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Charles Pirtle

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Charles (Charlie) Newman Pirtle, 74, longtime resident of Las Cruces passed away at his home in Tijeras on Monday, August 4, 2008. Charlie was born March 17, 1934 in San Benito, Texas; first son of Carl Filmore and Mary Alice Pirtle. He spent his youth in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, graduating from McAllen High School. Soon thereafter he joined the US Army, and the government, in its infinite wisdom, shipped a boy from south Texas to join the infantry in Alaska. Charlie took to the wilderness, and his strong love for the outdoors was kindled into a passion and way of life that would never die. Upon honorable discharge from the Army, Charlie attended college at Texas A & I University, where he rodeoed, hunted, ran track, and sometimes attended classes! Next, in 1961, Charlie joined the US Border Patrol and was stationed in Las Cruces-spending his entire career in New Mexico. To say that Charlie enjoyed a successful career with the Border Patrol would be an understatement. His reputation grew throughout the Southwest - even extending deep into Mexico, where those he was charged with apprehending, knew of his name and legend. That reputation was one of dedication, skill, integrity, honesty, and a fair hand. No farmer or illegal alien wanted Charlie to be on the job - not because they did not like him, but only because the probability of escaping his tracking skills was so unlikely. Beyond his larger-than-life reputation as a law enforcement officer, hunter, tracker, and National Champion pistol marksman, Charlie possessed a warmth of character rarely seen today. He often said he had been born a hundred years too late, and friends and family can attest to his disdain for "new-fangled gadgets" such as microwave ovens and personal computers. In addition, his penchant for keeping everything he ever owned was renown; but no more than his ability to keep it all tidy and neatly composed. He was a pack-rat of immense organizational skills. Yet beyond all of these things, more than anything, Charlie was a gentleman, a patriot, a cowboy at heart, and a warm and caring human being. His hospitable nature can be supported by any of the multitude of friends that have enjoyed his cat-head biscuits with gravy, sourdough bread, or campfire cooking - all the while being entertained by one of his many stories. This honest and straight-forward nature, this code of conduct, and this rare gift for warm friendship; this is what will be missed the most by the many lucky persons that called him - Friend. Charles Newman Pirtle was preceded in death by a sister, Carla Mae, and both of his parents. He is survived by his wife Sara, brother Paul, sons, Robert, Scott, and Carl; and an extended family of loving daughters, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. We invite all family and friends to share a time to remember Charlie and honor his life. A memorial service will be held Saturday, August 9th, 2:00 p.m., at Trinity United Methodist Church, 3715 Silver Ave. SE. In lieu of flowers, the family requests honorariums in his name be made to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, 5705 Grant Creek Rd., Missoula, MT 59808, Attn: Michelle Tucker, National Border Patrol Museum, 4315 Transmountain Dr., El Paso, TX 79924, or the NRA, 11250 Waples Mills Rd., Fairfax, VA 22030.
French Mortuary, Inc.
10500 Lomas Blvd. NE
(505) 275-3500
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Aug. 7, 2008
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