Charlie was born in 1955 at Independence, Jackson County, Missouri (suburban Kansas City), at what was then known as the Independence Sanitarium and Hospital. At that time, it was a ministry of the Community of Christ. The old Independence Sanitarium is no more; the building is now the "Independence Regional Ennovation Center," a business incubator. The hospital in Independence is now the Centerpoint Medical Center, located in a different part of the city. Former President Harry Truman retired a couple of years earlier, and lived about two-thirds of a mile to the east of the old hospital on (appropriately named) Truman Road.
My K-12 education was at the Buckner School (grades K-4), Levasy School (grades 5-6), Fort Osage Junior High (grades 7-9), and Fort Osage High School (grades 10-12). These are all part of the Fort Osage School District, headquartered near the center of the district in rural Independence, Jackson County, Missouri.
When I was in high school, I took some vocational electronics training. I went through the two years of material in one year! My instructor thought I should go into some type of engineering. This was at the Career and Technology Center at Fort Osage (then known as the Fort Osage Area Vocational-Technical School).
After I graduated from high school, I went to college for that engineering degree. After four years and two sessions of summer school, I got a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1977 at the University of Missouri-Columbia at Columbia, Boone County, Missouri. My last semester, I only had to take three credit hours to graduate, but I took a full load of fifteen credit hours.
After college, I went to work at Boeing in 1977 for 32.468 years (don't laugh about the precision: Boeing counted my company service down to three decimal places). I spent about half of my time working on the International Space Station. I have been (mostly) happily retired since September 2009, when Space Station development was winding down and all the fun stuff was done.
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Last Updated: 28 April 2017
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