Charles Richard “Chuck” Wittig passed away on November 14th, 2021, after a brief hospitalization. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri on January 6, 1923, to William and Mathilda (Eyssell) Wittig.
Chuck was a highly accomplished athlete. He attended Pembroke Country Day School on a scholarship provided by the Kansas City based Lucky Tiger Hair Tonic. At Pem-Day, he lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. He would later become an active alumnus, serving the school in several roles including president of the Alumni Association. Following his graduation from Pem-Day he attended Colgate University on a football scholarship. While at Colgate he lettered in football, hockey, and baseball. He was a member of Colgate’s last undefeated hockey team in 1947. His athletic career extended well into his 90s as a fixture on the tennis courts at Homestead Country Club. After taking up tennis for the first time in his mid-fifties, he went on to win state championships in his age bracket and played in the U.S. Senior Olympics.
In 1941 Chuck was a freshman at Colgate when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He immediately enlisted and was sent to the University of Chicago to study Japanese, as he was a language major at Colgate. As the war in Europe worsened, he was sent to the battle lines where he fought as a member of General Patton’s Third Army. He was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and received the first of two purple hearts.
On January 7, 1950, Chuck married Nancy Ann Slater, also of Kansas City. Shortly after their wedding Chuck was called to serve in Korea. During his Korean tour, he was gravely wounded, receiving a second purple heart and the silver star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy. After the war, Nancy and Chuck settled in Prairie Village, Kansas, where they raised their three children. Nancy and Chuck were one of thirty couples who founded Christ Episcopal Church in Overland Park in 1959. He has been a faithful member of Christ Church for its entire history, serving the parish in many roles over the years including serving as an usher until his death.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Catherine (Kitty) and Dorothy (Dodie), a brother William (Bill), a son Andrew, and his wife Nancy in 2002. His survivors include his son David Cyrus (Beth), William Slater (Timi) and daughter Sarah Geisler (Paul), and six grandchildren: Davis Wittig, Cyrus Wittig, Matilda Wittig, Sarah Wittig, Andrew Geisler, and Elliott Geisler.
A celebration of Chuck’s life will be held at Christ Church at 91st and Nall on Monday December 13th, 2021, at 10:00 am (Central Time). If you are interested in participating but are unable to attend in person, the service will also be livestreamed at https://vimeo.com/event/1528438. In place of flowers, the family suggests that memorials be directed to the Chuck Wittig Scholarship at The Pembroke Hill School, Christ Church Overland Park, or St. Luke’s Hospice House in Kansas City, Missouri.