Obituary: Charles J. (Chuck) Buzzetti
February 10, 2012
Chuck Buzzetti grew up in Hardin Montana. He is predeceased by his father, Francis J. Buzzetti; mother, Inez Buzzetti; brother, John F. Buzzetti and sister, Mary Jane Buzzetti.
At the young age of 10, Chuck took his first airplane ride in a ‘Jenny’, a WW1 biplane, his lifelong love of aviation began. He started his career at Curtis Wright Technical Institute in Calif., earning his certificate in aeronautical engineering as a draftsman. His first job was with Lockheed Aircraft in 1939 at .51 cents an hour. In 1941, his mentor ‘Doc’ Howland requested Chuck be moved to flight test to work with him, thus began his long career in flight test. Chuck worked for Lockheed for 35 years. Retiring the first time to become a real estate agent / broker. Realizing this was not his calling, he returned to his love of aviation. At 65, Chuck went back to work as an engineer in flight test with Hughes Helicopter to work on the AH-64 Apache Helicopter and other projects. At 68, Hughes relocated him to Mesa, Arizona, continuing in flight test. At age 80, he finally retired a second time. Then started doing contract work for Boeing Helicopter division and continued until he was 85, finally deciding to retire for good! Just prior to his death, he worked on a patent design for helicopter rotor blades and it was sent to Boeing Helicopter Division. The vice president of Boeing called and said that Chuck was correct in his assessment and application of the design and their team of engineers recently had come up with a similar solution with computer generated models. He let us know that Chuck will be missed greatly in the helicopter aviation field and at Boeing where he is a ‘legend’, they are still using his ideas and work over 30 years later to re-incorporate the smaller AH-64 Apache helicopter, called the ‘Little Bird’ back into production.Charles was one of the founding members of Stony Ridge Observatory in Southern California as an amateur astronomer. In 1964, the Observatory was asked by Lockheed for access to their telescope for mapping potential landing sites for the Apollo space program. They granted them access over 4 years and 1600 hours of telescope time.
In 1946, he married Marion Mim Mack, they had 11 children together, they divorced in 1976. In 1980 he married Catherine Dubiel, she predeceased him in 2003. He remarried Marion in 2004 in the presence of their 11 children.
He is survived by his wife, Marion Buzzetti; his eleven children, George Buzzetti, Mary (Jerry) Yahalom, Sue Reyes, Judy (Gary) Brooke, Nancy (Dave) Davison, Catherine (David) Brown, Joani (Tony) Drew, Charles ‘Charlie’ (Lori) Buzzetti Jr., Michael Buzzetti, Jeanne (John) Koerner, and Patricia (Quyen) Vo; 15 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild and one more on the way.
Services will be held at 1pm, Sat., Feb. 18, 2012, Walton’s Funeral Home, 1521 Church St, Gardnerville.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Boy Scouts of America, at the following link for a troop in Montana, to send a scout to camp.