Charles Warren Chinberg passed away on June 28, 2013, at the Meadows of Napa Valley.
Charles was born on March 15, 1922, in Hay River, Wis., the son of Leo Charles Chinberg and Frances Ottillie (Schultz) Chinberg, both deceased. Charles has two brothers, Robert Leonard Chinberg and Dale Archie Chinberg (deceased).
Charles attended elementary school and junior and senior high school in Minneapolis and Little Falls, Minn. Charles completed the 10th grade and then joined the Naval Ready Reserve on Oct. 10th, 1940. Charles then enlisted in the U.S. Navy on April 14, 1941, and served his basic training at the U.S. Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill., from April to June 1941. Charles then attended Class “A” Machinist’s Mate School at Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Mich., from July to October 1941.
Charles was then assigned to the U.S. Vestal from December 1941 to July 1944 and spent the entire time in the Pacific during the dark days of World War II. The U.S. Vestal performed crucial battle repairs on the U.S. fleet keeping warships back on line. The U.S.S. Vestal was tied up to the Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941.
Charles then served on the following ships and shore stations: U.S. Naval Landing Craft Equipment Depot, Albany, Calif., July 1944 to July 1946., where he earned the rank of Chief (MRC) at the young age of 23 on Nov. 1, 1945, and was one of the youngest Chiefs in the Navy; U.S. Naval Air Station, Alameda, Calif., July 1946 to March 1947; U.S.S. ARD-22, Kodiak, Alaska, March 1947 to February 1949; U.S.S. Jason, March 1949 to August 1951; Naval Special Weapons Unit, Sandia Base, Albuquerque, N.M., August 1951 to September 1953; U. S. Naval Administrative Unit Lake Mead Base, Las Vegas, September 1953 to October 1957; U.S.S. Princeton, October 1957 to May 1959; U.S.S. Luzon, June 1959 to March 1960; and U.S. Naval Administrative Unit, Sandia Base, Albuquerque, N.M.
He retired on Feb. 20, 1961. Charles then spent 10 additional years in the Naval Reserve. Dad received six Good Conduct Medals, outstanding reviews by his commanding officers, a World War II National Defense Medal, and a Korean Service Medal. Dad was proud to serve his country and was just doing his job, like the rest of the Greatest Generation.
Charles then worked for ACF Industries as a process engineer from March 1961 through 1967, when Dad moved the family to Napa and went to work for Mare Island in the Nuclear Power Division. Charles started as an engineering technician, and was promoted to production controller (shipbuilding) receiving a Letter of Commendation in March 1969 for exemplary performance as assistant refueling director on overcoming the difficult problems during fuel transfer operations on the USS Halibut (SSN587).
In August 1976, he received another Letter of Commendation for “Deep Devotion to Duty, Outstanding Professional Performance and Technical Competence” for his work on the USS Barb (SSN 596).
Dad retired with 31 years federal service on Feb. 26, 1979. Dad took up golf and then went on to work at Silverado Country Club as a golf marshal (he loved it), then worked a few years out at the Napa City Golf Course. Dad enjoyed being a member of the “Sirs” and playing golf with his friends. Dad was also a top-notch table tennis player and won the Northern California Berkeley Open while stationed in Albany.
Charles married Ruth Elizabeth Parker on July 6, 1944, in Detroit. Ruth was known as “Betty” to all of her family and friends. Mom and Dad were married for 56 years, until Mom passed away on July 29, 2000.
A year after their marriage on July 5, 1945, a beautiful blonde daughter, Christine Diane Chinberg, was born; eight years later, Alan Craig and Bruce Douglas Chinberg arrived on the scene.
Dad’s greatest hobby was hunting and fishing, and he instilled that love in the twins. Chuck and the twins spent countless days hunting and fishing together in New Mexico, along with Uncle Bob (Dad’s brother), and nephews Ron and Chuck. The outdoor tradition was passed down through the family generations.
Chuck was a great father and always put his family first. Dad was a man of integrity and was very giving of his time. Dad provided a sense of security and a foundation as he always led by example.
Several years after Mom passed away, at a Christmas party in 2003, Dad was lucky enough to meet Elaine Tucker and enjoyed many years of companionship until his death.
Dad is survived by his brother, Robert L. Chinberg and wife Shirley; daughter, Christine Williams; sons, Alan Chinberg (Kathi Metro), Bruce Chinberg (Caren); grandson, Craig Williams; nephews, Ron Chinberg, Chuck Chinberg, Gary Chinberg, Rick Chinberg (Chris O’Clock); and nieces, Carol Warner (David), Kathy Condon (Robert), Lynn Otterson (Einer) and Terry Schonhoff.
Memorial donations in Chuck’s honor can be sent to the Napa Valley College Foundation, Chinberg Family Scholarship, 2277 Napa-Vallejo Highway, Napa, CA 94558.