Charles L. Jansen Jr. (“Chuck Jansen”), age 92, passed away peacefully on Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at The Terrace at Beverly Lake Memory Care facility in Everett, WA.
Born April 4, 1923 to Myrle Jester and Charles L. Jansen of Chicago, IL, he grew up on Chicago’s far north side, graduated from Senn HS (lettered in gymnastics), and attended the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) where he earned a BS in Civil Engineering/Structures. He joined the US Army and saw action as a 1st Lieutenant with the Corps of Engineers during WWII in France and Germany (at the Seigfried Line). At war’s end he returned to Urbana, IL where he met and married Onalee June “Connie” Conklin of Corunna, MI. They raised a family of 3 boys and 3 girls and lived mostly in Woodstock, IL, where he worked first as a salesman for new home-building companies and later from 1959-1969 as a product development engineer for the US Gypsum Company in Chicago. During this period, he enjoyed serving as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 776 and taught camping, outdoor skills, and leadership (mentored several scouts to Eagle rank). In 1969 he and family moved to Bellevue, WA, after he landed a teaching position at the Univ. of Washington (Dept of Building Construction). While at the UW he earned a Master’s degree in Education while his wife, Connie taught biology/geology at Lake Washington HS in Kirkland. From 1973-83 he worked for several years as a Manager of Building Facilities and Maintenance for the Lake Washington School District and later as a Seattle-based salesman for steel warehouse buildings (Alaska sales territory). About 1984 he and wife Connie moved to Issaquah, WA, where they started Backpacking Equipment, Inc. on Front Street. Connie and he later retired from BEI and designed and built their “dream house” overlooking Fisherman’s Bay on Lopez Island in the San Juans. They lived there for a number of years enjoying hiking and camping trips all over the North Cascades, ferryboat trips to Sydney, BC and annual month-long vacations (Jan-Feb) in Hawaii. They moved to their last home in Sedro-Woolley, WA around 2002, where they enjoyed vegetable and flower gardening, road trips, visits from their children and families, and Chuck pursued photography as a hobby. Mr. Jansen wrote several autobiographical books and enjoyed writing articles/letters to the editor of the Skagit Valley Herald on a variety of social and political issues. He and Connie attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic church in Sedro-Woolley. He championed and contributed money regularly to such causes as wounded veterans and Sioux Indian reservation members in the Dakotas. Fiercely independent and opinionated to the end, many who knew him will miss him.
Chuck is preceded in death by his parents, wife, Connie, and his cousin, Tohle Kane of Tacoma.
He is survived by his children (Charles M. Jansen [Mary Wirta-Jansen] of Redmond; Dr. Thomas Jansen [Sharon Lewis-Jansen] of Edmonds; Richard Jansen [Joanie Thompson-Jansen] of Seattle; Patricia Jansen-Key [Art Key] of Pasco; Shari Jansen of Bothell; and Jeannie Jansen of Tacoma). He had 11 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
A Funeral Mass will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 719 Ferry Street, Sedro-Woolley, WA at 11 am, Thursday, January 28, 2016, followed by the committal at Union Cemetery in Sedro-Woolley with Military Honors.