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Charles "Chuck" Trevathan

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“He will always be my Uncle Charles! I loved that he took time to talk to me and answer my questions when I was a little guy, he was the smartest...Read More »
1 of 14 | Posted by: Mark Wagoner - Greensboro, NC

“Chuck drove thousands of miles to save me at a time that nobody else would. I will never forget the personalized tour of NASA Greenbelt he gave me. ...Read More »
2 of 14 | Posted by: Rodney Martinez - Houston, TX

“We enjoyed playing bridge with Chuck. He and Helen were always gracious at the bridge table. Blessings of peace and comfort to Helen and his family...Read More »
3 of 14 | Posted by: Bert and Carolyn Adams - WA

“Though everyone called him Chuck, he'll always be my Uncle Charles. I loved and liked him so much. Today, the day before his memorial, I'm thinking...Read More »
4 of 14 | Posted by: Mare Trevathan - Longmont, CO

“My sweet friend Chuck was such a blessing in my life. I am so grateful to have shared time with him during the short span we knew each other. His...Read More »
5 of 14 | Posted by: Tammy - NC - Friend

“We will always remember Uncle Charles and Aunt Helen's road-trip to California in 2007. We cherish our moments with both of you. Our heartfelt...Read More »
6 of 14 | Posted by: Rich and Paula (Trevathan) Gonzalez - CA

“Uncle Charley was always there for our family when I was growing up. He was so giving and thoughtful. I know he will live on in our hearts and in our...Read More »
7 of 14 | Posted by: Pam and Jim Lee - FL

“Please accept my sincere sympathy. Chuck was a wonderful person - always looking to do something for someone else. He will be dearly missed. ”
8 of 14 | Posted by: Dot McClintock - Columbus, NC

“So, so sad Uncle Charles has "gone home" and is not with us any longer. We really love that man. Helen, you were his greatest cheerleader and...Read More »
9 of 14 | Posted by: Jim and Joanne Maitland - VA

“Helen and Family, I am sorry for your loss. Charles was always such a kind gentleman and was always most welcoming to me when I would visit the...Read More »
10 of 14 | Posted by: PDG Marti Hill - Asheville, NC

“We will greatly miss Chuck. There couldn't have been a kinder, more decent man. His friendship was warm and supportive. He gave great service to...Read More »
11 of 14 | Posted by: Renee and Jim McDermott

“Uncle Charles will always remain alive in our hearts and greatly missed. He was loving, giving, inspirational and always looked on the positive side...Read More »
12 of 14 | Posted by: Steve and Susan Trevathan Sexton - NC

“Helen, My sympathies go out to you and the family. Chuck was a great person who was passionate about his beliefs and always stepped up forhis causes...Read More »
13 of 14 | Posted by: GEORGE COUCH - FOREST CITY, NC

“We will always remember your great kindness and wonderful good nature. So many great achievements in your life, we will always love you Uncle Charles. ”
14 of 14 | Posted by: Peggy and Ivica Maras - CA


Charles (Chuck) Edward Trevathan, 81, died at home in Columbus, NC. Saturday, September 28 after a valiant 10-year battle against prostate cancer. He was born on August 4, 1932 in Walnut Cove, NC; the youngest of 7 children of the late Jesse Ernest Trevathan and Mary Bailey Trevathan.. He received a degree in electrical engineering from NC State and was an avid Wolfpack fan his entire life. After college he served 2 years in the Army. The majority of his career was spent working for NASA at the Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. He led the design team that developed NASA's first standard spacecraft computer–a design so good it has continued to be flown. At the end of his NASA career, he was manager of the Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite, launched from the Shuttle Discovery. This satellite provided vital data that allowed scientists to better understand the causes of ozone depletion and to measure the role of human activities in atmospheric changes. A Wall Street Journal article praised him for bringing in the mission on time and under budget and further stated that the project "has become a model at NASA for how to manage a big science project."

After his retirement Chuck and his wife Helen returned to their beloved North Carolina, settling in Columbus, NC. He drew up plans for their home and worked with the builders to complete it. He then put years of energy into his favorite activity–digging in the dirt, landscaping, and growing beautiful flowers for Helen to arrange. He and Helen loved travel, especially road trips. They played in bridge tournaments all over the country, achieving the level of Silver Life Masters. He volunteered on the board of the 4-H, took part in tutoring programs, was active in the local Democratic party, and served in the Columbus Lions Club. As a Lion he was particularly proud that while he was president of the club, women were first admitted. He had a kind and generous heart.

Chuck is survived by his wife of 28 years, Helen Boucher Trevathan, and by his three children: Chuck, Jr. (Rose) of Montgomery, AL, John (Sandy Kuplis) of Montello, NV, and Sandy Trevathan of Saluda, NC. He has two grandchildren, Lindsay Trevathan of Columbia, MD, and Tim Trevathan of Seoul, South Korea. He has four surviving siblings, Mary Catherine Biggerstaff, Vivian Maitland, Louis Trevathan, and Jesse Trevathan; his brother and sister-in-law Kenneth and Miriam Boucher; and many loving nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his first wife Regina Tuck Trevathan and by two brothers, James and William Trevathan. He will also be sorely missed by his sometimes-good-dog, Mandy.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Columbus Lions Club, P.O. Box 121, Columbus, NC 28722, or Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, 130 Forest Glen Drive, Columbus NC 28722.

The memorial service will be at 2:00 P.M. Saturday, October 19, 2013 at the Tryon Depot Room; 22 Depot Street Tryon, N.C. Condolences may be made online at www.mcmahansfuneralhome.com . McMahan's Funeral Home & Cremation Services in charge of arrangements.