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Charles H. Yaeger

Charles H. Yaeger

December 17, 2017

Charles “Charlie” Henry Yaeger, whose knowledge, fun-loving and generous nature brought smiles and jokes to many faces, passed away Sunday, December 17, 2017.

He was born May 27, 1928, in West Allis, WI to Charles and Florence (Henry) Yaeger.

Charlie never let the grass grow under his feet and was never afraid to work hard.  One of his first jobs was delivering newspapers. At age 15 he developed his early culinary skills in a small bakery during the summer and part time while in school.  He worked at the Milwaukee Rail Road in the machine shop, delivering coal and at Ozzie’s Specialized Automotive Service.  Charlie graduated from West Allis Nathan Hale High School in 1946. After graduation Charlie continued his career at Swendson’s Ford in the engine rebuilding shop after that he then drove truck for Bagley Produce which was a poultry dealer. There he learned how to grade, pack and deliver dressed and live poultry.

Charlie was drafted by the U.S. Army in November of 1950, processed at Fort Sheridan and assigned to the 343rd Transportation Truck Co at Camp Atterbury (Indiana). He was assigned to the motor pool and drivers training. He was soon promoted to Private First Class and then Corporal in charge of the second shift motor pool.  Later promoted to Staff Sgt., receiving his orders to deploy to Korea.  He shipped out of Washington and took the Northern route to Japan, spending 20 days on the ship, General Brewster, which was a WWII troop ship carrying 3200 troops on board.   They landed at Yokohama Japan and went by rail to Camp Drake.  He went to the 36th Engineer Group, with no openings for Motor Sgt., he then was assigned to the 194th Combat Engineers Company B in the Iron Triangle.

Charlie was Honorably Discharged, April 10, 1957.  During his time serving our country, Charlie received the Korean Service Medal W/1 Bronze Combat Star, United Nations Service Medal and the 1 o/s Service Bar. 

Upon his return from service back to West Allis, he continued his love for the trucking industry by hauling gravel and poultry, but then quickly realized there was a better way to make a living.  He had seen a job posting for Wisconsin State Patrol as a Trooper and applied for the job along with 2300 others.  He took the test and was hired.

Charlie graduated from the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy in March of 1957 and was assigned as a Trooper 1 at District 2, in New Berlin.  Over his 33 years of state service with the Division of State Patrol, he served as Trooper 1, Trooper 2, Motor Vehicle Inspector 2, Motor Vehicle Inspector 3 and Inspector Supervisor.  During his career, Charlie was integral with many investigations, had several accomplishments and commendations.  He developed a School Bus Inspection Program for the complete inspection of a vehicle chassis and body.  He trained the school bus inspection teams, wrote new regulations, inspection procedures and forms.  He worked in conjunction with the School Bus Association to enforce the regulations.  Charlie also was an Instructor at the WSP Academy for Cadet Training, Trooper and Inspector In-Service teaching Size and Weight, Registration, and Inspection along with Investigations for Inspector 2’s.  Charlie was also an instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College teaching in the Basic Law Enforcement 320 Hour courses, In-Service courses for local Officers, School Bus Driver Training and Stolen Vehicle Identification.  Charlie retired June 3, 1989.

When Charlie wasn’t working, or teaching he enjoyed spending time at the lake fishing, camping, and cooking over an open fire making his famous baked beans.  He was a fantastic chef.  Charlie made the best sauerkraut and potato dumplings-enough to feed the campground.  He loved to fish whether it was in a canoe with water coming over the front or from the Happy Troller with down riggers on Lake Superior and then to his Lund trolling for walleyes on Lake Pepin.

No matter what fish he caught, we knew we would have a fantastic fish fry.  He dabbled often with wine making.  One favorite loved by many, Rhubarb, blended with vanilla ice cream-it was one of those concoctions that would sneak up on you.  Charlie was great at wood working.  He spent many hours in his “shop” creating various projects.  Some of his special projects were, Clocks-Grand Father and Wall Hung, a Doll Cabinet, a toy box, wood valences and a TV stand.  He was very talented.

Our family would like to thank the entire Mayo Clinic Hospice team for providing his care during these most difficult days.  A special Thank You to Shannon, Nicole, Amanda and Brenda for your endless support and compassion.

Charlie is survived by his wife, Diane; two step-children, Raana (Steve) Gatza of Shiocton, WI, Sandy (Mark) Porter of Eau Claire; three grandchildren, Collin, Brennan and Ryan Porter; mother-in-law, Lorraine Miller of Eau Claire; and by many other relatives and friends.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, December 22, 2017, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 1804 Highland Ave., Eau Claire, with Pastor Christine Emerson officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at church.  Burial will immediately follow the service at Forest Hill Cemetery in Eau Claire, with Military Honors rendered by American Legion Post 53.

Chippewa Valley Cremation Services in Altoona is serving the family.

Visitation

10 - 11 a.m. Friday, December 22, 2017, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 1804 Highland Ave., Eau Claire.

Service

11 a.m. Friday, December 22, 2017, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 1804 Highland Ave., Eau Claire.