It is with much sadness that we announce the passing of Charles “Chuck” Leffew.

Chuck was born on September 21rst, 1951 at Hamilton Field in Novato to Ann and Charles Leffew Sr. He passed away in his home on December 29th.

A lifelong Santa Rosa resident. He graduated from Piner High School in 1969. During these early years he learned house painting and construction from his stepfather, who he worked with, learning a trade that would carry him into his adult years. He later served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, being stationed in Hawaii, Guam, and serving several tours at sea. While still in the service, he married and had his first son with the war coming to a close shortly after. Like many returning servicemen, Chuck had a difficult time reintegrating back into civilian life. He would carry those memories of the war with him for the rest of his life. But he returned home to be the best husband and father he could be. The following years would see the birth of this second son and working hard to support his family. In his work painting for Codding Construction, he would be a part of the growth of many Sonoma County Communities. He would later remarry to Cindy Lou Wilkenson, who would prove to be his soul mate and partner through the rest of his life.

However, while these things tell you what Charles did in a broad sense, they don’t tell you who he was. He loved music, vintage muscle cars, and classic westerns. He could listen to any song and replicate it on his guitar. He loved his wife and his family to the best of his ability and tried to pass to them the best that he had to offer. But the thing we all remember will be his sense of humor. Everyone who knew Chuck had a “Chuck Story”. The anecdotes of some joke he told that pushed the limits of humor to its breaking point, or of the pranks that will live forever in the retelling. Humor was often how he connected with people.

During his life with Cindy, Chuck worked many years as a handy-man. He worked with his youngest son Brandon, and many are the tales of lessons about life learned through humor and the right tool for the job. It is now his kids privilege to pass on the fine tradition of the “dad joke” that Chuck honed to a fine art, to their children. In this way we pass on the best of who he is to us in our hearts.

To us, Chuck is more than the sum of his accomplishments. It is a lifetime of moments shared with him that can not be forgotten. At this time of life, he never wanted people to be sad…though many of us are. Chuck wanted laughter; he wanted people to celebrate life.

To honor his wishes, a service will be held at Eggan and Lance Chapel in Santa Rosa on February 3rd at 11:00 A.M.  Anyone with a who wishes to celebrate his life or share their own Chuck Story is welcome to attend.