Sunday, November 13, 2005

Chuck Maples - One of the Good Guys

My dear wife and I picked up the Sunday edition of the Daily Independent this morning to discover that our friend and co-worker Chuck Maples had lost his battle with cancer on Friday.

This was a real shock. Especially for my dear wife. She and Chuck had worked together for many many years. Chuck had always helped her with anything she needed help with. Chuck was also one of her biggest supporters at work. I truely appreciated knowing that he would be there to "get her back" if she ever had any troubles at the office.

Chuck had a wonderful sense of humor. You really had to be on your toes around him. He could deliver the most hilarious one liners with no reaction other than a twinkle in his eyes.

Chuck was also one of the old school China Lake employees. He loved the work we do at China Lake. He also believed that we were a family, and that family helped each other. I always knew that if I needed a hand with anything I could call on Chuck. Whether is was a quick fabrication job out of his shop, borrowing a technician for a few hours, or the loan of some equipment. Chuck didn't care that the management stucture said that we worked on different programs. He supported my programs just as vigorously as he did the ones his own Branch was working on. Chuck understood that all the work we do is important. Chuck spent his career making sure that the United States Navy was one of the best armed and defended fighting forces on the planet.

Ridgecrest and China Lake lost a great treasure on Friday. The Navy lost a dedicated employee who truly believed that China Lake was the best weapons development lab in the world. His employees lost a boss who looked out for their careers and their lives. His family lost a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. My dear wife and I lost a good friend.

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