Chuck Lancaster, 1929-2010
Vail, CO Colorado
Charles “Chuck” Lancaster of Reno, Nev., beloved father of Edwards resident Karen Lancaster Ghent, died on July 1 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80 years old.
A native of Kansas City, Mo., he was born Aug. 19, 1929, to Richard and Faye (Hamacher) Lancaster and had lived in Reno since 1997, coming from Incline Village, where he resided for 27 years.
As a boy, he built flying model airplanes and used to ride his bike to the bluffs overlooking the Kansas City airport to watch the planes take off and land. Never in his wildest imagination did he envision himself as a pilot of a plane such as the Boeing-747!
After high school, Chuck attended University of Missouri at Columbia, where he studied mechanical engineering. He was on the track team and a champion in the 440- and 880-yard runs.
In 1949, Chuck enlisted in the Naval Aviation Cadet program and had his flight training at Pensacola, Fla., and Corpus Christi, Texas, after which he flew electronic surveillance patrols during the Korean War in the Far East.
Upon release from active duty with the Navy, he attended the University of Utah to finish his education and graduated with a degree in aeronautical engineering. He was a member of Kappa Sigma Social Fraternity.
After a short stint “flying a desk” at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Chuck’s desire to return to a full-time flying job brought him to Trans World Airlines in October 1955. He spent 34 years with the airline, finishing his flying career in 1989; he loved TWA and loved his life as an airline pilot.
He was a longtime member of Incline Village Community Presbyterian Church, serving as deacon and elder, and after moving to Reno was a member of Reno First United Methodist Church. He also belonged to the North Tahoe Lions Club, the Incliners, the Decliners (Incline residents who moved to Reno), the Tahoe Trampers hiking club and the Reno Newcomers. He was an avid hiker, skier and tennis player, and together with his wife, Sharon Ainsworth Lancaster, who predeceased him in 2003, the two passed along their love of travel, nature, fitness and community to their family.
Surviving are sons Kenneth Lancaster, of Reno, Nev., and Roger Lancaster, of Tahoe City, Calif.; daughters Karen Lancaster Ghent of Edwards, and Gretchen Lancaster Sproehnle, of Tahoe City, Calif.; as well as nine grandchildren.
At Chuck’s request, there will be no memorial service. If desired, a donation may be made in his name to the American Cancer Society at http://www.cancer.org.