Charlie Edmondson ESTES

Obituary
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ESTES, CharlieAge 72, referred to by his friends and family as Charles Estes or Coach Estes, passed away from ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) on June 1, 2011. He was at home with his family at his side. Charles is survived by his wife, Janet Estes, Fort Collins, CO; his son, Clint Estes, Ridgway, CO; two brothers, Tony Estes, Columbia, TN and Ray Estes, Gallatin, TN; two sisters, Elaine Escue, Dickson, TN and Emma Cordle, Cottontown, TN; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. Charles had very humble beginnings. He was born at home in a log cabin in Palmyra, TN. He started school in a one room schoolhouse in Dotsonville, TN. After his family moved to Nashville when he was eight years old, he attended Warner Elementary School through the sixth grade. He then attended East Junior High School, Hume-Fogg High School and Isaac Litton High School. Charles quit school during his senior year of high school in order to help support his family, as he worked alongside his father at Nashville Tent and Awning Company. In 1958, he earned his GED and enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. He completed his basic training in Paris Island, NC and was assigned to Camp Lejeune, NC. Charles spent almost a year on board ships with the US Navy, and he was actively involved in the Lebanon Crisis in Beirut, Lebanon. When he returned to Camp Lejeune, he played on the Camp Lejeune championship football team. As anyone who knew Charles can attest, he had an extremely competitive nature. He was a firm believer that, with a positive attitude and hard work, anyone could accomplish whatever goals they may have. This belief helped Charles to succeed and prevail at whatever new ventures he took on. Charles started working out with weights and entering body building competitions. He earned twenty national and state body building titles. Charles won the title of "Mr. Tennessee" three times; in 1962, 1964 and Mr. Tennessee over 60 in 1999. Among his most notable accomplishments in bodybuilding were 4th in "Jr. Mr. America" in 1964; 5th in "Mr. America" in 1965; 6th in "Mr. USA" in 1965; and 1st in "Collegiate Mr. America" in 1970. One of Charles' goals was realized when he met Janet Dangel on a blind date. His determination and positive attitude led him to gaining her hand as a wife within 10 days of their first encounter. They lived and loved together for nearly 43 years. During this long journey, most adventures were walked hand in hand. After ten years of marriage, Charles and Janet began another life-long adventure. Charles Clinton Estes joined the family on February 12, 1978. Charles was the proudest man that ever walked this earth. He had a new goalto do all he could do to provide for his son, and help to create a self-assured, independent, and loving member of society. He did all of this and more. Charles entered Middle Tennessee State University in 1967. He earned his Bachelor of Science in 1971 and started teaching school in Murfreesboro, TN. He completed his Master of Education in 1972 and moved back to Nashville, where he continued to teach school (physical education) in the Metropolitan Nashville Public School System until retirement in 2000. Among his favorite teaching assignments were McKissack Elementary, Park Avenue Elementary, Cohn High School, and Harpeth Valley Elementary schools. He loved his students and made lasting impressions on them. He taught by example and was proud of the fact that he was an honest, straight forward, caring individual that took great pride in his physical stature and strength. Charles was an avid hunter, aka, "The Great White Hunter". He kept fresh venison on the kitchen table for many years. He also took an interest in rabbit hunting. Always trying to improve the quality of his hunting beagles, his competitive nature took control once again, and he started "Valley View Beagles". He took his beagles and competed all over the Southeastern United States in AKC Small Pack Option, beagle trials. Many of "Valley View's Beagles" earned AKC field champion titles, and "Valley View Beagles" became nationally recognized. Charles always enjoyed and appreciated fine shotguns and rifles so he obtained a federal firearms license and began "Estes Gun Shop". He bought, sold and traded collectible shotguns and hunting rifles. Due to his high ethical standards and honesty, once again, "Estes Gun Shop" became nationally recognized. Whatever he took an interest in, his competitive drive made him strive to be the best that he, or those he was working with, could be. Charles and Janet moved to Fort Collins, CO in 2005, where they enjoyed many neighborhood gatherings together. Charles, as always, became loved and valued by the adults and children alike in their Fort Collins community, Clydesdale Park. Just as he did with his students for 30 years, Charles befriended and cared for a number of families in his neighborhood. He continued to impact and influence all around him, right up until the end, and he will continue to do so. In October 2009, Charles was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease). There is no cure for ALS. A diagnosis is always terminal. Charles wanted to do all he could to help others who battle this disease. He donated his body to assist in any way possible with scientific research, with the hope that, someday, a cure or cause and treatment, can be determined. The funeral Service for Charles Estes will be held at the Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, on McCrory Lane in Bellevue, TN, Friday, August 12, 2011 at 2 p.m. A celebration of Charles' life will be held at Blackhaven Wedding Gardens, 2836 Academy Rd., Lebanon, TN Saturday, August 13, 2011 at 12 p.m. Bring one of your favorite "Charles" stories to share. Finger foods would be appreciated. Condolences can be made to his wife, Janet, at charjan43@yahoo.com. Donations would be appreciated in Charles' honor to: The ALS Association Rocky Mountain Chapter, 7403 Church Ranch Blvd., Suite 109, Westminster, CO 80021, (303) 832-2322; or The Mountain States Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, 12200 East Iliff Avenue, Suite 107, Aurora, CO 80014, (303) 597-0038.
Published in The Tennessean on Aug. 7, 2011
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