We said farewell, for now, to Chuck our husband, best friend, Dad, Grandpa and Great-Grandpa. He was born on June 14, 1924 and passed away on April 3, 2020 from an accident. He was a very special, thoughtful and kind person that will be missed more than we can say. Due to Covid, we were unable to have a funeral so we are combining Dad’s with Mom passing with a Memorial Service for both.
Chuck was born in Grantsburg, Wisconsin, and was the youngest of six children. He had three brothers and two sisters. His mother and the six children made the trip from Wisconsin working along the way to settle in Kremmling, Colorado. Chuck attended school in Kremmling and at the age of 16 went to work on construction of the Green Mountain Dam project. Shortly after he joined the Army on July 29, 1943, joining his three brothers in service to the country in World War II. He served in the 28th Tank Battalion and was a Tank Gunner. Decorations and citations include American Service Medal, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and World War II Victory Medal. He was Honorably Discharged from the service as a Corporal on March 23, 1946. He was a lifetime member of the VFW, and an annual member of the American Legion.
He met the love of his life, Roberta Joan Dagenhart, and they were married on Sept. 11, 1949 in Kremmling. They welcomed a daughter, Linda Susan, on July 20, 1951. They traveled on construction across the state of Colorado, with Chuck working and building highways for Walter Schmidt Construction until 1964. He belonged to several unions during his career – Operating Engineers, Electric Workers, Teamsters, Oilers and Labor. They settled in Montrose, Colorado in 1965, and Chuck worked for Schneider Construction and owned his own logging truck. He was a master at running heavy equipment and especially doing anything needed with a backhoe, including basements, roads etc.
In 1977, he went to work for the Bureau of Reclamation based in Montrose, Colorado. He worked on the Curecanti Dam Project Unit helping build Blue Mesa, Morrow Point and Crystal Dam projects. He did snow removal in the winter keeping the roads to the dams open, maintenance on the roads and hauled heavy equipment over the road to many western states. He retired in 1993 and they moved to Stevensville, Montana, on a small acreage. They spent many happy years there and in 2004 finally moved to north of Dillon, Montana, to be near family.
Chuck was an amazing mechanic and worked on and restored many vehicles over the years. He and Joan built a cabin from the ground up while in Montrose, Colorado. He loved to travel and they got away whenever they could. Over the years he was a hunter and fisherman. Most of all he just loved working and putting in a good day making wherever they lived better.
They had three beautiful homes and acreages. He liked to ride horses when he had the time. He loved his family and our best times were holidays and every Sunday getting together for dinner in the later years to catch up. He will be missed so much. Chuck is survived by his wife Roberta Joan. (Joan passed away on March 15, 2023). They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2019. Also surviving is daughter Linda (Darell) Sunderlin; granddaughter Shanna Sunderlin and her son Shaydon; grandson Justin Sunderlin and his son Haiden; niece Carol (Keith) Thompson and numerous nieces and nephews in Utah.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Anna Phillips and his father Chauncey Phillips; three brothers, Douglas, Rolland and Ted; and his two sisters Ione Lukas and Margaret Whelan.
Cremation has taken place and a Memorial Service will be held at the Sheridan Montana K&L Mortuary Chapel in June 2023. Interment in the Sheridan Cemetery.