Charles Percy HattensteinJuly 23, 1928 ~ January 6, 2018 (age 89)
Early evening on January 6th, 2018, Charles Percy Hattenstein, 89, left this earthly world, after a lengthy illness, to be with his Father in heaven. Born July 23, 1928 to Cornelius Emile and Hester Annie (Boothe) Hattenstein, he grew up in the rural Alabama town of Citronelle; he was the middle of three brothers. During his child-hood, he helped his father provide for the family around the home, worked as a bag boy in a small local grocery store and also worked for the Citronelle Call, the town’s local newspaper, in the production department.
In his younger years, Charles joined the United States Air Force, where he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. His main duty assignment was the USAF Air Training Command, B-25 3575th Maintenance and Support Group/Flight Training Squadron at Vance Air Force Base in Enid OK. His duties as a flight engineer included accompanying new cadet/students as they learned to fly the B-25 aircraft. This provided some interesting stories, which were published in Charles’s book, “Behind the Co-Pilot’s Seat” chronicling the flying experiences of a USAF enlisted man during the Korean War era in the early 1950’s. Another publication Charles produced, was “All Roads Lead to Citronelle” which gave a snapshot of the small Alabama town in 1902. A signed copy of his book was placed in a town time capsule May of 1992 to be opened in 100 years. He was also a talented artist, painting landscapes and historical buildings for his family.
After leaving the USAF, Charles worked as an aircraft mechanic at Brookley AFB in Mobile AL for several years before beginning his career with the US Government as an aircraft Quality Assurance Specialist, amassing vast experience on over twenty different aircraft with most focus of overseeing contracts on the C-130 aircraft. He moved his family around the southeast US several times during his career finally settling in Lake City FL working at Aero Corporation. Here he retired April 1986 as Chief of Quality Management Division (DCASPRO AERO) after 37 years of US Government service. During his time in the Air Force, Charles met his wife of 66 years, Pauline Faye Cunningham from Wagoner OK. They were married in the First Presbyterian Church of Wagoner on December 8, 1951.
Charles was a family man first and foremost. He was a loving husband, devoted father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Initially being Baptist by faith, Charles joined First Christian Church of Lake City FL. He was an active member until his health prevented him from participation. He was an avid antique collector as evidenced by the numerous items he acquired over the years. He could have been considered a yard sale expert! During his early retirement years, he and Pauline traveled extensively across the US. By camping, the trips were made even more memorable, especially to the National Parks. Charles and Pauline loved to fish all over North Florida. The couple also completed several boating certifications through the local Coast Guard Power Squadron chapter.
One of the most memorable moments of his life was being personally invited by the captain of the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier to sit in the captain’s seat on the bridge.
Charles is survived by his wife Pauline, daughter Carol Ann Poole (Richard), daughter Patricia Faye Thompson (Edward) and son James David Hattenstein. There are four grandchildren, Lori Ann Poole, Melanie Kristin Duren (George), Elizabeth Faye Gallo (Josh) and Phillip Douglas Thompson; two great grandchildren, Jared Michael Cornett and Dalton Landon Poole. He was looking forward with great anticipation to welcoming his third great grandchild, Henry Joseph Gallo, who is due any day.
Funeral services will be conducted at Guerry Funeral Home, 2659 SW Main Blvd, Lake City, FL 32025; Thursday, January 11th at 11 AM followed by internment at Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery. The family will be receiving visitors at 10 AM one hour prior to services. The family would like to request in lieu of flowers, donations be sent either to the Lake City VA Hospice Unit/ Serenity Place, 619 S. Marion Avenue, Lake City FL 32025 with checks being made out to the Lake City VA Medical Center Hospice with a memo on the information line stating in memory of (IMO) Charles Hattenstein; or donations to First Christian Church of Lake City, PO Box 967, Lake City FL 32056. A special thank you is also extended to the wonderful staff of the Lake City VA Hospice Unit/Serenity Place for the kind, loving, all-encompassing care provided to Charles and his family during his final hours.