ForeverMissed
Virtual Celebration of Life- All are welcome!!!
Sunday, January 31st at 3pm Pacific (4pm Mountain; 5pm Central; 6pm Eastern) 
Zoom address: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88317766978?pwd=WkFUSnhG...
Meeting ID: 883 1776 6978
Passcode: 641359


This website was created in memory of Professor Charles "Chuck" Reeg. Chuck was a supportive and loving husband throughout his 55 year marriage to Margo; a patient and proud father to Kristin and Heidi; a dependable brother to Joyce and Jan; a humble and funny friend; and a helpful neighbor and colleague. He was preceded in death by brother Paul and parents Orville and Martha Reeg. Chuck taught Physical Chemistry for forty years at Whittier College, serving as faculty chair three times before his retirement in 2011.

Chuck was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and Dementia a few years ago, and then suffered a stroke. Margo cared for him with the help of caregivers at home, sparing him from isolation in a nursing home during the COVID pandemic. His health declined more rapidly in the last six months, and then in December he spent two weeks in the hospital with COVID. Margo, Kristin, and Heidi were grateful that he was able to come home on hospice for the last week of his life. The family shared music, love, and many peaceful moments leading up to his passing on December 19th, 2020. 

Chuck was a consummate story and joke teller; the family is building a collection in the "stories" section of this website. Friends and relatives are encouraged to add stories they remember about Chuck or stories told by Chuck. 

In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to Whittier College Fund Scholarships at https://www.whittier.edu/giving/givenow; to Honor the Earth, an environmental organization led by Ojibwe tribal leaders in Minnesota (dedicated to protecting the water, including cleaning up an old pipeline that passes a few miles from Chuck's favorite lake- Pike Bay in Minnesota) at https://donorbox.org/honor-the-earth-donation; or to Chorale Bel Canto, where Chuck sang second bass for 20 years at https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?donation=chb....
Posted by Seamus Lagan on January 20, 2021
Chuck was a great role model for me when I came to Whittier as a young faculty member. He welcomed me into the Whittier College community and I served on the Faculty Executive Committee when he was Faculty Chair. I sang with him in Chorale Bel Canto and it was fun when I got to sit beside him in choir. He always had a funny quip. Sometimes people mixed the two of us up when we sang in choir. At one Christmas concert I sang a duet with one of our sopranos and an audience member came up to Chuck afterwards and congratulated HIM for a great duet. I got a real kick out of that. He was a lovely man and will be missed.
Posted by Marcia Scully on January 18, 2021
I knew Chuck from the many times he helped Margo and the Whittier LWVs at our events. My favorite memory is the day of our ill-fated film festival. We had worked hard to put on a festival of films relating to voting and elections. We had a venue at Whittier College. The day of the festival it poured! The roof leaked; we thought we had to cancel. Chuck came to our rescue—
moving us to a large auditorium in the Chemistry Department— ensuring we had all the space and equipment we needed - and helping with set up of the films, food and everything we needed. All the while he was quietly cheerful— he was our hero.

Posted by Nancy Mahr on January 18, 2021
I didn't know Chuck very well. I met him several times with Margo at various LWV events. He was always friendly and ready to help as needed. I was always impressed at how much support he gave to Margo and her many activities. He was always there for her. A wonderful attribute.
Posted by Anne Sebanc on January 18, 2021
We are joining the chorus of Whittier College faculty who were greeted and welcomed by Chuck. During our first year in 1999, he invited us to lunch in front of Wardman with the back row weighty Quakers. Chuck consulted on our car repairs and recommended places for services that we still use today. When we bought a house, we did install a whole house fan because he encouraged it. More than these acts of kindness, however, he was such a considerate and positive man who also could stand up for the faculty and advocate for academics at Whittier College. We will miss him and appreciate him showing us how to be faculty. Andy Wallis & Anne Sebanc
Posted by Jeff Lutgen on January 16, 2021
I think of Chuck every time I turn on the whole-house attic fan that he helped me install several years back (and, reading the other posts here, I see I'm not alone!). It was a pleasure to sing alongside him on Monday nights for over twenty years in the bass section of Chorale Bel Canto. He was a wonderful man, and I'll miss him deeply.
Posted by Pat Splittgerber on January 15, 2021
Dear Margo,
I just found Chuck's obituary online. I had been thinking about you with all the Covid in California, and wanted to see if your number was online. I was shocked and saddened by what I found. I can't imagine what you must have been through caretaking for so many years to keep him safe and then the irony of losing him to Covid, right before Christmas. Your daughter created the most beautiful website, and we keep going back to it. Chuck could be funny and he could be very serious, but the biggest smiles I ever saw were in those photos with your grandchildren.
We are grateful for his life, and for your love and support and friendship. I hope you and your family have escaped the Covid. Pat & Allan Splittgerber
Posted by Pat Splittgerber on January 15, 2021
Chuck and Al went through graduate school together and often found relief from research stress by hiking in the Boulder area. He and Margo have remained good friends for 56 years, and we enjoyed many visits at their cabin.
They were wonderful friends, and Chuck will be missed by everyone who knew him.We are sorry for his suffering in his later years but are thankful he could be at home with Margo. His life was a celebration of so much goodness. This is a wonderful tribute from his family.
Posted by John Stevens on January 15, 2021
Chuck & Margo were our next door neighbors at the cabin. We really enjoyed their company as well as their invitations to dinner with drinks on their screened in porch and dinner inside. Jack & Chuck were good friends as they met in early mornings to chat while they repaired boats, mowed the grass, or just had fun joking around with each other. Chuck had a wonderful sense of humor and a gentle manner. Jack went fishing with him, and you can see in the picture the big fish Chuck caught. Chuck was just a few days older than Jack. Chuck will be greatly missed at Pike Bay by all those who knew him.
Posted by Christina Bauer on January 13, 2021
I met Chuck when I interviewed at Whittier College for the soon to be open position in physical chemistry. His kindness, wit, and intelligence came across immediately and it was clear that he was leaving a huge, positive mark on the College as he headed into retirement. I admit that I felt a combo of guilt and awe to be sitting in the same seat Chuck resided in for so long. We spoke on a regular basis afterwards, sharing physical chemistry jokes that seemingly only we appreciated, along with pictures and stories of his beautiful children and grandchildren. He also covered for me and taught a difficult semester when I was on maternity leave with my second child. What a relief it was to know that I had someone to lean on. Thank you, you will be missed, Chuck, but certainly not forgotten.
Posted by Barbara Bryson on January 12, 2021
As I read these wonderful tributes to Chuck, my cousin’s husband, I feel a bit cheated. My family was only able to spend intermittent time with Chuck and Margo’s while at our respective family Pike Bay cabins. I didn’t know the esteemed colleague, story teller, jokester, or singer that all of these tributes consistently share.
What I did know was a kind man who loved his family very much, and a man of honesty, integrity and gentleness.
I look forward to a time when I can sit down with Margo, Kristen, Heidi, and the rest of your family just to hear those Chuck stories.
I pray that each of you find special ways to honor Chuck’s very purposeful life in those stories, laughter, and cherished time together. Hugs to all of you!
Posted by James Elmendorf on January 12, 2021
from Nancy Hensel:

Chuck was a man of value. He valued his family and friends, his profession and work with Whittier students, his participation in Bel Canto Chorale, and his time in the Minnesota cabin fishing, water skiing, and enjoying the outdoors. I valued Chuck’s gentleness and kindness. He and Margo welcomed me into their family when my son married Kristin. He loved the grandson we share and his grandson loved him.  He told great stories about his growing up experiences and made us all laugh at family gatherings. Through my own work I met a professor who worked with Chuck and she shared experiences about Chuck’s generosity and how he was supportive of junior faculty in his department. He was a true gentleman and he and his wife raised two wonderful daughters.
Posted by YENY GUARIN on January 12, 2021
Margo, thank you for allowing palliative care be a part of Mr. Reeg's team. We were very fortunate to serve him and you during the last chapter of his life. Because of your dedication, he was able to be home and pass surrounded by his family. I am grateful for your willingness to be present and love him. Thank you for the donations as they have assisted people in need. 
Posted by RevStephanie Lape on January 12, 2021
Dear Margo, I was saddened by the news of Chuck's passing. I did not know him as he was earlier, a capable and confident professor, but later in life when his dementia was causing a toll on his general well-being. I will always remember your devotion to him, your love for him, and taking him to his many doctors visits. It provided a strong witness of the power of love even in the difficult times. My condolences extend to your daughters. Losing a father is one of the hardest things we daughters face. You all remain in my prayers. I hope soon you all will be able to sense Chuck in little signs and symbols. I rejoice that he is now at peace and joy, seeing God face to face in that great cloud of witnesses. Much love to all of you, Pastor Stephanie Lape
Posted by Margo Reeg on January 11, 2021
I can only second what Wendy and many others have said about Chuck. We met over 50 years ago when he joined the faculty. We served on many committees together and competed in the Chemistry-Political Science bocci ball on-going tournaments, which had a traveling trophy until it was stolen by a student. Chuck always impressed me with his intelligence, thoughtfulness, integrity and fairness in dealing with faculty issues. He was totally dedicated to the welfare of Whittier College and its students.

But as so many have said, his most endearing quality may have been his wonderful sense of humor, reflected in some of the "letters" he wrote and read to the faculty. Whenever I think of Chuck, it brings a smile to my face. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and colleagues at the College and in the Whittier community.

Mike McBride
Posted by Margo Reeg on January 11, 2021
Such very sad news—especially at a time when we can’t gather in person to celebrate this very special life.

As an only slightly younger colleague, I was fortunate to have Chuck among my mentors from the very beginning of my time on the faculty. He was the chair, in fact, of my very first committee; and I went on to serve with him on many others, including FEC, which he chaired more than once—always with humor and grace.

Socially, too, I was also fortunate to know the hospitality of Chuck and Margo—and to sing with Chuck in Chorale Bel Canto for nearly 20 years. Margo was always in the audience, cheering us on and staying behind to celebrate almost every concert.

No one in our community was kinder, funnier, more positive and supportive than Chuck—deservedly and widely esteemed and loved.

Like other Friends we have lost in recent years, he was among those who truly embodied the Whittier Way.

I already miss him, and look forward to sharing his virtual memorial.

Pax et bonum,

Wendy Furman
Posted by Dick Archer on January 11, 2021
Chuck was a dear friend for nearly fifty years, and memories of him flood my mind. When we had been at Whittier for just a few months, Chuck gave up a Saturday to help us move. He convinced us that a whole-house fan was a good alternative to air conditioning, and he helped (actually I assisted him) install it. He was a founding member of the geezers and codgers bench (at the time, when we were in out 30s, it sounded funny) where a group of us had lunch together probably thousands of times. Chuck was not just an organizer he was an attraction, both for his stories and wonderful laugh (and groans at particularly corny tales told by Joe Fairbanks and Phil O’Brien). He cared about the planet with actions as well as words. One winter he, Margo, Kristin, and Heidi endured the entire season without turning on their furnace. With family and friends, he hiked, fished, canoed, and cross-country skied. He was a leader of the Whittier College faculty and a key promoter of the Whittier Scholars Program and of pairs in the general curriculum. He cared about students as persons and as learners in the classroom, the laboratory, at plays, concerts, and athletic competitions. He was a joy to be around at Steve and Patti Overturf’s annual Christmas dinner and in later years with the infamous “gang of eight.” Chuck was smart, caring, decent, hard-working, ethical, and a lot of fun. He was a person everyone could count on when they needed advice or just a listening ear. One particular set of memories go back to the 1970s and 1980s. During those years, Chuck usually rode his bike to the college; but when it rained or he had an early meeting, he often would call for a ride. Our daughter, Julie, just seven or so when the tradition began, liked answering the phone and would be the first to pick up the receiver. Soon the two of them would be bantering and laughing. This went on for years, until Julie left for college. By the time I got to the phone, Julie was laughing, Chuck was laughing, and not knowing why I was laughing. How wonderful to begin a day hearing Chuck laugh.
Posted by Paul Kjellberg on January 11, 2021
When I arrived at Whittier in 1993 I went outside my office to eat lunch on the bench in front of Wardman Residence Hall. After a few minutes Chuck came along and asked if he could join me, and then Joe Fairbanks, Irene Carlyle, and Steve Overturf. I didn’t realize I was encroaching on their lunch spot but they very warmly took me in. We ate lunch there for years until one day the bench was inexplicably removed. Chuck showed me the ropes and taught me the lore. His gentleness, generosity, and of course humor shaped my experience of Whittier College in a way for which I am forever grateful.
Posted by JOE FAIRBANKS on January 11, 2021
CHUCK WAS ONE OF THE BEST FRIENDS I EVER HAD! A TERRIFIC COLLEAGUE AT WHITTIER AND A TREASURED FISHING BUDDY. WE MADE MANY FISHING TRIPS TOGETHER AND HE TOLD ME ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE MIDWEST AND I TALKED ABOUT LIVING IN A COPPER-MINING TOWN IN ARIZONA. HE WAS ALWAYS HELPFUL, EVEN COMING OVER TO OUR HOUSE AND "HELPING" ME TO INSTALL A WHOLE-HOUSE CEILING FAN. HE DID ALL OF THE WORK AND I "HELPED" BY HANDING HIM THE TOOLS. I MISS HIM ENORMOUSLY!!
Posted by Kristin Reeg on January 9, 2021
David Hunt's Tribute:

Chuck and Margo were the first Whittier College couple I met. Chuck had the keys to Steve and Patti Overturf's home, which Alison and I were renting while Steve and Patti were in Copenhagen, so Melgar Drive was our first stop when we pulled into Whittier in August 1981 after a cross-country drive in my VW bug. I don't remember if it was then, or on a later visit to Chuck and Margo's home, that I had my first experience of the classic Midwestern treat: apple pie with cheddar cheese. On another occasion, following dinner, Chuck brought a thick folder into the living room and patiently explained to this clueless first-year professor the intricacies of TIAA/CREF. Chuck was a friend and mentor on campus, always going the extra mile (as when he helped my daughter design a high school science project). And such a dry wit! No one told a story like he did. A life well lived--may he rest in peace.

-David Hunt
Posted by James Elmendorf on January 7, 2021
Chuck made me feel welcome from day 1. He was fundamentally kind and caring, and always the funniest man in the room. He told great stories, and great jokes, and he always made everyone feel a part of things. Most important to me, he was a great father, and an amazing grandfather.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Seamus Lagan on January 20, 2021
Chuck was a great role model for me when I came to Whittier as a young faculty member. He welcomed me into the Whittier College community and I served on the Faculty Executive Committee when he was Faculty Chair. I sang with him in Chorale Bel Canto and it was fun when I got to sit beside him in choir. He always had a funny quip. Sometimes people mixed the two of us up when we sang in choir. At one Christmas concert I sang a duet with one of our sopranos and an audience member came up to Chuck afterwards and congratulated HIM for a great duet. I got a real kick out of that. He was a lovely man and will be missed.
Posted by Marcia Scully on January 18, 2021
I knew Chuck from the many times he helped Margo and the Whittier LWVs at our events. My favorite memory is the day of our ill-fated film festival. We had worked hard to put on a festival of films relating to voting and elections. We had a venue at Whittier College. The day of the festival it poured! The roof leaked; we thought we had to cancel. Chuck came to our rescue—
moving us to a large auditorium in the Chemistry Department— ensuring we had all the space and equipment we needed - and helping with set up of the films, food and everything we needed. All the while he was quietly cheerful— he was our hero.

Posted by Nancy Mahr on January 18, 2021
I didn't know Chuck very well. I met him several times with Margo at various LWV events. He was always friendly and ready to help as needed. I was always impressed at how much support he gave to Margo and her many activities. He was always there for her. A wonderful attribute.
his Life

Whittier College

Professor Charles "Chuck" Reeg was Professor of Physical and General Chemistry from 1971 to 2011. He received his B.A. from Dana College and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado. Professor Reeg served as faculty chair for three different terms that spanned three different decades. He advised and/or sponsored students in the following programs: the Whittier Scholars program, the pre-med advisory program, Rhodes Scholars mock interview program, the student ecology club, and the National Leadership Honors society Omicron Delta Kappa. In 2011 he was honored to receive the Richard B. Harvey Award from the Associated Students of Whittier College, awarded to faculty who have shown outstanding leadership in the classroom and/or exemplary administrative service to the college, going beyond the call of duty and showing a true belief in Whittier and its values. Less-senior faculty commented that Dr. Reeg served as a role model and mentor as they were developing as faculty members. Students appreciated his sense of humor and patience. When he received the Keys to the College Award he was described as "a most popular faculty member who is always available to students for consultation and assistance."
From QuakerCampus.com:
“I went through a car accident and Dr. Reeg walked into [Physical] Chem class and said, ‘I don’t want you carrying that book, it weighs 6.7 ounces, so Dr. Reeg carried two books that semester,” alumnus Stacee Karnya ‘02 said. “If it wasn’t for these professors and this school, I wouldn’t have graduated on time or be where I am now.”
His students and colleagues know Reeg as a great chemistry professor and jokester.
“The first real conversation I had with Professor Reeg was when I was walking down the hall one day and he called me over and asked me if I liked jokes,” senior Josh Smith said.
“It was around Christmas time, he pulls out a sheet of paper, green paper and it had Rudolph and there were the heads of reindeer on his office wall and a shotgun next to Rudolph.  On the bottom [of the paper] it said, ‘they used to call him Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.’  I knew we would have good times after that.”
According to the members of his party they will miss him greatly and his quotes including, “I don’t think I answered your question, but I wrote something on the board,” and, “I’m not ignoring your question, I’m just hoping you’ll forget it.”http://www.quakercampus.com/content/reeg-retires-after-40-years

Parents and Early Life

Chuck was born in Beatrice, Nebraska. His parents were Orville Reeg and Martha (Meyer) Reeg, both children of German immigrants who spoke German at home on the farm. Martha was a nurse before she married Orville. Despite deeply desiring to serve in World War II as a chaplain, Orville was not able to due to a tuberculosis scar on his lungs. Orville Reeg was a Lutheran minister, who had a gift for founding new churches. He would be sent to a new town every few years, knock on doors and recruiting people to join a new church. Once the church was established, he would move the family to a new town and start again. Consequently Chuck lived in several towns in the Midwest while growing up- Plymouth, Hebron, and Byron, Nebraska; Olathe, Kansas; and Englewood, Colorado.
Chuck was the oldest of four kids: Joyce, who was just a few years younger; Paul, and then Jan, who was born 10 years after Chuck. Joyce was quiet and kind, Paul was mischievous and inquisitive, and Jan was the baby who quickly developed a cute and funny personality. She liked to proclaim, "You can call me January!" when she'd meet people for the first time.
Recent stories

Colorado Road Tour

Shared by Margo Reeg on January 21, 2021
During the summer of 1997, we took friends Jim and Pat Longman on a tour of our favorite places in Colorado. Chuck carefully planned the itinerary and made reservations for accommodations.
On the way to Colorado we drove through Zion NP stopping to enjoy a scenic hike, then traveling past Bryce Canyon on our way to Capitol Reef where there are fruit orchards nestled among the red bluffs. That evening we had dinner in Green River, UT and stayed in Grand Junction, CO.   From there through the Rockies enjoying stops at iconic ski resorts, marveling at the mile-long Eisenhower Tunnel through the mountains between Arapahoe and Loveland ski resorts. After spending the night in a funky Super 8 in Georgetown and browsing the old mining village, we headed for Rocky Mountain NP and took the spectacular drive from Granby over Trail Ridge Road where we climbed to the highest point along the route to gain an amazing view of Chuck's favorite 14er, Long's Peak, which he had climbed with grad school friends.
That evening we stayed in Boulder and toured the campus where Chuck and I had gone to college. 
Then we drove to Denver to savor brunch at the Brown Palace Hotel which has tuxedo clad waiters and a drinking fountain supplied by an artesian well under the lobby. Chuck had been there with colleagues on a Whittier College recruiting "Road Show" several years before.
Next on the itinerary was the Air Force Academy north of Colorado Springs and the beautiful Garden of the Gods in C. Springs. Our motel in Colorado Springs was of the 50's motor court variety--the only accommodations available because there was a motorcycle convention in town!
From C. Springs we journeyed up the Arkansas River canyon, seeing many river rafters along the stream. From Gunnison we climbed over Wolf Creek Pass through Lake City and on to Durango. The highlight of our trip was the historic narrow gauge railroad trip from Durango to Silverton along the Animas River. We took hundreds of photos of the amazing vistas along the route and sauntered around the charming old gold mining town of Silverton, now a railroad tourist mecca. 
Our journey home  took us through Mesa Verde NP where we toured Cliff House and other Anasazi sites. On the way to Flagstaff we stopped and hiked at Sunset Volcanic Crater NM and Walnut Canyon NP.
Our motel in Flag presented us with a difficult situation--water was leaking out of the ceiling light in the bathroom onto the floor! We asked for a change of room but they were full and a it was Saturday night, no repair was available. We put up with using an unlit bathroom and departed for home about the time an electrician and plumber arrived to start repairs.
This was the start of a series of national park trips that Chuck planned for us and the Longmans. Lots of good times!

Uncle August Stories

Shared by Heidi Reeg on January 19, 2021
My Dad loved to tell stories about Uncle August Brandhorst, his mother's uncle. As a kid, I had the pleasure of meeting Uncle August. He was over 100 years old and was wearing a shirt that said "I'm older than George Burns!" His memory was as sharp as ever and he loved talking with my Dad and reminiscing about the past. August was notoriously frugal, clever, and slightly eccentric. He was born in Germany and spoke with a thick German accent. 

Dad had so many favorite Uncle August stories of which I can remember a few.
Uncle August in Denver at a Wedding: Uncle August went to Denver to a wedding with some of his nephews. He shared a hotel room with them and was very concerned that the all-white towels would get mixed up in the bathroom. He took it upon himself to lay little strips of toilet paper with initial across all of his towels to keep things straight. At the reception, the waitstaff brought August a finger bowl to refresh his hands after eating some seafood. August, unsure what to do, quickly grabbed the bowl and drank it. He turned to his nephews and declared "That tastes Not Good!" After the reception ended, one of the nephews mistakenly turned the wrong way down a one-way street in Denver. August fretted, "If only I had my flashlight! I would jump out and flag down all the traffic so we could turn around!"

Back in Nebraska, August had a garage that was very full of useful items, as he could not bring himself to get rid of anything useful. It was so full, in fact, that his car barely fit between the sides. August would let his wife out, drive in the garage, and escape by walking along the running boards. One day, August bought a new, wider car without running boards. He drove into the garage, and could not open the door at all. He sat in the car until his wife came to check on him. He said, "you will have to bring me my dinner in the car!"

August was notoriously frugal. He did not like to waste anything. Back when he was a smoker, he did not like having to throw out the last inch of his cigars. He decided that standing the cigar up vertically in a pipe so he could smoke the entire cigar. He didn't care how unusual it looked!

One day, Chuck proudly showed Uncle August his new-to-him 1950 Chevy. August walked around and around the car, checking every detail both under the hood and on the exterior, but couldn't find anything wrong. Finally, he noticed that one of the caps from the valve stem of one tire was missing. He excitedly exclaimed, "Zee Grebel! Zee Grebel vill get in the tires!!" He was very concerned that a tiny piece of gravel could get inside. Chuck fixed the problem using a cap from Uncle August's garage and then the car got his seal of approval!

Germany!

Shared by Heidi Reeg on January 18, 2021
When I was in high school, I took German. This led to having a German exchange student and then becoming an exchange student myself. After graduating from high school, I took a year off and lived in Germany for the year. Dad and Mom came to visit for a few weeks and had a great time touring around Germany visiting historical sites and places where Dad's ancestors had lived many years ago. They loved the food, the history, the scenery, and the people.