Charles “Chuck” Stanley Jandreau “Grandpa Chuck” (96) resident of Sunshine Villa, Santa Cruz, California passed away July 9, 2020 at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California. He was born on March 15, 1924 in Los Angeles, California to Samuel and Nettie Jandreau. Chuck always reminded everyone that he was born on “the Ides of March.”
He grew up in Los Angeles, California until the age of 13 when his parents moved to Ashland, Oregon where he attended Ashland Junior and Senior High School, graduating in 1942. A beautiful girl named Celene Rose Morgan, who was a tumbler/baton twirler for the Ashland High marching band, caught his eye and they fell in love, marrying on September 6th in that same year.
The young couple attended Pasadena College in Southern California for a year and then Chuck was drafted into the United States Army in 1943 which took them to Lubbock, Texas for his training. He became a 2nd Lieutenant in the 209th Infantry, 78th Division and was sent overseas landing on Normandy Beach (not “D” Day) and on to Paris, France. He was eventually stationed in Berlin, Germany at the close of World War II. He was there “to keep the peace” in the aftermath of the war.
After serving his country, in 1946 he returned to Ashland, Oregon to raise his family of three girls: Marle, Karla and (Jeanne) Michele. He attended school at Southern Oregon College (now Southern Oregon University) and played football, basketball and baseball. He was quite the athlete and helped the SOC team become state champions. In 1989 he was inducted into the Southern Oregon State College’s first Sports Hall of Fame.
He taught and coached at Ashland Junior High until his wanderlust kicked in and he moved the family to San Antonio, Texas where he went to work for his sister Winnie and brother-in-law, Alton at Newell Salvage for two years. The “junk yard business” took him to Austin, Texas for a year and then to Phoenix, Arizona for another year. He then decided to take a teaching position in Medford, Oregon for two years. And then on to Manhattan Beach, California to teach school there for a year and discover his love for tennis. The family packed up again for a move to Palm Springs, California where he taught at the high school. With his love for tennis and his athletic ability he was soon teaching the movie stars how to play the game at the Racquet Club and The Riviera Hotel. He and Celene divorced in 1966.
While in Palm Springs, he married Lorraine Zabowski and they moved to Las Vegas, Nevada for him to work at the Riviera Hotel as the tennis pro. They had two children, Charles (“CJ”) and Christine (“Kiki”).
Chuck was a colorful character and a ramblin’ man so he moved to the “hill country” outside of San Antonio, Texas after his divorce from Lorraine. He enjoyed building his “little western town” complete with a swinging door saloon, chapel and country store. His companion, Dorothy Grayson, was very supportive and helped with all of his projects, even spending time with him in El Paso managing the Newell Salvage plant. They both loved to dance and entertain guests with authentic Texas Mesquite BBQ’s.
He and Dorothy enjoyed coming to St. Maries, Idaho over Labor Day Weekend to visit his daughter, Michele (“Babo”) and his grandsons, Levi and Josh Reynolds, celebrating Paul Bunyan Days. With Chuck’s competitive spirit, he would challenge the boys to pool tournaments at the Korner Klub, Resor’s, Gem State and Lucky Duck. He rarely lost. The Blue Ox was a “must” to visit also, so he could tell his friends back home that he went to a “topless bar”.
He loved life, loved women, loved to dance the Texas Two Step, loved his cowboy hats, loved to smoke cigars and loved to tell people about his experiences with the movie stars. The years spent with Dorothy came to an end and he moved to be near his daughter, Karla, in Santa Cruz, California. His daughter, Christine, also moved to Santa Cruz from Florida to help take care of him. As his health started to decline and memory fade, he was moved to Sunshine Villa where he spent the last few years of his life still teaching tennis to the locals, playing pool like a pro and wearing one of his cowboy hats.
Even though he strayed from his Christian upbringing, Chuck always kept his faith in God by attending various churches throughout his life and singing old hymns. In the latter years, he realized the magnitude of God’s grace and it humbled him. “Keep your eye on the guy in the sky” became his mantra and John 3:16 was his favorite verse: “For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” With a repentant heart and having received the Eucharist, his earthly body succumbed to a stroke and was traded for a new one, now sitting at the Lord’s Table in Heaven.
Chuck is survived by his daughters, Marle Jandreau of Klamath Falls, Oregon; Karla (Dave) Newberry of Santa Cruz, California, Michele (Lance) McDaniel (fka Reynolds), St. Maries, Idaho; son Charles (“CJ”) (Bini) Jandreau, London, England; and daughter, Christine Jandreau, Santa Cruz, California; ten grandchildren (Shannon Wood, Erik Smit, Kevin Newberry, Krista (Newberry-Anderson) Perez, Levi and Josh Reynolds, Mila, Penelope, Phillipa and Emmanuel Jandreau), and ten great-grandchildren (Zachary, Isaac and Marina Newberry, Hannah and Rachel Anderson, Lexie, Jaidyn, Ashlyn, Ethan and Dawson Reynolds).
A military memorial service is to be scheduled later this fall (or when available due to COVID) at the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery in Monterey County, Seaside, California.