Terrell, Charles Harold

U.S. Navy Veteran Held Long Career With Xerox

  • Thursday, June 20, 2024
Charles Harold Terrell
Charles Harold Terrell

Charles Harold Terrell was born July 30, 1936, in Rhamkatte, a hamlet outside Raleigh, NC. He was the first-born from the union of Charleston and Eliza Elean Terrell and would later be joined by five brothers and one sister. He was christened in Saint John African Methodist Episcopal Church and remained a lifelong Christian. He died on June 10, 2024, in Chattanooga, TN.

Charles Harold, as he was affectionately known in his youth, was educated in the segregated schools of Wake County, NC. He was an excellent student and the quarterback of his high school football team. He graduated from J.W. Ligon High School in June,1954.

To satisfy his enduring quest for adventure, he enlisted in the United States Navy. After a successful first tour of duty, he decided to return to civilian life to pursue higher education and a life outside the military. He was honorably discharged in 1958 and rejoined the Terrell family, which by then had relocated to Baltimore, MD.

However, the lure of the sea called Charles Harold once again. He re-enlisted in the Navy in January,1959 and served on active duty for the next 16 years. He became an Aerographer’s Mate and rose through the ranks quickly. Not content with his remarkable success as an enlisted sailor, having become a Senior Chief Petty Officer, he set his sights on becoming a Warrant Officer, the most highly skilled professionals in the Navy, and was promoted to Warrant in June,1972. During his career, he served with distinction aboard the U.S.S Forrestal (CVA-59), U.S.S Ranger (CV-4), and the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), on which he saw action off the coast of Vietnam. He also served in various commands in the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. For his efforts, he was awarded the: Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Star; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device; National Defense Medal, and other ribbons and unit citations. Ever one to seize an opportunity, he also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois, while stationed at Naval Air Station Glenview. He retired from naval service in July,1975 and was transferred to the Fleet Reserve as a Master Chief Aerographer’s Mate.

Later in 1975, Charles became a Sales Executive for Xerox in Chicago, IL. He excelled at all things corporate, quickly leveraging his knowledge of the technical aspects of business solutions and the art of customer relations. In 1978, he relocated to Los Angeles, CA, where he consistently won the company’s top sales awards and managed some of the company’s largest accounts. Wanting to move back east to be closer to his aging parents and other family members he accepted an executive account manager position in Chattanooga, TN. In keeping with his reputation for diligence, he grew the Xerox presence at Shaw Industries, BCBS, and Unum Provident. He became the only salesperson given an office at Shaw Industries and retired from the company in 2000.

Charles loved cars, especially BMWs. Over time, he also owned VWs, a Saab, and a Mercedes, but his garage was rarely without at least one BMW. He traveled to Germany to take delivery of one or two and held memberships in several BMW Clubs across the country, once serving as president of the BMW Club of Chattanooga. He made fast friends among fellow car enthusiasts and was most excited when describing the feeling one gets from driving a finely tuned automobile.     

However, the true love of his life was his wife, Brenda. The two met in Chicago, IL and married in Las Vegas on September 14, 1985. Charles and Brenda resided in Covina, CA until December 26, 1995, arriving New Year’s Eve, in Chattanooga. It has been home for them for 28 years. The two shared a love of faith, family, and friends. They joined St. Martin of Tours Episcopal Church in Chattanooga, where Charles served on the vestry, was an active member of the Laymen’s Ministry, and sang in the choir for over 20 years.

Charles “Chuck” leaves to cherish his memory: his wife, Brenda; seven children, Lynn (Chris) Terrell-Arnold of Front Royal, VA, Charlotte Wilson of Queensland, Australia, Craig Terrell of Los Angeles, CA, and Geoffrey Terrell of Pittsburgh, PA, Gail Atkinson (James) of Phoenix AZ, Keith Tularaksa (Tori) of Phoenix, AZ and Jay Tularaksa of Bangkok, Thailand; five grandchildren, Brittany Shakira Terrell-Singleton and Evanmichael (Jasmine) Callison, Alexander (David) Heatherington of Las Vegas NV, Michael Shimizu of AFB Japan, Sydney Tularaksa of Phoenix, AZ; one great-grandson, Kieran Callison-Taylor; five brothers, Thomas Terrell of Baltimore, MD, Robert Terrell of Baltimore, MD, Rufus Terrell of Baltimore, MD and Eric Terrell of Texas City, TX, and one sister, Eliza Ann Terrell of Baltimore, MD; and a devoted cousin, Phyllis Burt of Raleigh, NC, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. A brother, John Terrell, and a son, Phillip Tularaksa, preceded Charles in death. Marriages to Ruth Terrell-Stehle and Audrey Terrell ended in divorce.  

Fair Winds and Following Seas Chief Terrell!

A Memorial Service, with inurnment of ashes in onsite Memorial Garden with Military Honors will be held, Saturday, July 20, 2024 at 11 am at St. Martin of Tours Episcopal Church, 7547 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421.  Visitation will follow services in Parish Hall at the Church.  A North Carolina BBQ luncheon will be served. 

Flowers are appreciated, but preferably memorials may be made to an organization of your choice, or to his favorite organization https://hosannacommunitu.org/

Arrangements entrusted to Lane Funeral Home, 601 Ashland Terrace, Chattanooga, TN 37415 www.lanefh.com, 423-877-3524.

 

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