Every once in a great while, as we traverse the trails life sets before us, we encounter a sense of vacancy. A void, and we’re not sure why, but we know that something is missing. Weatherford experienced such a vacancy recently, a void that will be left behind by the passing of Chuck Katlic.
Chuck’s contribution to humanity could be widely seen, first by his military servic, fighting the Axis powers as a young man in Germany during World War II. His was part of an extraordinary unit that fought bravely at the Battle of the Bulge. Later in life, his humanity bore witness to school children, as he taught them the importance of love of country and the love for the American flag.
I am very fortunate to have gotten to know Chuck. Often he would come into the office, always with a smile, and usually an off handed joke. He never mixed words and you always knew where he stood. He was one of a kind and reminded me a lot of my dad, who also fought in World War II, but in the Pacific. My dad too was a Bronze Star recipient and received two Purple Hearts. I guess having Chuck around made me miss dad a little less.
“Chuck exemplified the WWII generation, our greatest generation,” said Rep. Phil King, who attended the funeral. “In fact, I don't think I've ever known someone with a greater passion for our veterans. Chuck knew what it meant to be an American and he lived it everyday.”
City Manager Jerry Blaisdell call Chuck an “outstanding individual” who lived his life in a manner that exemplified the personal characteristics that make America such a wonderful nation.
“He truly was part of the greatest generation and we all owe him a debt of gratitude,” Blaisdell said. “He served as an example that we should all try to live by.”
Weatherford Police Chief Mike Manning called Chuck a “Patriot.”
“Mr. Katlic was one of the first members of the community I met when taking the Chief’s job,” Manning said. “He was always very pleasant to work with regarding the flags in the city and the veterans issues. A true patriot. He will be missed.”
Danie Huffman, Public Information Officer for the Parker County Sheriff’s office - also at the funeral - said Chuck’s passing is a great loss to the community.
“Our community has suffered a great loss with Chuck’s passing,” Huffman said. “It is an honor to call him my friend and brother. Chuck was a dear friend to me from the moment I met him. His charismatic smile was always present and very contagious.”
She said Chuck was so genuine, and always shared a hug.
“He was the most patriotic soul I have ever encountered,” she said. “He taught countless Parker County children the importance of proper American flag etiquette, respect for our soldiers and American history.
“He personally taught my children what it meant to be a true patriot. He would often bring them American flag gifts and trinkets.”
She said they were always so excited to help “Mr. Chuck” place flags at the courthouse and on soldier’s headstones at local cemeteries prior to many national holidays.
“We lost a wonderful giant, who leaves very large shoes to fill. I believe Chuck was welcomed into God’s Army,” she added. “My sincerest condolences to Chuck’s precious wife, Ola and his family.”
Ron Chandler, with the American Legion Post 163, and close friend to Katlic said so many inspiring things have been said about Chuck, not just since his passing earlier this month but ever since he has known him - more than 12 years.
“What I observed and felt about Chuck was his tremendous positive impact on those he came in contact with,” Chandler said. “He had an untiring drive to help people in need. He would teach our young people the truth about how our nations veterans fought for and won the freedoms we have under our American flag.”
Chandler said that Katlic stressed we must continue to fight to keep them.
“He also reached out to our senior veterans to encourage them to keep up the faith, that what they sacrificed was not in vain and to keep up that fight every day,” Chandler added. “He always said that what we have is very special and people like Chuck Katlic remind us that freedom and liberty are not free, are very precious and worth fighting for.”
Chandler said the one thing he will always remember about Katlic is that he was not afraid to tell anyone how he felt, especially about our country or his faith.
“His unending love of God was obvious and he didn’t just talk his faith he lived it every day,” Chandler said. “He drew his strength from that faith and he loved living and loved this country, and no one ever doubted this. I will miss him dearly but what he left behind will never be forgotten.”
Charles Edward "Chuck" Katlic, Jr., 91, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, passed away Saturday, August 2, 2014.
Interment: Whitt Cemetery.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family suggest that donations may be made in Chuck's memory to Trinity Lutheran Church Building Fund or American Legion Post 163 Flag Fund.
Charles Edward Katlic, Jr. was born January 8, 1923 to Charles A. and Mary Novak Katlic in Millersville, Maryland. He proudly served in the United States Army as a Sargaent and served during WWII, fighting valiantly in the Battle of the Bulge. Chuck was a life member of VFW American Legion, Combat Infrantrymen's Assoc., D. A. V., 99th Div. Assoc. He also served two terms as president of Trinity Lutheran Church. Chuck worked for the U. S. Coast Guard as Chief Supply Officer.
He volunteered for most of his life with the VFW and American Legion and was instrumental in dedicating many Veteran's parks and decorating with flags on all military holidays. One of his proudest days was in 2013 when the street leading to the American Legion Hall was renamed in his honor as Chuck Katlic Lane.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents; and three sisters.
Survivors: Wife, Ola Katlic; daughter, Charlene Ella Rowles and husband, Thomas; many grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; siblings, Marge Lucas, Evelyn Lam and James Katlic; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
White's Funeral Home - Weatherford