Charles (Chuck) W. Ganzel, Jr., 79, passed away on May 9, 2020 from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease.
Chuck was born to Charles and Dorothy Ganzel in Bethlehem, Pa. He spent his childhood on the East Coast. He developed many interests that he pursued throughout his life such as model trains, stamp collecting, music, theater, tennis and golf.
He attended Hiram College in Ohio, graduating in 1964. Chuck went on to serve in the U.S. Army, after which he began a long career in sales, starting out with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Eventually he moved into insurance sales and financial services with New York Life and Prudential.
It was through Chuck’s love of music that he met his future wife, Barbara (Hopper) Clancey. They both had joined the same community choir in New Bedford, Mass. Eventually Barbara decided to move to Oregon to be closer to her children (from a previous marriage), and Chuck joined her soon after. They wed in 1982, surrounded by their families. A career opportunity for Chuck with New York Life meant a new move to Davis, Calif., where they resided for a number of years. When Barbara’s father’s health was failing, they moved to North Carolina to care for him. Following Barbara’s father’s passing, they returned to Oregon, where they established their permanent home in Cottage Grove.
They chose a hillside home that had several acres of land surrounded with trees. They wanted to develop a beautiful landscape and began their incredible journey of plant propagation and gardening. A giant sloping lawn became a magical place that all of their grandchildren explored for Easter egg hunts and playing. Through the years they developed a masterpiece garden that was showcased through benefit garden tours. People came from as far away as England to see their garden. They voluntarily worked garden shows from Seattle to San Francisco, were members of the Hardy Plant Society, and were always bringing home new additions for the garden.
Chuck loved to travel, and he and Barbara toured gardens from Europe to New Zealand, from which they drew inspiration for their own garden. They made many friends along the way and were always welcomed upon return. They also had a particular passion for Alaska and Yellowstone National Park. Chuck continued to visit Yellowstone after Barbara passed away; it was a great comfort to him.
Chuck was preceded in death by his wife Barbara in 2018, his parents Charles and Dorothy, his sister Susan, and stepdaughter Anne. He is survived by his stepchildren Tim Clancey (Jean), Siobhan Clancey, Michael Clancey (Cheryl), his step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.
We will remember Chuck for his independent nature, his enthusiasm for life and learning, his diligence, and his love for Barbara and her family.
Due to COVID-19, no memorial services are planned at this time. Memorial donations in his honor may be made to Hospice Pet Advocates of Springfield, Greenhill Humane Society, Hardy Plant Society and the Alzheimer’s Association. More info: smithlundmills.com