I knew it was coming soon — but when the call came that told me about the passing of a friend, Chuck Knuthson, it still hit hard. Chuck passed on last Wednesday, February 27th, in Roseville, California after a tough struggle with colon cancer that had spread.
Those of you who met or worked with Chuck in genealogy will agree with my comments on this special ray of hope for our world. A smile that brightened a room, a helping hand when you needed one, a voice of reason in meetings, a volunteer extraordinaire, and he treated genealogists as friends, not just colleagues. He worked for me on occasion and his genealogical work and reports were above and beyond wonderful. He made some great break-throughs in a couple of cases. His police work background brought an extra to the research process. On one client project, he was able to help me understand a rather graphic coroner’s report and help with the assessment of whether there was any chance it was a murder rather than a suicide. How many of us know someone who could help with that! He said there was no doubt it was a suicide. On another he located a 500 page probate file for me.
At genealogical conferences, and every year at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, he was the right arm to many of us as we set up our computers and projectors. How did he know to be there if a glitch happened? The Federation of Genealogical Societies has lost a great board member, but he made sure that those now handling the jobs he did were well-suited to the job.
I met his wife, also a Paula, several years ago and one night we ate dinner out in California. One of his granddaughters joined us. Imagine this 4 year old trying to figure out two Grandma Paula’s sitting at the table! The love and special bond that Paula and Chuck shared was so evident that it made the rest of us smile.
For those of you who never met Chuck, I am sorry you won’t have that opportunity. His obituary appeared in the Sacrmento Bee newspaper last week. Click here to read it and don’t neglect the guest book – the messages on there will tell you so much more about him and what he meant to us.
© 2008, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.