Wachtman, Henry

Passed: January 30, 2015

Obituary

On the evening of January 30, 2015, Henry Charles “Chuck” Wachtman Jr., 91 passed away peacefully at La Loma Care Center in Litchfield Park, Arizona. Chuck was born January 27th, 1924 in Vera, OK, the son of Henry and Lena Wachtman.  He graduated from Vera High School in 1941.  After graduation, he enrolled at Oklahoma A&M and joined the Enlisted Corps Reserves.  It was during this year of college that Chuck had the opportunity to play basketball under Mr. Henry Iba, who became a lifelong friend.  The next year, Chuck was transferred to Camp Maxey, Texas for active duty training with the US Army.  On December 5, 1943, he and Ruth Carol Maddix were married, and shortly thereafter, Chuck left for WWII with the 394th Infantry of the 99th division.  On December 18, 1944, he was captured during the Battle of the Bulge.  He was held as a prisoner of war at Stalag until his escape on March 31st, 1945.  He was rescued three days later by the 12th armored division of the Seventh Army.  After completing his tour of duty, Chuck returned to Oklahoma A&M and finished his Masters Degree in Petroleum Engineering.  Upon earning the highest score in the nation on the Civil Service Exam, Chuck was offered the two best posts in the country – the Hoover Dam or the Oil and Gas Department in Osage County, OK.  Chuck chose to stay close to home, and the rest is history.  In 1952 Chuck and Dean Schroeder co-founded Wachtman-Schroeder, an oil and gas consulting and drilling business that is still in operation today.  It was said, that if there was oil under the ground, Chuck Wachtman could pull it out.  Chuck and Ruth made their home in Pawhuska, OK.  He was a member of the First United Methodist Church, a 32nd degree Mason at Wah-Sha-She Masonic Lodge, a noble at the Akdar Shrine, and a member of the Elks Lodge.  He was active in Ducks Unlimited, and was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 213.  Chuck lived life to the fullest.  An avid fisherman, he and Ruth had a second home, “Needle Point” on Grand Lake, where they enjoyed boating, entertaining and fishing with their children, grandchildren and friends.  Chuck was known for his green thumb, and had an enormous garden of okra and tomatoes to prove it.  While Ruth ruled the kitchen, Chuck also loved to cook and was known for his fried fish and nun’s toast.  Ever the outdoorsman, Chuck loved bird hunting.  He spent his early days with his father and grandfather walking fields and jumping ponds in search of quail, pheasant and duck.  He continued to hunt all his life with his sons and grandson. They carry on his legacy every fall with the H.C. Wachtman Annual Pheasant Hunt in Liberal, Kansas.  Horse racing was a another passion of Chuck’s.  He and Ruth spent many a racing season in Hot Springs, AR, watching the horses run and eating corned beef and cabbage in the Oaklawn Jockey Club.  He was fortunate enough to own several winning Thoroughbreds.  In his spare time, Chuck loved to play a round of golf, a game of cards, or cheer on his alma mater, the Oklahoma State Cowboys.  Most of all though, Chuck loved spending time with his beloved Ruth and their children and grandchildren, whom he truly adored.  Chuck is survived by his children, Don Wachtman(Nedra Torix), Mike Wachtman, and Suana Stewart(David); his grandchildren Dani Wheelen(Michael), Donnie Wachtman(Amy), Jane Wachtman and Jennifer Desmarais(Mike); and seven great-grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth, his parents Henry and Lena Wachtman, his sister Jean Wachtman Hille Gooch, and step-grandsons David Stewart and Patrick Stewart.  A Funeral Service will be held on Friday February 6th at 2:00pm at McCartney’s-Johnson Funeral Home in Pawhuska, OK with Pastor Kathy Morris officiating. Visitation will be Thursday evening from 4:00-6:00pm at the Funeral Home.  Following Gravesite Service, a reception will be held at The Mabelle, 1800 Leahy Avenue, Pawhuska.  In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org).

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Thompson Funeral Chapel