Obituary-Charles (Chuck) Westin

Charles Andrew (Chuck) Westin, 84, of Belleville, KS, passed away from cancer on October 13, 2023, at his home.

Chuck was born in Topeka, KS, to Carl A. and Florence Helen (Stratton) Westin on May 1, 1939. He was a loving husband, son, father, and friend to all. He was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Florence Westin, his first wife Carolyn Lockhart, and his beloved daughter Christina Louise Westin Fruin.

Chuck is survived by his wife Carolyn Sue (Laue) Olson Westin, whom he married on April 15, 1982, in Erie, Colorado; his daughters, Carol Westin and Cynthia Westin, and deceased daughter Christina’s widow Joy Fruin, and his sons, Jason (Lori), Scott (Megan), and Seth (Breanne) Olson, and grandchildren Austin Workman, Samantha Workman, Bailey DeLong, Alex Olson, Ben Olson, and Tatum Connett, and his great grandson Christopher “Chris” James Kramer (Bailey), and Chuck’s brother Philip (Judy). He said that his greatest joy was being with his wife and their children and grandchildren, and he noted that they each always treated him with such great kindness and love. He enjoyed the trips that he took with his wife of over 40 years, and enjoyed his many friends, associates, and pets.

Chuck graduated from Formoso (KS) High School in 1957 and finished one year of college at Emporia State Teachers College where his parents had graduated 30 years earlier. He entered the active Army for two years in 1958. He later graduated from Emporia with a BSBA, Xavier University in Cincinnati with an MBA in Hospital Administration, and Walden University where he received his PhD.

He worked for the VA and the US Public Health Service financing small rural hospitals. He retired in Denver in 1989, and was the administrator of Republic County Hospital in Belleville from 1990 to 2000 (where he retired, as he said, for the 3rd or 4th time). After serving as a military intelligence officer (like his father in law), he served from time to time as a volunteer sheriff’s deputy where he was able to assist folks. He was honored to serve as the Great Plains Health Alliance board chairman, where his father had been involved 70 years earlier. He said that he never had a job he didn’t enjoy or supervisors and co-workers whom he didn’t respect and admire. Often moving to where his job was, during his work years he lived in KS, MO, IA, PA, OH, IL, CO, and TX.

During his life he advocated for many social justice items (including universal health coverage, rural issues, and equal justice and opportunity for all) and he hoped that his efforts might help others (and many sort of enjoyed receiving or reading his letters).

With his parent’s permission, he joined the Kansas National Guard in Mankato at the age 17 as a private. During the next 33 years, he served on active duty with the Army, and later in the Army, Navy, and Air Force Reserves, retiring from the Air Force Reserve as a LtCol in 1990. He always enjoyed his military experiences and said that it was probably because he never got shot at and never had to go out of the country. He met his wife who was an Army Major Masters degree nurse through a military organization. He specifically requested that he not receive a military funeral, hoping to reserve that honor for combat veterans whom he said deserved much more than he.

He was generous and was often involved in volunteer work. He loved and appreciated his friends at the American Lutheran Church in Belleville, and requested prayers in lieu of flowers or memorials.

Funeral Services will be held at the American Lutheran Church in Belleville on Thursday, October 19, 2023, at 10:30 a.m., with Mr. Al Urich, PMA, officiating. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery, Scandia.

Visitation will be Wednesday, October 18th, from 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm, with family greeting friends from 6pm – 8pm, at Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home in Belleville.

Memorials are requested to the American Lutheran Church, the Republic Co. Food Bank, or the Golden Bell Haven, and may be sent to Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home, PO Box 566, Belleville, Kansas, 66935.

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