Charlie's Story

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Charlie VanZant, 89 year old Muskogee resident, passed away on Sunday, March 12, 2017 in Muskogee. He was born on Saturday, June 9, 1928 to Roy and Rozella (Harris) VanZant in Seminole, OK. Charlie graduated from Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, June 1946. He worked with an uncle designing and building homes from 1946-1951. He was hired at Tinker Air Force Base as an Engine Dissembler in 1951 and promoted to Engineering Draftsman in 1953. In 1959, he was promoted to Mechanical Engineering Technician and 1965, Charlie was the recipient of the Safety Keyman Award presented by Tinker Air Force Base Administrative Club for design of noise suppression equipment in jet engine test cells. For several years, he was the Official Host for Military Guests at the Annual Kolache festival in Prague. While he was enrolled in an engineering course in the Oklahoma State University Extension School he completed a scientific paper on the "Theory and Balancing of Jet Engines". He was a member of the Society of American Military Engineers. In 1967, Charles received a Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service from the Department of the Air Force in recognition for his contributions to the first automatic jet engine test facility using a computer controlled method of testing jet engines providing important data concerning design, reliability and maintenance of aircraft. His hobbies included photography, outdoor sports, golfing, antiquing, and traveling.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Judy; his brother-in-law, Eldon McDaniel sister-in-law, Jackie VanZant.
He is lovingly survived by his son & daughter-in-law, Jay VanZant and wife Angie of Prague, daughter & son-in-law, Lana Jean Dunn and husband Eric of Virginia, daughter & son-in-law, Vicki Hedrick and husband Deano of Arkansas, son & daughter-in-law, David Mann and wife Beverly of Moore, son, Jeffery Mann of Muskogee, daughter & son-in-law, Alison Chapin and husband Andy of Muskogee, his grandchildren, Jarrod VanZant and wife Nicole, Amy Lakins and husband, Dustin, Raylee, Isabelle, Arron and Lekota VanZant all of Prague, Matthew Dunn of Norfolk, VA, Bryce and his wife Melissa Dunn of Stafford, VA and Jayson Dunn of Norfolk, VA; Whitney Burch and her husband Bryan, Sydney Shade and husband Michael, Christopher Mann and his wife Megan, Mallory Mann, Jeffery Mann and his wife Jennifer, Kimberly, Kellee, Kayci, Kaitlyn and Kandace Carr, Cody and Kasie McIlwain, Chad and Julie Chamberlain, Dyllan and Whitney Nichols, Charles is also survived by his great grandchildren, Grace, Wyatt and Waylon VanZant, Eli, Brynlee and Hattie Lakins all of Prague, Olivia Hope Dunn of Stafford, VA, Madison, Ella and Owen Carr, Ava Reese, Nathaniel and Adam Burch, Axxton Shade, Colby Mann, Jackson, Jace and Olivia Mann, Mason Mann, Ashton, Bryce and Casen Chamberlain, Braxton McILwain, and Kinlee Peters ; his sisters, Thelma McDaniel of Harrah, Georgia Hoover and husband John of Ft. Gibson, his brothers, Harold VanZant of Prague, Dr. Jim VanZant and wife Susan of Ft. Gibson as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other extended family and a lifetime of friends.
Graveside services celebrating the life of Charlie will be held at 10:00 AM on Friday, March 17, 2017 at Fort Gibson National Cemetery with Reverend Bill Parker officiating. Military honors will be rendered by The United States Army Funeral Honor Guard. Burial will follow under the personal direction of John Garrett.
You may share online condolences with Charlie's family at www.garrettfamilyfuneralhome.com. The family of Charlie Tillman VanZant entrusted his care, services and burial to John & Kim Garrett of Garrett Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service 311 SW 2nd Checotah, OK 74426 (918) 473-2244.
Published on March 16, 2017
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