OBITUARY: Charles ‘Chuck’ Louis Kleinschmidt III, 83, of Merritt Island Passed Away July 12

By  //  July 25, 2020

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After college Chuck started a 42-year career in the space industry with Douglas Aircraft

Charles “Chuck” Louis Kleinschmidt, III, passed away peacefully on July 12, 2020, at home in Merritt Island, Florida.

Charles worked in the firing room for Apollo 11

BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – Charles “Chuck” Louis Kleinschmidt, III, passed away peacefully on July 12, 2020, at home in Merritt Island, Florida.

Chuck was born on November 23, 1936, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Charles Louis Kleinschmidt, Jr. & Ruth Lenora Bogan. He grew up in Jackson, MS, graduating from Central High School in 1955 & attended Mississippi State University, where he graduated with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering.

After college Chuck started a 42-year career in the space industry with Douglas Aircraft (later became McDonnell Douglas) in California.

He then transferred to Kennedy Space Center in 1963 & was grateful to have worked on the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle, & International Space Station programs.

He was especially proud to have worked in the firing room for Apollo 11. He retired in 2004 from Boeing as their Engineer of the Year.

In the summer of 1974, while attending a bible study, Chuck realized that he needed a relationship with God, so on the banks of the Indian River, he gave his life to Jesus Christ.

Later that year, he & Jane joined First Baptist Church of Merritt Island & have loved their 45 years of faithful membership & service.

Chuck was an encourager with a ready smile & kind word to everyone he met. His life verse was, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” Colossians 3:23-24.

Chuck enjoyed his retirement by playing his favorite sport of golf & traveling with Jane to visit family & friends across the US, England, & Canada.

He also enjoyed volunteering at First Baptist Church’s House of Hope, a food & clothing ministry, & also volunteering as a tour guide & escort for Space Shuttle launches.

Chuck is survived by his wife Jane of 46 years, five children Heidi (Brian) York of San Antonio, TX, Steve (Carolyn) Neal of Gainesville, FL, Tasha Payne of Union, MS, Bill (Joy) Kleinschmidt of Murfreesboro, TN, and Karen (Russ) Dingess of Canton, GA.

He was the beloved Gramps to his 16 grandchildren – Duncan, Ashlynn, Ian, Ben, & Karen York, Jake & Abby Neal, Brooke (Josh) Carpenter, Hannah & Carson Payne, Jenna, Josh, & Carter Kleinschmidt, Ashley (Dingess) Pierce, David & Daniel Dingess, & 4 great-grandchildren – Jayda, Addy, Bella & Gabby.

He is also survived by his sister, JoAnn (Bill) Moore, nieces, nephews, cousins & numerous family & friends.

A donation can be made in his memory to House of Hope, First Baptist Church of Merritt Island, 140 Magnolia Ave. MI, FL 32952.

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