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Charles Franklin “Chuck” Wolfe CDR USNR(Ret.)

March 30, 1967 - February 24, 2023

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Obituary For Charles Franklin “Chuck” Wolfe CDR USNR(Ret.)

Charles Franklin “Chuck” Wolfe, CDR USNR(Ret.), passed peacefully at home on the morning of February 24, 2023. He was fifty five years young, which is far too young for this sort of thing. On his last day on earth, it was bright, sunny and warm. He was surrounded by his family who made beautiful music just for him and prayed that he would be at peace after eight and a half months of suffering from brain cancer.

He is survived by his “favorite first wife” Cindy (Brecht) Wolfe and his two wonderful sons, John Charles Wolfe and Christopher James Wolfe. He is also survived by his mother, Mary Wolfe who currently resides at Otterbein and three sisters, Cathy (Keith) Klewer, of Oregon, Ohio, Joan (Randy) Faneuff of Clyde, Ohio, and Barb (Michael) Pappas of Oregon, Ohio, as well as many nieces and nephews. Chuck leaves a wide circle of friends from many walks of life who will miss him dearly.

Born to John G. and Mary (Rossfeld) Wolfe on March 30th, 1967, in Lima, Ohio, Chuck lived in Oregon, Ohio during the formative years of his life. He was active in Boy Scout Troop 1666, with whom he went hiking at Philmont ranch in New Mexico and earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 1985. He attended Clay High School, performing in theatrical productions and playing trumpet in the marching band, until his senior year when his family moved to nearby Bedford, Ohio where he graduated from Bedford High School in the class of 1985. He attended The Ohio State University, where he studied Architecture, trained with the Navy ROTC, and met the woman who was to become his wife. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a Reserve Officer in the United States Navy and, after marrying Cindy on June 16th, 1990, he served three years on Active Duty. His service took him to San Diego, CA and Agana, Guam where his first son, John, was born in May of 1991 while he was underway on the USS Haleakala during Operation Desert Storm/ Desert Shield.

After living in a tropical paradise, Chuck was unwilling to return to Ohio winters and selected Raleigh, North Carolina to be his family’s home. His second son, Christopher, was born in December of 1995, and the next year Chuck enrolled at NC State University for his Masters in Civil Engineering. As a project manager for Clancy and Theys, Chhabra, and several other construction companies, Chuck supervised and directed the construction of buildings across the state and left his permanent mark on the skylines of several cities in North Carolina. He left the construction industry in 2018 and moved into the education realm as the Officer In Charge of the Navy Junior ROTC unit at Union Pines High School, teaching the cadets naval and military history, as well as many life lessons related to military service. In June 2020, Chuck was excited to accept the position as Director/Instructor of the Wake Tech Community College Construction Management Technologies Program. He finally achieved a work life balance that fulfilled him in a way no other job had done.

Despite working full-time, raising a family, and serving his country part-time as a US Navy Reservist, Chuck still managed to give special attention and care to his church, St. Philip Lutheran Church. He served on the property committee and shared his talent for music by playing trumpet, singing, and playing guitar at The Crossing services. He was relentlessly active in the church’s two chartered Boy Scout groups, Pack 375 and Troop 342, serving as Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Troop Committee Chair, Life to Eagle Chair including Eagle Scout Boards, Pinewood Derby Chairman, and as a several-time Woodbadge staff member. Both of his boys earned their Eagle Scout Award from that troop, and Chuck was directly responsible for launching many more Eagle Scouts and shaping young men into upstanding members of the community. He led by example and lived the Scout Oath and Law in his everyday life. He was also a member of the Freemasons and was a Third Degree Mason.

In 2012 when his country needed him again, he was recalled to Active Duty to serve in Afghanistan as Assistant Officer in Charge for the Navy’s NAVCENT Forward Headquarters in Kandahar during Operation Enduring Freedom. After a year at war overseas, he returned home but soon found himself back on Active Duty stationed in Norfolk, VA working as the US counterpart to his previous role while in Afghanistan. He spent two more years as a reservist until he retired in January of 2015 after 24 years of service in the U. S. Navy Reserves. Throughout the course of his distinguished military career he earned the rank of Commander, served in two wars, was awarded the Navy Achievement medal, the Navy Commendation medal, the Bronze Star and also earned his place as an Honored Shellback.

One other thing he brought back from Afghanistan was an exposure to toxic chemicals that lay dormant in him for nearly a decade. The evening of June 2nd, 2022, when he was in the best shape of his life with a weekly exercise regime enough to make a younger man tremble, he drove to a Durham Bulls baseball game, drank a beer, raced his wife and their friends up four flights of stairs and grinned triumphant at the top, not even breathless. At 4:10 a.m. the morning of June 3rd, 2022, he suffered two grand mal seizures and was taken to WakeMed Hospital, where it was discovered he had a tumor in his brain the size of a grape. A biopsy revealed it was a particularly aggressive and rare form of brain cancer called Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), which is found among veterans at a higher rate than among the civilian population. For the next eight and a half months, as his health slowly deteriorated, he was inundated with love and support from the wide community he had cultivated. His many friends were exceedingly generous with gifts of food for the family, of giving their time to visit, of making music, and of checking in and supporting his wife during his later days when his presence on earth was fading.

Chuck was an avid outdoorsman, a fisherman and hunter, a hiker and camper, who was happiest when he was in the woods or watching the “caveman television” of a campfire, especially when that time involved spending time with his sons. He was a devoted husband, a loving father, an intrepid leader, and a good and honest man. He was very proud of the young men his sons had turned out to be, not only for their accomplishments, but for their outstanding character. Chuck also loved sharing his wicked sense of humor with his sons, often quoting movies, telling or texting jokes with them, and sharing a drink around the fire pit having great conversations. His presence will be greatly missed by all who knew him. The ripples he has caused through his service and mentoring in the world will continue to reverberate for many years to come.

A Visitation will be held on Thursday, March 9th, from 4-8 pm in the Luther Hall at St. Philip Lutheran Church located at 7304 Falls Of Neuse Road, Raleigh NC 27615. Funeral Services with Military Honors will be held Friday, March 10th at 11 am in the sanctuary of St. Philip Lutheran Church, followed by a luncheon. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his memory to the Occoneechee Council of the Boy Scouts of America , the USO, or to the Glioblastoma Research Organization. To honor his memory, raise a glass of good beer the next time you sit around a campfire and look up to the stars.

The funeral was streamed live and can be viewed by: click here

Services

9 Mar

Visitation

04:00 PM - 08:00 PM

St. Philip Lutheran Church 7304 Falls of Neuse Rd., Raleigh, NC 27615 Get Directions »
10 Mar

Memorial Service

11:00 AM

St. Philip Lutheran Church 7304 Falls of Neuse Rd., Raleigh, 27615 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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Condolences

  • March 09, 2023

    Chuck's legacy as a great role model and outstanding Boy Scout leader will live on through the many lives he touched and the countless young men he inspired. His impact on my son Alex and on Troop 342 will never be forgotten. He dedicated his life to service and helping others. Chuck was a true inspiration. Rest in peace, Chuck.

  • March 08, 2023

    Cindy, we are so sorry to learn of Chuck's death. Regards, Susan and Charles Ramseur

  • March 04, 2023

    I remember Mr. Wölfe. I served aboard USS Haleakala (AE-25) 1990-1992. Out of all the young Officers I liked him the best. My Condolences to His Family. RIP Shipmate. May you always see fair skies and calm seas.

  • March 04, 2023

    I am so sorry to hear of Chuck's passing. He fought hard and was very positive throughout. I loved his humor! He was a pleasure to work with. My prayers are with your family. Christi Giulianelli PT

  • March 01, 2023

    Chuck was one of my most favorite students with an infectious smile that would melt everyone's heart. While in Oregon, Ohio I had the distinct privilege of being a close friend to the Wolfe family. Chuck, much like his Dad John, served their country with honor, outstanding service, and pride. Chuck instilled the same values with his sons. He loved his wife Cindy immensely. His family, church, friends and career were very important to Chuck. My heart breaks for the entire Wolfe family. I wish I could have seen Chuck and his family prior to learning of his final day on this God's earth. There is no doubt a very special Angel will continue to love, guide, and protect all those who had the good fortune of knowing this wonderful young man. May he rest in peace. My deepest sympathy and condolences are extended to the entire Wolfe family. Until we meet again in the heavens above. Dr. Sandy (Weller) Ellis

  • February 28, 2023

    I had the honor of meeting Chuck and Cindy while they were sailing in St. Lucia. I was terrified to be boarding alone...but it wasn't an hour before this wonderful couple had made me feel so very welcome. I was incredibly grateful for Chuck's practicality and his kind and empathetic demeanor when he helped me to scatter my late husbands ashes, he was hilarious...making the other passengers laugh and playing little pranks....and was so very loving and attentive to Cindy. I remember thinking...how wonderful that two people can still be so in love after all those years of marriage. He made a huge impression and my heart breaks for Cindy and the boys. Much love and hugs being sent from Indiana.

  • February 28, 2023

    I will forever be grateful that we wound up on the same boat in the Caribbean and I had the chance to meet Chuck. I will treasure that time we all spent together. Thinking of you, Cindy. Love, Melissa and Josh

  • February 28, 2023

    Chuck was so special to me and my brother Walt and his wife Corinne. His smile and laugh were contagious. I will miss him.. Love, Mardi

  • February 28, 2023

    I'm so sorry and sad to hear about Chuck's passing. But I'm also glad that he doesn't need to suffer anymore. I was welcomed into their home and family, and I am so thankful to getting to know all of them and sharing bits and pieces of our lives! Chuck was so such an amazing and inspiring man. My heart goes out to Cindy, John and Christopher! Big hugs to you! Love Regina (from Germany)

  • February 27, 2023

    Best young officer, I ever served with! Fair Winds and Following Seas, Mr. Wolfe ICC (SW/AW) Ret. USS Haleakala AE25

  • February 27, 2023

    Chuch was always one of the happiest, most welcoming people I have ever met. He and his family would open their arms and giving anyone without a family, one! I always felt loved being with them and have no idea how we eventually loss touch. Although we had not spoken for years, I can still see that smile, goofy humor, and just kindness for all. I will be forever indebted to this man for showing such unconditional love. He was one of a kind and will be sorely missed!

  • February 27, 2023

    I am so very sorry for Chuck's passing. I remember so many times with him and his family: North Hills neighborhood, rocket experiments for John's class, optimist pool and recently in cycle class at the y.

  • February 26, 2023

    I remember him helping with our scouts. Sending our condolences from Donovan and Shannon Quick - fellow scouting family

  • February 26, 2023

    So sorry to here of his passing. He led quite a life. He will live on in his sons and all the youth he mentored in Scouting.

Tributes

  • Sweet Moments

    Sweet Moments was sent for Charles Franklin “Chuck” Wolfe CDR USNR(Ret.) - March 09, 2023

  • 5 TREES

    Sue, Lori, Lynn, Laura & Cindy & spouses from Clay HS planted 5 trees in memory of Charles Franklin “Chuck” Wolfe CDR USNR(Ret.) . - February 28, 2023

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