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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Charles William Putnam III, Rest in Peace


Charlie was a year ahead of me in high school. When I think of “lead by example”, he’s the one I think of.

Charlie spoke so seldom I can’t remember what his voice was like. He was admired by all for his quiet modesty and integrity.

Charlie has a lot of be modest about. When we won the state regional track meet, we won with 32 points. Charlie had 20 of them: first in the 100 yard dash, 220 yard dash, long jump, and anchor of the 880 relay. Ordinarily he wouldn’t be in so many events; I would usually have been in the 220 and the 880 relay, but was pushed out because Charlie was so much, much better. He was also a soccer and baseball star.

I’ve copied his obituary below, which makes it clear that this quiet leadership did not end in our small high school.  I look forward to reading his book, and am sorry he won’t be able to write another.

Charles William Putnam III


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clip_image001Putnam III, Charles William of Christiansburg, VA died in the early morning of January 6th, 2013. He exemplified outstanding courage in a 4 year battle against lung cancer. Charles was 63; born March 29, 1949 in Saint Louis, MO. He graduated high school from Our Lady of Good Counsel Seminary in 1967. In 1972 he graduated with a degree in Biology from the University of Missouri after having attended Sacred Heart Major Seminary and then Eastern Illinois University where he won a national championship in soccer. Charles strove to be a man of God and seeking Him was his life's vocation. He sought God's presence in nature. For him, natural beauty was a refuge from the blight of material things. He believed that genuine regard for the order of natural systems brought one closer to God's simple truth of harmony. In service to this belief, he worked as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service for the greater part of his career. After an early retirement he worked part-time as director of Montgomery County's Gypsy Moth Program and continued to enjoy nature as much as he could. Charles also found God in scholarly rigor. He wrote and read daily for his entire life. In the weeks prior to his passing he finalized a manuscript of his book, a culmination of his lifelong passion for science and theology. The book will be published posthumously by his family. Above all else, Charlie found God in his love for people near to him. His father Charles, father-inlaw Robert Linkous, and sister-inlaw Mary Ellen precede him in death. He is survived by all other family members: his mother Patricia, his brothers Timothy, Daniel, James (Marcia), Michael (Theresa), Thomas, Robert (Lori), Richard, and his sisters Jane Rothery (Daniel), Barbara, and Mary. All live in or around St. Louis, MO except Michael who lives in Redwood City, CA. Also surviving him are his sister- and brother-in-law Rebecca Kakaley (Russ) of Charlotte, NC and Mark Linkous (Deanne) of Christiansburg, VA. Charlie married his loving wife Rose Mary Linkous Putnam 29 years ago. The couple has three children, Christian, Jessica, and Samantha. The couple resided for 19 years in Van Buren, MO before returning to Rosemary's native Christiansburg, VA. All are students studying at Virginia Tech, Radford University, and Christiansburg High School, respectively. Services: The family will receive family and friends from 5-8 PM on Tuesday evening at HORNE Funeral Home in Christiansburg, VA. A funeral mass celebrating Charles' life will be held Wednesday January, 9 at 10 AM at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Christiansburg, VA. Interment will follow at Belmont Cemetery in Christiansburg, VA. Flowers are appreciated but in lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Pregnancy Resource Center (708 North Main Street Suite 200, Blacksburg, VA 24060) or the American Cancer Society (2849 Electric Rd. Suite 206, Roanoke, VA 24018). Additionally, a memorial service will be held in St. Louis, MO in a coming week for friends and family. The date is unknown as of yet. The family extends a special thanks to Dr. Harry McCoy and the staff of Blue Ridge Cancer Care in Christiansburg, VA for the extraordinary respect and expertise on which Charles remarked time and time again. Online condolences may be left by visitingwww.hornefuneralservice.com.

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