American Veteran 04

Charles G. Sessner

June 3, 1930 ~ June 28, 2019 (age 89)
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Charles (Chas, Chuck, Charlie) George Sessner was born on June 3, 1930 in Bay City, Michigan to immigrant parents Nellie Lange (Switzerland) and John George Sessner (Germany).  Throughout his life, most called him Charlie, and he spent his entire childhood in Bay City.  After graduating from Central High School in the spring of 1948 Charlie was accepted to the University of Michigan - School of Engineering.  Coming from a very humble background, Charlie worked his way through college making beds and keeping the dorms clean to pay for his room and board.  He often joked about how hard he had to work to keep up with his classmates.  He somehow figured it out and graduated in 1952. 

Upon graduation, Charlie chose the Army to do his part for the United States of America.  He was in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1952 until 1954, spending over a year in Korea supporting the 65th Brigade Engineer Battalion.  He was there to help build bridges, make bunkers, and keep American and other friendly soldiers safe.  During his time he received several citations including being promoted to Sergeant and for his work in the construction of main battle positions for the entire 25th Infantry Division and his commendation ribbon and medal pendant in field services near the 38th Parallel.  he was further honored when his bunker designs were carried forward back to the Fort Benning training base and Infantry Training Center. 

After his Army service Charlie came back to Bay City, Michigan to be close to his family and get back to his engineering roots.  He began his career as draftsman for Spicer Engineering and soon thereafter received his Michigan Board of Registration for Architects, Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors in 1957.  Little did he know that he would eventually become the CEO/President (and sole owner) of Spicer Engineering.

In 1959 Charlie met Nancy Catherine Burke from an introduction by his sister Alice while he was building Alice's house.  Nancy and Alice worked together at Mercy Hospital where Nancy was an X-ray technician.  Loved blossomed quickly, and on February 27, 1960 they were married  Their honeymoon was in Bermuda and no surprise, children quickly followed:  Barbara (1961), Catherine (1962), Amy (1963) and Beth (1965).  At that time Charlie said four is plenty and I have my four treasurers.  At which time, Nancy would respond...What am I?  "Chopped liver?"  This was their little inside joke. All four daughters married and Charlie and Nancy had 8 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.

In 1985 after selling Spicer Engineering, charlie and Nancy left Michigan permanently and retired in Scottsdale, Arizona.  In 1996 Nancy passed away, and Charlie stayed in Scottsdale.  While he was in Arizona he picked up painting and did several hundred paintings throughout his life.  Many sold in shows and exhibits in Arizona.  He was very proud of his paintings especially when people paid $4,000 (his highest ever) for them.  He would brag to his golf buddies on how much he would sell a painting for. 

In 2004 Charlie moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and joined the Aliante Golf Community.  He always enjoyed his golfing twice a week and ally relish completing a speed round of golf in under 2.5 hours.  It was there that he picked up many card games including Bridge.  That is where he met Bobbie Atkinson in the spring of 2006 at a Poker Tournament.  Introducing himself to Bobbie, he asked, "Are you attached or unattached?" - typical Charlie.  They became instant, lifelong friends, and she would become the last love of his life.  Bobbie and Charlie enjoyed their years together and decided to move to Colorado in 2012.  After a short time in an apartment in Parker they moved to the "East Wing" of the Hales' Palmer Ridge house. They were inseparable and did just about everything together.  

Charlie  enjoyed the many deer and especially the birds he would see daily as he constantly refilled his bird feeders, sometimes 2 times a day.  He and Bobbie became regulars at the Senior Center playing Bridge twice a week and becoming regulars at the Elizabeth Presbyterian Church where they were married on March 9, 2019.

In recent years Charlie set up a scholarship for struggling engineering students and to give back to the University of Michigan.  Dureing his college years a donor had anonymously given him $500 to support his education.  He was very proud of this and of how he could return the favor. 

Charlie - husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, friend, engineer, soldier, artist, golfer, home builder and so much more.  We will all miss him.  He truly had an amazing life.

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