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Charlie W. Reynolds

Published On: Mar 30 2013 06:43:28 AM CDT

As a young man, Charlie serenaded his older sisters at the school bus stop singing “You Ain’t Nothing But A Hound Dog” while strumming on a straw kitchen broom. His entertainment talents continued to rise when he successfully wrestled a bear and was upstaging the clowns at a circus during a Boy Scout outing.

Charlie was born in Milwaukee to Charles Kavanaugh Reynolds and Clara Ferrell Reynolds. Throughout his boyhood, he lived in various parts of Wisconsin finally settling in Madison, Wisconsin. He married Jackie Kalscheur on March 29, 1980.

Charlie was a member of the Army National Guard, 32nd Support Battalion and Federal employee for the Guard. His next job was driving truck cross country for Freymiller, but he left that business after his son Zachariah Kavanaugh was born. He didn’t want to miss out on a minute of his son’s childhood. He started working for Straight Arrow Construction and along came Jacob Kalscheur, his second son. At the age of 45, Charlie retired from the Central Wisconsin Center after officially being diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease. Looking back, we realized Charlie was 40 at the onset of HD.

Knowing nothing about HD, we called Charlie’s doctor. The doctor said it was a slow, miserable way of dying. Next we looked it up on the internet. The first document we read said HD destroys families, physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially. Charlie’s first reaction was to go deer hunting and have an accident. We talked about what kind of message that would send to Zach and Jake and decided that any future decisions would be based on what is best for our sons. Over the years, we made as many memories as we could as a family because that was something that could not be taken away.

Despite our best intentions, living with HD was extremely difficult. Charlie was a wonderful role model for his sons, showing them how to live with adversity with dignity and grace. Our family’s love for each other ended up stronger than ever.

Charlie died on March 28th, the day before his 33rd wedding anniversary. Since he couldn’t be with Jackie, she made him promise to dance in heaven with his Mom and sister Virginia to the Tennessee Waltz.

We could not have made it without our family, friends, co-workers, caregivers, and God. The leaders and scouts in Boy Scout Troop 140 supported Charlie’s continued involvement in Scouts until he could no longer go camping or on high adventures. Charlie’s family provided wonderful emotional support. Jackie’s family made sure he could continue to go out to lunch and to have all the homemade treats he could eat. (Charlie believed a person could never have too much Easter Candy or too many Christmas cookies.) Charlie’s co-workers at Central Wisconsin Center took him to lunch long after he retired and even let him visit work for an hour or so each week. Jackie’s friends as well as her co-workers at the Public Service Commission kept her sane. Charlie’s in-home caregivers and his caregivers at Badger Prairie and the Belmont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center took care of him with love when his wife and sons could not. His granddaughter brought him his greatest joy during the last 2 ½ years, yelling “Hi Pop pop” at the top of her lungs as she went running down the hall at Badger Prairie with chocolate milk and chocolate chip cookies for the two of them. God took care of us all, even though many times I didn’t feel like he was listening to a word I said!

Charlie is survived by his wife Jackie, son Zachariah (Amber Lynn), son Jacob, granddaughter Paisley, grandson to be born in June; brothers Fred (Nancy), Buddy (Pat), Pat (Missy), and Mike; sisters Mary Ruth (Layton), Etta (Tom), and Barbie (Jack deceased); and his brothers and sisters in law, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Virginia (Al) and his brother Tom (Barb).

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. BERNARD’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, 7450 University Ave., Middleton at 11:00 AM on Monday, April 1st, 2013, with Monsignor Douglas Dushack presiding. Visitation will be from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Sunday, March 31, 2013 at GUNDERSON WEST FUNERAL & CREMATION CARE, 7435 University Ave., Middleton and also on Monday from 10:00 AM until the time of the Mass at the church.  Memorials in Charlie’s name may be given to the Huntington’s Disease Society of Wisconsin, Boy Scout Troop 140, St. Bernard Parish Middleton or the charity of one’s choice.

Memorials:
Memorials in Charlie’s name may be given to the Huntington’s Disease Society of Wisconsin, Boy Scout Troop 140, St. Bernard Parish Middleton or the charity of one’s choice.


Visitation:
Visitation will be from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Sunday, March 31, 2013 at GUNDERSON WEST FUNERAL & CREMATION CARE, 7435 University Ave., Middleton and also on Monday from 10:00 AM until the time of the Mass at the church.

Service:
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. BERNARD’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, 7450 University Ave., Middleton at 11:00 AM on Monday, April 1st, 2013, with Monsignor Douglas Dushack presiding. Visitation will be from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Sunday, March 31, 2013 at GUNDERSON WEST FUNERAL & CREMATION CARE, 7435 University Ave., Middleton and also on Monday from 10:00 AM until the time of the Mass at the church.

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