Charles Leonard Trotter
February 3, 1930 – May 17, 2017
Charles "Charlie" Leonard Trotter, 87, died peacefully May 17, 2017, in Houston TX. He was born on February 3, 1930, in Indianapolis IN. With the love of his life, Wilma Bell Trotter, he would have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in August. Wilma was always his object of love, respect and kindness.
Charlie had a love of science from an early age and graduated from Butler University (1952) with a BS in Geology, as one of only five students earning magna cum laude. Other honors included memberships in Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Xi National Scientific Society. He continued his education at Pennsylvania State University in 1953, beginning his PhD studies in Geology-Paleobotany.
This pursuit was interrupted by a two-year deployment with the US Army to Frankfurt, Germany. While serving there, he became fluent in the German language. Returning to civilian life in 1956, Charlie returned to Penn State and in 1957 was employed by Shell Oil Company in the Palynology Department (study of fossilized pollen and spores) while earning his PhD, awarded on June 9, 1963. He retired from Shell Oil Company in 1990.
Known as "The Fox" since childhood, Charlie was quick as a fox both mentally and physically. He was a city-wide recognized track and football athlete in his hometown. He once challenged the Indianapolis bus system to a race to downtown, receiving notoriety in the community for the challenge. His passion for football continued into adulthood by serving as a referee for high school football. "Geezer softball" filled his retirement years, traveling the country with Wilma, playing in tournaments.
For over 45 years, Charlie acted in hundreds of play performances, various films, and multiple Crime-Stoppers videos in the Houston area. He used this talent in church readings and wrote and performed a one-act play "The Star-Cross Auditions". He was a published poet, loved Shakespeare and classic American theater, reprising leading roles in Covington, LA and Houston area theaters.
Devoted to his faith, Charlie along with Wilma are listed as charter members of Northwoods Presbyterian Church and have been continuing members since 1972. He served as an ordained Elder of the Presbyterian Church, USA.
Loved ones who preceded Charlie in death are his parents Homer DeWitt and Dorothy (Williams) Trotter, brother and sister-in-law Carroll and Betty Trotter. He is survived by his wife Wilma; children Marc Trotter (wife Denise) of Tyler TX, Brian Trotter of Houston, Cindy (husband Blair) Garrett of Heath TX; grandchildren Kyle, Lauren, Grant, and Caroline Trotter, Jennifer Garrett (husband Dr. Ken) Benson and Laine Garrett, all who were the light of his life.
During any visit, grandchildren were treated by "Grand-Fox" with new athletic shoes of their choice, taken to the park to run the hill, and a swim in the kiddie pool with his socks on. He sang songs to express his hunger, his love of chocolate, and his love of life. He was immaculate in his documentation of Christmas cards sent and received. Charlie made anyplace he was more alive just because he was there.
Even though Lewy Body Dementia took its toll on his mind and body, he remained very kind and retained his sense of humor through even his last days at Silverado Vintage Memory care. He was considerate, friendly and respectful to all.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, May 24, 2017 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Brookside Funeral Home at 3410 FM 1960 Road West, Houston TX 77068. A Memorial Service to celebrate his life will be held Friday, May 26 at 2:00 p.m. at Northwoods Presbyterian Church, 3320 FM 1960 Road West, Houston, TX 77068. A private burial will be at Houston National Cemetery. In memory of Charlie, donations may be made to Northwoods Presbyterian Church or Lewy Body Dementia Association at LBDA.org.
Visitation with Family and Friends
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Friday, May 26, 2017
Charles Leonard Trotter
May 17, 2020
When Else and I were engaged and close to getting married, I flew out to California, where she was teaching at UCLA School of Nursing, and we drove back across the country to Connecticut. We stopped overnight with Charlie and Wilma. I had corresponded with Charlie to arrange it beforehand and got back his reply asking if we wanted a single bed, separate beds, separate bedrooms, or separate houses......Gene Schulze
February 28, 2020
I just did a search to find out what happened to Charlie and found this obituary. Charlie and I were great friends in the 4th Infantry Division in Frankfurt, Germany, 1955-56 and sometimes we were mistaken for each other. I remember Charlie kidding me when he said "The trouble with you Schulze is you see things to clearly."
When we were stationed temporarily at the outpost in Grafenwoehr, as medics we were on duty at the dispensary when a soldier was wounded because he dropped a souvenir mortar shell that was live and blew up on him. Charlie demanded a helicopter be brought in to evacuate the wounded soldier even though all the helicopters were occupied at a celebration. He got the helicopter.
July 9, 2017
Reflecting back on his life, I remember my Grand"fox" for his selflessness. He would always be helping Grandma with the dishes, taking the trash out, or dealing with pretty much any home-related issue that was at hand. I also remember him making significant time for us Grandkids. We would be outside playing with him in the yard for hours each day when we would visit. He would take us to get ice cream, to get new shoes, to go to the beach, etc. At the time, I just assumed he always wanted to do those things with us (because WE were having fun). Now that I'm older, I recognize the true generosity he showed to us, especially with his time. If I ever have children of my own, I hope that I follow his example and really invest my time and resources into them like he did for us. What a legacy he has left!
May 30, 2017
What a life my dad lived! My admiration and respect for him is only exceeded by my love and gratitude for all he did for me as a child, and what he did for me and my family. He brought us so many good times, so much fun, so much excitement for life. Thank you for the great example of hard work, decency, and commitment to family. I am so lucky to have such a dad.
May 27, 2017
I loved Fox very much as his daughter in law. I must have seemed like such a bumpkin to such a smart and accomplished man with my East Texas accent and poor grammar! But he treated me like I was a prize. He loved me and always watched out for me. In the college years when I visited Houston he always looked for ways he could help me. He did the only maintenance my car ever experienced! He continued looking for ways to serve us in the years that followed by being so generous and kind to us. He was quick to compliment and encourage us. If I put a meal on the table, he acted like I was the smartest person he'd ever met! I was so happy for our 4 children to grow up with such a sweet and fun grandfather. They were loved and enjoyed by their grandparents. I will miss him very much.
May 27, 2017
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
May 21, 2017
My favorite memory of daddy was when he would come home from work and put me up on his shoulders and my brothers would try to grab my feet as they dangled around his neck, he would sing "Nobody can get me" and I felt like I was on top of the world. I was safe in my father's presence, just as he is now. I will see you again, dad, when we dance with Jesus and sing nobody can get me! John 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.