2013-10-03 / Obituaries

Charles A. Woessner

Dr. Charles (Chuck) Woessner, passed away on Sept. 27, 2013 in Carson City, Nev.

Chuck was born in Oakland to Charles Woessner and Bonnie Himes Woessner. Chuck spent his youth in Oakland, but began visiting his beloved Sierra Nevada as a teenager. His adventures included bunking down in a sleeping bag in the Union Pacific’s snowsheds by Donner Pass in January, shivering and listening to the giant “Mallet” steam engines whistle and thunder up and down the grade, then the next day taking his first ride on a chairlift (35 cents a ride at Sugar Bowl), in hiking boots and borrowed skis, only to realize at the top of the lift that he had no idea how to get down the mountain.

Chuck's college years were interrupted by World War II. He served with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific, as a quartermaster on the minesweepers USS Caution (USS ATA 196) and USS Kingfisher. Upon discharge, Chuck entered the College of Dentistry at UC San Francisco, where he met his future wife, Marian Polhemus.

After graduation, Chuck leapt at the opportunity to take over a small dental practice in Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park. Chuck began his practice in 1950, where he was soon joined by his bride Marian. Chuck and Marian raised four children in Yosemite, all of whom began to ski almost as soon as they could walk, and felt at home on any mountain trail. Chuck practiced dentistry in Yosemite Valley for 37 years.

Chuck loved the mountains. He reached the summit of every major peak in the Sierra and hiked, climbed and bicycled throughout the world. After retirement, Chuck volunteered at a dental clinic at a village in Mexico, then in the mountains of Nepal, where he taught a young Sherpa woman the essentials of dentistry.

Chuck spent the last 14 years of his life in Carson City.

Chuck is survived by Marian, his loving wife of 62 years, son Chuck Woessner (wife Missy), daughter Anne Macquarie (husband Chas), son Rob Woessner (wife Amy), and daughter Betsy Grande (husband Kerry), grandchildren Heidi Remick (Pelly), Betsy Owens (Brant), Trevor Woessner (Kelly), Charlie Macquarie, Anna Romanova (Valentin), Emily Woessner, Catie Woessner, Jacob Grande, Collin Grande and great-grandchildren Henry, Owen and Penny.

The family plans a small, private memorial somewhere in the mountains.

Anyone who would like to make a donation in lieu of flowers, please make it to the environmental organization of your choice.

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