His Life

A Life Well Lived

On Monday November 2, 2020 our loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather passed away at the age of 82. Charles James Rae, (the man with two middle names) or Chuck, as most of us knew him, was born on March 16, 1938 in Evansville, IN to Doris and Minnie Brazelton. 

He grew up driving his mom crazy, playing in creeks, and causing all kinds of mischief as boys will do. Chuck graduated from Central High School in 1956, looking like The Fonz from Happy Days with an attitude to match. He married his high school sweetheart and lifelong love, Jean on October 12, 1957.  Together they raised two sons, Dennis and Ronnie, and a daughter, Sheri. Chuck was a proud member of United Auto Workers and retired from Alcoa in 1993. Although, we all know he never really stopped working. 

If you were ever trying to find Chuck your best bet was out in his workshop. He was constantly tinkering and building. In fact, he custom built two homes for the family, many pieces of furniture (that have now become family heirlooms) and more than a few neighbors' decks down at the lake. No craftmanship detail got past his keen eye and there were always multiple new projects on the horizon. 

If he wasn't in the workshop you could find him on the golf course, playing cards with friends and family, at the helm of a pontoon boat, reading a western novel, watching wheel of fortune (read: sleeping in his recliner), or putting together a jigsaw puzzle. In short, he made sure he got the most out of life - every single day. 

Chuck was an inspiration to us for many reasons but specifically because of his lifelong struggle with Dyslexia. Before things like proper diagnoses, and learning plans were developed and without the support of educators, he found ways to not just overcome it but also continue to challenge himself. He completed the crossword daily, read often and made modifications to everyday tasks that allowed him to keep up with those without a learning difference. He was stubborn in his fight... or maybe he was just stubborn. 

He enjoyed cold beer (in a koozie of course), cheap cigars, peanut butter crackers, nutty bars, butter pecan ice cream and Jean's pecan pie. He loved his wife, children, grandchildren, and great grandson. He loved to dance. He had a deep abiding faith in God, an even keeled welcoming spirit and gave the best bear hugs you could imagine. He will be sorely missed and never forgotten. 

In keeping with Chuck's wishes there will be no formal memorial service. If you would like to show your love and support, please share your favorite story or memory of Chuck with us on this site.

Please don't send flowers. Save your money for bailing us out of jail when we try to spread his ashes on the golf course (kidding, kind of) or make a donation in Chuck's honor to:

Alzheimer's Association - leads the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support

Dementia Society of America - recognizes caregivers and innovators and raises hope by spotlighting relevant research to discover cures, causes, and meaningful interventions

Learning Matters - provides tutoring, assessments and other supports for children in Tennessee with Dyslexia & other learning differences