Georgia – Charles Aubrey “Chuck” Thweatt passed away unexpectedly early Sunday morning in the home that he and his bride, Anne, of over 65 years built and loved. Chuck was born in Paris, Miss. on April 20, 1931, the son of Alton and Evie (Hill) Thweatt, who both predeceased him.
Chuck graduated from Yocono High School in Lafayette County, Miss. in 1949, where at 6’1” he played on the basketball team. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1951. In 1952 he was stationed at the Radar Site in St. Albans, where he met the love of his life, Anne Montcalm. They were married on Sept. 13, 1952 at Holy Angels Church and started their life of travel and adventure together.
Chuck spent 20 years in the military, and in addition to the radar site, he was stationed at Weisbaden, Germany; Panama City, Fla. (Tyndall AFB); Izmir, Turkey (NATO Installation); Sherman/Dennison AFB, Texas; Wichita Falls, Texas; Ramstein, Germany; Aurora, Colo. (Lowry AFB); and New Baltimore, Mich. (Selfridge AFB) before retiring as a master sergeant from the USAF in 1971. With a communications background he also spent several TDY’s (temporary duty) in England, Italy and Morocco, among others.
Along the way they welcomed their three sons to their life of adventure – Michael born in Panama City, Greg born in Wichita Falls and Brian born in Landstuhl, Germany.
In the USAF, Chuck was a telephone/communications technician before cross training to Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratories in 1966 and progressed to managing the PMEL Lab at Selfridge AFB. On his retirement from the USAF, he was offered his position as manager of the PMEL Lab as a warrant officer in the civil service but declined the offer so he could bring his family to live in Vermont.
Chuck and Anne bought a house in Shelburne, and Chuck embarked on his second career with Simmonds Precision in Vergennes. At SPPI he advanced from line technician to department manager and eventually to vice president, overseeing the construction of a new building dedicated to their commercial products division.
In 1978, Chuck was the first employee hired by Mitel Corp. for its new plant to be built in Vermont. He oversaw construction of the plant while managing Mitel’s temporary facility, opening the brand-new facility in 1981 on Hinesburg Road in South Burlington. It was heartbreaking for Chuck when Mitel’s global fortunes forced them to close the SB plant and sell the building; however, it was not the end of his Mitel career. Chuck and Anne dusted off their suitcases and headed to Guadalajara where Chuck tackled the role of director general, Mitel de Mexico. As with everywhere they travelled, they made many new friends during their three-year stay in Mexico, and they welcomed many family members who were able to visit them on vacations.
Never one to be idle, Chuck was one of the founders of Vermont Semiconductor, Inc. and managed its Williston facility. Other than a few consulting positions, this was to be his last position in the semiconductor industry, and he eventually retired to the country home he and Anne built in Georgia, within sight of the house where Anne was born.
Along the way in his spare time, Chuck earned a bachelor’s degree in business from UVM.
But Chuck missed the concept of retiring and began delving into many other interests. Besides the more common interests – attending his grandchildren’s sports and school events, gardening, and he had long been an avid bowler (even managing the base bowling alley at Selfridge AFB). But he also became involved in local politics, AARP, and countless other interests. He found the time to attend Thweatt family reunions in Tennessee each summer to reconnect with his siblings and their families, often bringing others along with him.
Chuck was a member of the Georgia Board of Civil Authority and a justice of the peace from 2004 through 2014. He became involved with the Vermont Republican Party. He taught AARP’s “55 Alive” safe driving course for seniors for many years and was presented an award for his service by then-Gov. Jim Douglas. He remained involved in retired military interests, and for years coordinated an annual reunion for those who served on “The Hill,” the St. Albans Radar Site. He was a member of the VFW and of the American Legion.
Chuck lived a very full life, and he and Anne touched so many, many others along the way. He will be dearly missed not only by his family, who he cherished so dearly, but by all he made contact with.
Chuck is survived by his beloved wife and best friend, Anne, of over 65 years, as well as his sons Mike and Susan (Dattilio) Thweatt of St. Albans, Greg Thweatt of Ashland, Or.; and Brian and Holly (Reagan) Thweatt of Georgia.
He is also survived by his siblings Evelyn and Raymond Mason of Memphis, Tenn.; Emogene Gibson of Texarkana, Texas; Curtis and Barbara Thweatt of Oxford, Miss.; Rev. Walter “Jack” and Pat Thweatt of Boaz, Ala.; Elsie Crites of Centreville ,Va.; Dorothy “Dot” and Lloyd Barlow of Bartlett, Tenn.; and William “Bill” and Bev Thweatt of Hot Springs, Alaska.
Grandchildren Matthew Thweatt of St. Albans Bay, Jeremy and Nicole (Nolasco) Thweatt of Johnson, Aubrey Thweatt of Mableton, Ga.; Kyle Thweatt of Daytona, Fla,; Jake and Allie (Brown) Thweatt of Milton; and step-granddaughter Cassandra Dattilio of Enosburg.
Special great-granddaughter Jaiden Thweatt and step-great-grandchildren Noah, Marley, Cadence and Hayley Brown of Johnson; and MJ and Connor Emch of Enosburg. Plus, so many loving cousins, nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and nephews all around the country, many of whom had special relationships with Chuck and Anne.
Family and friends will celebrate Chuck’s life by gathering for a mass of Christian burial on Friday, March 9 at 1 p.m. at Holy Angels Catholic Church, 245 Lake St., St. Albans. Interment with military honors will be held at a later date in Mount Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Vermont Chapter, 300 Cornerstone Dr., Suite 130, Williston, VT 05495 or to a charity of your choice.
Assisting Chuck’s family is the Heald Funeral Home, where messages of condolence are welcome at healdfuneralhome.com.