John G. “Chuck” Naasz passed away at the age of 84 at Cottage in the Meadow Hospice in Yakima, Washington, on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 following a battle with cancer. Chuck, also affectionately known as “Charlie,” was born in Terry, Montana on May 31, 1931.
From Terry, Montana he moved to Fairfield (Great Falls), Mt. The family then moved in 1942 to Yakima, Washington where he attended Mckinley and Franklin schools and graduated from Yakima Senior High School in 1949. While going to school and after graduation he worked at Sigmans Bakery, Tender Crust Bakery, and Gerritsen’s
Market. In 1951 he joined the U.S. Navy and went to Aviation and Aviation Storekeeper schools. Upon completion of his training he was assigned to FASRON 8 in Alameda, California. While stationed at Alameda he joined Navy Fighter Squadron VF-92 and served in Korea on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Philippine Sea CVA-47. Serving in the Navy he was awarded the Combat Action ribbon, Korean Service Medal with 1 Bronze Star, Korean Defense Service Medal, China Service Medal, Korea Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Navy Good Conduct Medal.
After his discharge in 1955 he went back to work for Gerritsen’s Market and also entered college. He attended YVC and received his BA and MA in education from C.W.S.C. His major area was Art Education and his first two years of teaching were at Naches High School. Starting in 1961 he taught at Eisenhower High School for 30 years, retiring in 1992. He loved teaching and took great pleasure in helping his students.
In 1960 he married the love of his life, Jeannie Welton. They were blessed with two wonderful children, Sheri and Kenneth. The family spent many happy years together. They enjoyed family get-togethers, vacations to the ocean, camping, and working on their family home. Chuck was a happy person who really enjoyed family over anything else. Chuck made friends with practically everyone he met and enjoyed meeting his close friends for coffee in the mornings to share their stories.
During his teaching career Chuck also worked as a professional artist. He is well known for his beautiful watercolors and pen & ink drawings.
Throughout his career Jeannie managed the art business and was also the person who encouraged him and gave him confidence and faith in himself to further his career.
Chuck is the past president of the Larson Gallery Guild and the Yakima Valley Society of artists.
During his teaching career he also taught math and photography. Photography was one of his many hobbies along with building and remodeling, electrical work, riding motorcycles, traveling, the ocean, yard work and classic automobiles.
He was a charter member of the first Model A Club in Yakima, past member of the Vintiques, Nash Metropolitan Club, Chevrolet Club of America, and National Model A Club.
Chuck was very active at McAllister Museum of Aviation where he was on the Board of Directors and also the Display Coordinator where he created informational displays for local service veterans. He could be seen every year gathering cookies and treats from generous local businesses to provide to veterans during the annual Veteran’s Day event at the museum.
Chuck is survived by his wife of 55 years Jeannie (Welton) Naasz, his daughter Sheri and her husband Russell Mclaughlin of Yakima, son Kenneth of Issaquah, brother Frank of Sunriver, Oregon, and sister Anna Stewart of Seattle. He was preceded in death by his father Johannes, his mother Anna, his brothers Chris, Harold and Sig and sisters Regina Allen and Frieda Chapman.
The family would like to thank all the doctors, nurses and care providers who worked tirelessly. We’d especially like to thank all the kind people at Crescent Health Care and Cottage in the Meadow who helped ease his passing and ask that you please make a donation to the charity of your choice.