Charles "Chuck" Bernett Farnham was born July 8, 1937 in Manhattan, Illinois and died surrounded by family members on Sept. 8, 2012 in Phoenix, Ariz.
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Charles was born a twelfth generation American and raised in Nevada, Mo. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1955 after graduating from Nevada High School. He returned home after a few months in the Navy to marry his high school sweetheart Madeline Carol Adam. He served on board the US Navy vessels USS Keppler (DDE-765), USS Albany (CG-10), and USS Nautilus (SSN-571). His service aboard the USS Nautilus as a Navy Raider included testing new strategies and equipment which helped build the foundation for today's Navy SEAL Teams. During his eight years of naval service, he sailed on several cruises and was stationed on the USS Albany during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
Chuck was employed by the U.S. Civil Service at White Sands Missile Range after his discharge in 1963. After a brief term of employment at WSMR, he moved to the China Lake Naval Weapons Research Base, Calif. As a Research and Development Technician, he assisted Naval Scientists with the development of advanced weaponry and technologies. In 1970 he was hired by the Federal Aviation Administration, retired in 1993, and moved to the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico following the death of his wife Carol.
During his retirement, he enjoyed community service as a volunteer fireman with the La Cueva Volunteer Fire Department. His contributions on the Truck Committee earned him the title of "Chuck Driver." His enthusiasm for driving fire trucks progressed to becoming a delivery driver and instructor for Pearce, KME, and Ferrara fire truck manufacturers.
Chuck enjoyed many hobbies such as fishing, hunting, woodworking, furniture building, and carving Native American Kachina dolls. His interest in the Native American culture and spiritualism began in early childhood and extended until the day of his death. He formed lasting friendships with several Native American people during his lifetime.
Chuck was known to speak his mind in a direct manner, give good stern advice when needed, and always place the needs and love of his family above all else.
He is preceded in death by his parents Eugene and Rena Farnham, and his wife Madeline Carol (Adam) Farnham. He is survived by his brother and partner Eugene Farnham and Helen Wilkinson, his sons and their spouses Joel (Becky) of Los Alamos; Eric (Vivian), Keith (Diana), Sherri (Dan) Sierens, and Shelli Farnham, all of Phoenix, Ariz. Grandchildren: Christine, Nicole, Rob, Tina, Amanda, Shannon, Carli, Tyler, Joshua, Holly, Adam, and Brooke. Great Grandchildren: Malina, Teagan and Mia.
Services were performed at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix, Ariz. on Sept. 13, 2012. Services were under the direction of Thompson Funeral Chapel in Goodyear, Ariz.
Published in Los Alamos Monitor from September 23 to September 25, 2012