Charles R. “Chuck” Bechler of Walla Walla, Washington, former longtime Umatilla, Oregon, resident, was born on November 16, 1939, in Sac County, Iowa, the youngest of four children, to parents George and Margaret Smith Bechler. He died on August 5, 2017, at his home in Walla Walla, Washington, at the age of 77 years.
Chuck graduated from high school and received a teaching scholarship to go to college because his mother was a teacher. After two years of college he decided that teaching was not for him. His cousin got him a job with the Corps of Engineers in December 1959 where he worked in construction and surveying for the first 15 years of his career. Chuck married Nancy Warner and they had four children, Lauri, J.Deane, Amy and David, before later divorcing.
In 1972 he became a powerhouse operator in Umatilla, Oregon. Chuck married Hattie Crewdson in 1976, adding Tom, Trina and Richard (who passed away in 1996) to this blended family. He retired from the Corps of Engineers in 1994 after working throughout the Northwest as well as Wyoming, Arkansas, North Dakota and Alaska.
Chuck and Hattie then started a new adventure RVing on November 26, 1994, heading to Arizona. They took a break from RVing in 1999 to move to Mattawa, Wash., to raise their grandson Mat Waddell for three years before he joined the United States Navy. They resumed RVing in 2001 and continued until 2012 when they settled in Walla Walla, Washington, to be near family. During their 20 years of travels they experienced many adventures and visited many places including castles in Germany and the caves in Virginia. They saw a lot of the country and enjoyed many concerts and spent every winter going south with their dog, Boo Boo.
Chuck enjoyed biking, traveling, walking, fishing, hiking, and especially playing pool with the “Boys” at the senior center. Chuck had a lifetime full of memories filled with love, loss and family.
He is survived by his wife, Hattie Bechler, Walla Walla, Wash.; children Lauri Bechler and J.Deane Coombs, Umatilla, Ore., Amy Omstead, Scappoose, Ore., David Bechler, Bothell, Wash., Tom Waddell and Trina Parrish, both of Walla Walla, Wash.; 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents, three siblings, a stepson and a grandson.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 12, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at Burns Mortuary chapel, Hermiston, Oregon. Burial will follow at Sunset Hills Cemetery, Umatilla, Oregon.
Please sign the online condolence book at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon, is in care of arrangements.