In Memory of Charles M. N. Cree Aug. 13, 1931 - Sept. 14, 2008 Charles "Charlie" died on September 14, 2008 after shoulder surgery. The strain was apparently too much for his heart and he will be greatly missed. His father Charles Mortimer Cree from Edinburgh, Scotland, whose family was classified as pioneers in the state of New Mexico when it was still a territory around 1884. They had a cattle ranch called the Angus VV ranch that covered most of the area of Ruidoso. The first man who worked for the great-grandfather Cree was Sheriff Pat Garrett, who shot Billy the Kid. Charlie's mother was Monta Cato Wells from Miles City, Montana. Her family also had a large ranch. Her father had been a Sheriff in Montana. Charlie's parents met at a cattlemen's convention. Charlie spent a great deal of his younger years at the ranch and many other places in the Southwest and west. When WWII started Charlie's father joined the Royal Canadian Navy (RNC) and the family went to Nova Scotia then six months later they moved again to Vancouver, BC where Charlie's father was made a full commander and chief of staff for the RCN on the Pacific Coast of Canada. Charles and his brother went to school in Victoria, BC and Vancouver, BC while their father worked and traveled for the Navy. His father left the Navy after the war and the family moved to Houston, TX where his father accepted the post of British Consul. Charlie graduated from High School at 15. He managed to get into Rice Institute at 16, but left after one year and joined the Navy in 1948. He was discharged in 1952 after four years including an extension when Korean War started. After he got out of the Navy, he headed back to Rice to finish his education with help from the GI bill. He did much better this time and received a BA (German/pre-med). He was in the German honor society Dean's list. He dearly loved his Alma Mater and tried to help them as much as possible. While attending Rice the second time he met his future wife, Carolyn while both were doing work at St. Luke's hospital. He was an orderly and she was a volunteer. They were married on June 6, 1959 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Houston and had three children. Charlie worked at Humble Oil as a junior chemist for a while, then found IBM in 1960, and started a very productive and creative 36 year career. He worked in nine locations with IBM, including two times in Germany. He was a software architect and helped create many of the things used in computing today. He worked on Vectron, an extension of Fortan 66 the development of Parallel Computing, original Cobal compiler development, 3D TV and holography. He also had three patents on electronic calendaring which is still used today. Charlie had a quick mathematical mind. His ancestor, John Napier, the mathematician was the discoverer of logarithms, Napier's Bones, etc. He loved to play bridge and never found a partner good enough for him. He loved puzzles, Sudoku, comics, languages, reading and speaking German. He was loved and admired by everyone he knew and met. He worked with the city of Austin solid waste advisory board, helping with garbage issues. Those left to cherish Charlie's memory are his beloved wife of nearly 50 years, Carolyn Elizabeth; children, Charles Graeme, John David, and Carole Dianne; and three grandchildren. There will always be an empty place in our hearts for Charlie and an empty chair at the table. Cook-Walden and St. Luke's on the Lake Church were very helpful and kind in helping the family deal with this unexpected loss.
Published by Austin American-Statesman on Sep. 13, 2009.