DELANSON – Charles Stephens of Delanson, NY, passed away on January 1, 2016 while on vacation in Panama with his son. Son of the late William Ellsworth Stephens and Barbara Walsh Stephens Nelson Hansen, Charles “You can name him whatever you want but I’m going to call him Chuck” Stephens was born in Kearny, New Jersey in January of 1950. Chuck graduated from Saugus, MA High School in 1968, and attended SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry for most of the 70’s. He was an avid member and E-room chair of the Syracuse University Outing Club, leading caving, canoeing, and hiking trips all over the country.
Chuck loved the outdoors, and was very active in the Boy Scouts for most of his life, achieving the level of Life Scout as a boy. Later, as a Scout Master of Troops 105 and 501 of Otschodela Council, he mentored countless scouts, including his son, Eagle Scout Ben Stephens. This past year, Chuck was awarded the prestigious Silver Beaver award, in recognition of his lifelong contributions to scouting.
He worked for the NYS Department of Civil Service as a database programmer/analyst for over 35 years. He was a voracious reader, a fierce supporter of science and reason, and he always voted Democrat. He could be cranky and taciturn, but was the most quietly caring and generous person you could ever meet. Chuck was always up for everything, whether it be a camping trip with his grandsons on short notice, or adventurously deep frying a turkey for his children. He knew absolutely everything, and once fixed a broken down car in a blizzard with a bra strap, just like MacGyver.
Chuck was a caring father to Eleanor and Benjamin, and a loving grandfather to his grandsons Maxwell and Theodore. He is survived by his children and grandsons, and siblings Barbara Nelson of Reykjavik, Iceland, and Mary-Ellen Jordan, Karen Lipiatos, Jennie Hansen, Jens Hansen, and Christian Hansen of Maine. He will be deeply, deeply missed by his family and community.
A memorial service will be held in the Hans Funeral Home, 1088 Western Ave., Albany on Sunday, January 10th at 12:30pm. Relatives and friends are invited, and may call at the funeral home prior to the service from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Chuck’s name to Otschodela Council of the Boy Scouts of America at: P.O. Box 1356 Oneonta, NY 13820, (607) 432-6491. To leave a message of condolence for the family or obtain directions to the funeral home, please visitwww.HansFuneralHome.com.
I am so very sorry to hear this! I worked with Chuck for many years at Civil Service. I can agree that sometimes he could be cranky, but I always appreciated and respected Chuck as a co-worker! He knew his shit!! He will be missed!!! My sincere sympathy to his family!!
I’m so sorry for your loss. My wife and I will send out a donation to the BSA shortly.
Bruce & Marie Hobson
Our deepest condolences. Chuck was truly one of kind person. He will missed.
Christine & Richie Havens
Our sincere sorrow and condolences are sent your way. We have been and will continue, to pray for you all at this time. God Bless. With Love Aunt Chris and Uncle Rich.
I cannot imagine Landis Plant Sales without Chuck wrangling his Scouts. What an amazing man – what a loss for his family, his scouting family, his Landis family, and the community.
Deborah (Ford) Morgan
This was such a shock to hear!!
Prayers to the family of Chuck.
I worked with Chuck at Civil Service for many years.
He definately could be “moody” at times, but he was respected.
He will surely be missed.
May the family find peach and comfort knowing that he is in good hands right now – he is in GOD’s arms.
I was honored to know Chuck during and after my stay at Civil Service. From my perspective, he epitomized the Scout Law. A paripatetic book reader. Leave no trace behind!
I met Chuck through my job as a District Executive in the Otschodela Council. He truly enjoyed mentoring the boys in his troop, and attended as many different activities as he could to learn new skills and teach new things to the boys and adults he worked with. I occasionally bumped into Chuck at the Scout Shop in Albany where we would talk about everything from Scouting to stress management. Chuck remained true to his beliefs to the end and will be missed but never forgotten. May he rest in peace and may the great Scoutmaster of all true Scouts be with us until we meet again.
I worked with Chuch at Civil Service , working together on many projects over the years. He was a great guy who had his own style. My sympathy goes out to his family,
I shared countless Scouting events with Chuck. The first was when he agreed to teach Troop 44 about cave exploration. He drove all the way to Gilbertsville for a teaching session (“real cave explorers don’t call it spelunking”), then to Clark Cave. Boys and leaders all went in a little scared, and all came out exhilarated. Chuck was a Vigil Member of the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s honor society. When I was chosen for the same honor, I immediately chose Chuck as my guide and mentor. Chuck replaced the Trained patch on his uniform with one that said Untrainable; and while he believed a Scout is Reverent, he also believed an adult leader is irreverent.
Wishing my Brother eternal rest.
I knew Chuck for many years through Scouting and we served together on Staff at Henderson Scout Reservation for many years. Chuck was one of my best Scouting buddies and we shared many things together such as OA flap collections and Scouting memorabilia. You will be greatly missed by council for all you did Chuck, especially as Jamboree Scoutmaster. I count my self fortunate in having known you. Rest in peace thou good and faithful servant.
The Sharon Springs Fd/RS Explorers Post 818 would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Stephens. May he rest in peace.
Stacey Wojciechowski , Advisor Post 818
For all the time I’ve known him he’s been Mr. Stephens to me, mentoring me as a young little scout. He was a fantastic teacher, leader and friend, he will be missed greatly. He taught me that learning about the outdoors was so much different from learning in the classroom, that there was an intellectual aspect, but also a social one, that you learn much better with a friend by your side in the woods than you do alone. Having us try to figure out what a left-handed smoke shifter was (still don’t really know), or watching as he stuffed rolled up socks down his shirt whist wearing a female viking helmet. I am at university currently, and will be unable to attend the funeral on Sunday. I extend my deepest condolences to his friends, family, and troop.
He always ended emails with “Those who wander are not lost.” I’d like to think he isn’t lost, he is simply wandering somewhere we cannot see him anymore.
My deepest sympathies to Chuck’s family. He always went the extra mile for Scouting and the Otschodela Council was honored to present him the Silver Beaver Award. The highest tribute a Council can give. I got to know him as our Jamboree Scoutmaster and enjoyed working with him through all the details. May the family find peace in God’s arms during this difficult time.
To Ellie and Ben,
I am sorry for your loss of your dad.
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Jean Kraeger Kwiatkowski
I had the privilege of caving with Chuck years ago, especially in the 1980s. Chuck was a hard-core member of a caving push team of five who extended the known physical limits of McFail’s Cave. Picture this, Chuck clad in a full wetsuit rappelling down a 70 foot entrance shaft, traversing miles along a roiling cave stream, squeezing amidst boulders submersed in water with only enough air to breath, then through a really tight crawlway aptly named The Pretzel Connection, only to soon remove his helmet to slowly float through icy water in a 200-foot long passage on his back with his nose scraping the ceiling for precious air, then onward to the discovery of a high bedrock dome in the very heart of Schoharie County, NY – then the final ascent to the stars above, 18 hours later – a hard man of the caving world … a friend.
My sympathies to the family…so sudden.
Chuck was always a true scouter. He was recently recognized for his service to scouting with the Silver Beaver award. He was always willing to help at events and share his knowledge. He will be missed.