While living in Morris, Charlie was a Boy Scout leader (Rainbow Council) and he and Ruth were founding members of Peace Lutheran Church. Charlie was preceded in death by Ruth on October 21, 2013, his parents and his brother Ronald Backhus. He is survived by his children, Susan (Tom) Sokolinski of Aurora, IL, Kathy (John) Maddox of Morris and Mark Backhus of Morris, his grandchildren Lauren (Jiho) Park, Carl Sokolinski, Catherine (Danny) Kien, John (Stephanie) Maddox Jr., Kevin Maddox, Michael and Jeff Backhus and great grandchildren Lilly & Owen Park, Kade & Kaylee Maddox, Kailynn, Brandon & Tristan Backhus, his sisters-in-law Gini, Peg and Margie, many nieces &nephews, dear friends and his and Ruth's amazing church family at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Scottsdale, AZ. Charlie will be remembered for his unwavering faith in the Lord, his strong friendships and most of all for being the best possible husband, dad, grandpa and great-grandpa. He was an unforgettable person. A luncheon will be held at 12 noon followed by a memorial service at 1:30PM, on Sunday, February 2 at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 4930 E. Greenway Rd. in Scottsdale and his family is planning a memorial service in Morris, IL in the spring. It was Charlie's wish that memorial gifts be directed to Resurrection Lutheran Church Endowment Fund, 4930 E. Greenway Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85254. His children would like to thank family and his countless friends, both near and far for the loving support shown them after Ruth's passing and during Charlie's hospitalizations and final month at home. Please visit www.hansenmortuary.com to place online condolences.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Jan. 26, 2014