ForeverMissed

Mobile - Charles "Chuck" Cornelius Hand III, age 76, died Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at Providence Hospital after a brief illness. 

Mr. Hand is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Jo Ann, three children: Jana H. McLoughlin (Chris), Dona H. Kemp and Charles C. Hand IV (Casey). He also leaves behind five grandchildren, Blakely Elaine Moore, Abigail Morrigan Hand, Robert Chase Kemp, Madison Kimber Hand and Dalton Connor Hand and one sister Dorothy Ellen Horne (Bill).

He is a veteran of the Alabama Army National Guard, where he served in both the 278th Artillery and the 31st Combat Engineers, as well as the United States Air Force, serving in the 839th Air Police Squadron where he earned the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Longevity Medal and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.

Chuck grew up in nearby Bay Minette the only son of Charles C. Hand Jr. and Dorothy Mitchell Hand. As a child he developed his appreciation for the outdoors and shooting by spending much of his spare time in the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta hunting, fishing and camping. His rich family history in Bay Minette and throughout Baldwin County naturally fueled his love of history and the South. He was an avid re-enactor, black powder shooter and cannoneer, serving in both Lumsden's and Charpentier's Batteries.. He proofed, tested and fired the cannons at Fort Conde when it opened in July 1976 and the cannon at Fort Gaines the same year. In the mid 1980's he was the Dive Master on the Archealogical Survey of the CSS Huntsville and CSS Tuscaloosa, two Confederate  Ironclad Gunboats scuttled at the mouth of the Mobile and Spanish Rivers. His dream was to have one or both of these vessels raised and displayed at Mobile Battleship Park.

He served with the City of Mobile Police Department Reserve and Mobile County Sheriff Reserve in the 1970's. His work at J. Ray McDermott/McDermott International, Litton Industries/Ingalls Shipyard, Alabama Dry-dock & Shipbuilding, Bender Shipbuilding, various shipyards along the Gulf Coast, Warrior & Gulf Navigation, as well as Field Engineer in Charge of the Wallace Tunnel construction were secondary employment as he was primarily employed as an investigator looking into industrial espionage. He assisted in numerous investigations as an undercover operative for both the U.S. Customs and BATF during this same time. At age 50 he graduated from the SouthWest Alabama Police Academy and went back into law enforcement full time for the City of Prichard Police Department. He served in both the Narcotics division as a member of the Drug Task Force and the patrol division at the Northwest Post. He was Small Arms & Officer Survival Instructor and sniper under the direct supervision of Chief Clyde Foster. While serving in this capacity he earned a Special Unit Citation, Meritorious Service Ribbon, Command Ribbon and was a Combat Master. He medically retired from the Mobile Infirmary Protective Services Department in 2002. 

Chuck was an established outdoor writer, published in Solider of Fortune Magazine, S.W.A.T. Magazine, Combat Handguns Magazine, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement Magazine, Skin Diver Magazine, Ag-Pilot International Magazine, Gulf Coast Outdoors/Great Days Outdoors Magazine and Boar Hunter Magazine; served as the editor for the now defunct USAShooters.org; he also penned 2 unpublished novels and numerous poems and short stories.

Billy Graham once said, "the greatest legacy one can pass on to one's children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one's life, but rather a legacy of character and faith."  Chuck did just that!

Posted by Tex Irvin on May 30, 2021
This will always be a sad day for me, Charles was a very dear friend and he supported me with my knife making. He wrote a great article about my knives for the magazine he worked for. I have a copy of it framed and on my wall. I will for ver be great full to him for that
Posted by Tex Irvin on January 22, 2021
What can I say about Chuck Hand ? We only met at a San Antonia gun show once and he bought one of my Damascus knives. He asked me if I could make a knife that would be special one for hog hunters and I described one I make for Civil War buffs and he said to send him one. It took a while but we got it done. At a yard sale I spotted a clock made to look like a hard hat deep sea diver helmet. I remembered that he had told me that he had done this so I got it and sent it to him. I still miss him
Posted by Tex Irvin on May 30, 2020
Last month I received an order fo 2 of my special hog hunter knives. They found an old HOG NUNTER magazine and read the article about me that Chuck wrote many yrs ago. He may be gone but his legacy lives on and I am grateful to my friend
Posted by Tex Irvin on January 22, 2020
I didn't know Charles very long but I did have the privilege of meeting him at a gun show where he bought one of my hand made knives. He talked he into making a special knife for hog hunters. He wrote a wonderful piece about the knife in the magazine he worked for and it made me known to a lot more people. I will alway be thankful to him for that and for being my friend

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Tex Irvin on May 30, 2021
This will always be a sad day for me, Charles was a very dear friend and he supported me with my knife making. He wrote a great article about my knives for the magazine he worked for. I have a copy of it framed and on my wall. I will for ver be great full to him for that
Posted by Tex Irvin on January 22, 2021
What can I say about Chuck Hand ? We only met at a San Antonia gun show once and he bought one of my Damascus knives. He asked me if I could make a knife that would be special one for hog hunters and I described one I make for Civil War buffs and he said to send him one. It took a while but we got it done. At a yard sale I spotted a clock made to look like a hard hat deep sea diver helmet. I remembered that he had told me that he had done this so I got it and sent it to him. I still miss him
Posted by Tex Irvin on May 30, 2020
Last month I received an order fo 2 of my special hog hunter knives. They found an old HOG NUNTER magazine and read the article about me that Chuck wrote many yrs ago. He may be gone but his legacy lives on and I am grateful to my friend
Recent stories

Hunting and Guns

Shared by Cally Shaddox on May 9, 2019

I will always be grateful for this man for bringing his son into this world for without him and Jo Ann my sister would have never met the love of her life! And the legacy that he leaves behind is truly that a legacy. Hunting and guns were always the topic of conversation and there was nothing this man did not know! Chuck you are already beyond missed. You hold a place in my heart always!

Missing my friend.

Shared by William Hicks on May 6, 2019

I vividly remember the first time I met Chuck at the Confederate Ordnance gun shop where he was working at the time (must have been 1976-77).  As I walked in, he caught me in his stare and I stood very still, because I knew he was deciding if he had to shoot me or not.  After half a second, he decided I was OK (for now), and I looked around the shop and we talked a bit, and I knew he would be a friend.  He was one of those friends who, even if you hadn't seen him in a year or two, never missed a beat the next time you caught up with each other.  He would shake your hand or give you a hug, and it was like you were just hanging out the day before.  When my father was killed in a hunting accident, Chuck's heart was broken, even though they had never met, because he knew MY heart was broken.  He arranged to have an article about my Dad published in a magazine, and I will never forget that favor, as it allowed me to share my Dad with everyone.  As the saying goes, they just don't make them like this anymore.  See you later, Chuck, hope they have a good range. 

Knife

Shared by Tex Irvin on May 6, 2019

A few years ago when I was doing a gun show in San Antonio TX a man stopped at my tables and asked to look at my handmade Damascus knives. We got to talking and discovered that we both had served in the Navy. He told me a lot about his hard hat diving and I told him about my Scuba diving. He ended up buying a knife and he gave me hie home phone number. About 2 years later I was at a junk store and I spotted a small dive hat like he wore and it was a clock. The price was not bad so I bought it and I called and asked for his address. He asked why I needed it and I just said a surprise. I mailed it and a few days later I got a very excited phone call from him. He could not believe what I sent and wanted to know the cost. I had to admit that I have a very bad memory. I sure miss talking to him