Charles E. (Chuck) Praeger III
Charles E. (Chuck) Praeger III
April 25, 1945 ‐ October 17, 2020
Chuck Praeger, age 75, beloved husband, soul mate, dance partner of Denece Praeger (nee Reynolds), for 53 fabulous years! Loving father of Leslie (George) and Laura (Rob). Dear brother to Barbara (Stu) and brother-in-law to Susan. Loving Granddaddy to Kelly and Ellabei and wise & mischievous uncle to Blaine, Corey, Tres and Ryan. Best friend to his sweet dogs – Holly, Sadie, Sophie, Willow, Sydney, Hunter &Yumi.
My sweet husband of love, bliss and joy passed away at our home Saturday, October 17th, 2020. He loved his family, life, cooking, music, gardening, career, metaphysics, dogs (especially beagles), barbeque, traveling and learning.
We both had our roots in Texas. We met on a blind date that was set up as a joke by Kirk and Janene Jefferies (nee Council). They set it up thinking we would hate each other. He showed up in a 3 piece suit, wingtip shoes and a pipe while I wore a dress my mother made in navy blue with big Hawaiian flowers, orange shoes and orange papier-mache earrings and bracelet. I left the earrings in his coat pocket so he would call me. We married in San Antonio, Texas, one year and one week to the day of our meeting. I was 18, off to my freshman year of college and Chuck was 21,completing his senior year at the University of Texas. We married August 19, 1967 and spent two years in Houston Texas. Armco Steel moved us to Middletown, Ohio where we lived for 4 years, then built our home in Germantown, Ohio where we raised our two girls. We moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1996 for the second part of his career with Thomas Associates, Inc.
Chuck always loved the song by Frank Sinatra, “I Did it My Way” and that is how he lived his life with a driving desire to forge his own unique path for himself as a young man and then for our marriage and life together as a loving husband and father.
My dear brother-in-law, Stu Ervay, captures the essence of my beloved Chuck:
Charles E. (Chuck) Praeger III was my brother-in-law. I met him a few months after my future wife and I began dating. He was still a high school student and five years younger than Barbara. Like many younger brothers, Chuck could find ways to upset Barbara. And be jealous of the guys she dated. Maybe even a little suspicious of them.
I was no exception. But he made a real effort to become acquainted with me. And after decades of wonderful family interactions, the last thing he told me in a phone conversation a few weeks ago is, “I love you.”
Chuck loved life. He loved his wife, Denece. He loved his two daughters, Leslie and Laura. And his grandchildren, nephews, and others in the extended family. Most of all, he loved being around people he cared for. And to have one hell of a good time. That is what he was doing the day before he died. With his family.
Chuck was a debater in high school. He enjoyed reading history and listening to quality music. It was music that cemented the bond between Chuck and Barbara. It was the love of good music that had been nurtured by their mother, Mary V.
Their father, Charles E. Praeger, Jr., (Charlie) was a graduate of Texas A and M. An “Aggie.” A proud Texan.
Charlie was an architectural engineer and served as a company commander of an engineering company during World War II. After the war he remained in the army reserve, retiring after 20 years as a lieutenant colonel. In civilian life Charlie became an executive in two steel fabricating companies, Mosher Steel of Houston, and Campbell Steel of San Antonio.
Charlie wanted Chuck to attend Texas A and M. He did. For a semester. Before switching to A and M’s archrival, the University of Texas. Not to be an engineer. But to major in history and prelaw.
Charlie wanted Chuck to become interested in hunting and sports. He could not care less.
However, they found common ground in the love of food and cooking. Texas style! In that pursuit Chuck left Charlie in the dust!
Chuck eventually did become an officer in a steel company, starting out in Armco. Later he joined the metal building industry. Here is their tribute prior to his retirement: Charles E. “Chuck” Praeger: Through his vision and facility, brought a broader vision of the metal building industry.
2019 Metal Construction Hall of Fame
For more than four decades, Charles “Chuck” Praeger, former vice president at Cleveland-based Thomas Associates Inc. and assistant general manager at the Metal Building Manufacturer Association (MBMA), led numerous efforts to advance the use of metal building systems. Through his work on MBMA’s manufacturer accreditation program, Associate Member Program and in numerous committees and related efforts, Praeger expanded the association’s membership and influence with construction project stakeholders. Building code officials, organizations that affect material specification including USGBC, architects, contractors, insurers, building owners and developers became more informed about metal building systems and their benefits as a result of Praeger’s work.
Well, Chuck, I hope you think I treated your sister properly over the years. I did my best. Just as you did your best to be there for your family and all of us who loved your passion for life. You had a good run, and you made a difference! Rest in peace.
And oh, yeah, I love you too!
A small, private memorial service will be held at Chuck and Denece’s home for immediate family on October 23rd. A Celebration of Life party, ‘Praeger-style’ will be held in their backyard, which Chuck loved so much, on late spring/early summer 2021 timing. Details about this party will be shared at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, Chuck would have appreciated donations to their church:
Dover Congregational United Church of Christ, 2239 Dover Center Road, Westlake, OH 44145
Please contact Jane Coil about donations to the Memorial Fund for the church.
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