Charlie was born January 1, 1940 to Charley and Charlcye Parnell in Salem, NM. He grew up in Salem and graduated from Hatch Valley High School. From there he attended New Mexico Western College and graduated with degrees in biology and business. After college, he went to Officer Training School in San Antonio, TX and was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant USAF, then began active duty in August of 1962. Charlie married Mary Bearden on August 7, 1964 in Albuquerque, NM. As a military family, they experienced a life on the move, making their home in Germany, Turkey, Texas, Virginia, Colorado, and South Carolina. Charlie also served in Saudi Arabia, Korea, and Thailand. Charlie retired in 1988 and the family chose to make their home in Durango.
Locally, Charlie is well known among the veteran population. He served as a Veterans Service Officer and was an advocate for all vets. Helping veterans was his passion.
He is survived by his wife, Mary; daughter: Laura (Todd) Barthol; grandchildren: Heidi and Erik; sister: Ida Clark; niece: Gayla (Carl) Rogers; nephew: David Wilkinson; and many other extended family and wonderful friends.
He was preceded in death by a son: Michael; parents; and sister: Margie Garner.
A Funeral Service will be held Friday, February 21, 2020 at 10:00 am, at Hood Mortuary Chapel. Burial will occur at Memory Gardens, Farmington, NM, following services at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to: Veteran's Outreach Center, 72 Suttle St. Suite I, Durango, CO 81303.
Published in The Durango Herald on Feb. 19, 2020.