Charles Kandare

June 26, 1932January 28, 2018
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Charles Kandare, age 85, died Sunday at home with his wife, Valerie Kandare, after long battles with cancer and congestive heart failure. Mr. Kandare is survived by his wife, Valerie, and five children: Joanne Gillies, Glenn, Anthony, Charles (Greg) and Wesley. He also leaves behind twenty adoring grandchildren and one great-grandchild on the way.

Charles had a distinguished military career serving over 28 years spanning the Korean War and the Vietnam War including two years in the Army and the rest in the Navy Construction Battalion (Seabees). His service included many duty stations in the U.S. and around the world including Spain, Morocco, Antigua, Diego Garcia and even six months in Antarctica along with serving in New Zealand, where he met his bride of 56 years. He taught his children and grandchildren, by example and personal involvement, the value of hard work, dedication to family, and the importance of a good sense of humor. He grew up in Crosby, PA in an immigrant family from Slovenia as the youngest child of John and Francis Kandare. Charles was a loving, devoted son to his mother, and throughout his life Charles had strong bonds with his brothers and sisters, all of whom have preceded him in death. Charles was unyielding in his love and support for his children, and wholly committed to his beloved wife. He was loved and respected by all who knew him. Charles will be sorely missed. Services will be this Saturday at Rosewood-Kellum Funeral Home with Visitation from 8:30-10 am and the Memorial Service at 10 am. He will be interred in a family plot at Rosewood Memorial Park in Virginia Beach, VA.


  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, February 3, 2018

  • Visitation

    Saturday, February 3, 2018


Charles Kandare

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Wesley Kandare

October 25, 2018

It hasn’t been even a year and you are sorely missed. You had a good, long life. You got to travel the world while in the Navy. You left five amazing children and twenty grandchildren. You taught us how to balance hard work with having fun, to be responsible, and frugal. You taught us how to laugh with your many jokes.

We had some good times together. I remember one summer you and I went to Crosby, PA. I got to see all the sites of your youth: your old swimming hole, your childhood home, your grade school, where you first worked, and the bar you went to as a young man. We visited all your family and friends, and caught up on all the small town gossip. You let me drive your pick up (before I had a license) on vacant old country roads. You let me play in the same woods you did as a kid, and shooting an old .22 rifle. On that trip I was a teen growing up and you were remembering your youth.

We spent many a nights playing poker. You always got upset when I called out wild cards since it wasn’t pure poker to you. You also wouldn’t allow me to borrow money at the table because that would make you, “play against your own money.” I loved those games. I loved the ones we played with your family in PA and with our family on our biannual family reunions at Smith Mountain Lake.

You also were always there for me anytime I needed you. You gave me advice about career, girls, family, and always loving your Mother, “since you only get one Mother.” You were always asking me if I needed any cash or help with anything around the house. You always helped me to have a vehicle for all my adult life and hounded me about checking the fluids frequently. You loved having the grandkids over. I remember growing up without grandparents and I wanted to make sure my boys had grandparents close by. I am grateful that we were able to come back to Virginia, and that my boys got to share their early childhood with you.

I love and miss you Dad. Hopefully, I’ll see you on the other side.

Anthony page 2

October 24, 2018

During his last years, I grew to know Dad more as a friend. He looked forward to my visits about once a month or so. He loved to hear about what was happening in my life and my children. He especially liked it when some of my children could visit with me. He really enjoyed trips to McDonalds where he would buy me breakfast, sip coffee, and tell me stories from his life. He would tell me about childhood experiences he’d had with siblings, his Navy escapades like outrunning MP’s with a buddy, to hunting stories when one of us boys missed a deer or he drove in a ditch to go around an accident.

It broke my heart to see the gentle giant of a man who was my father struggle physically. However, even when weak, Dad used what energy he possessed to be involved with life and others. He seemed to have friends everywhere including the McDonald’s busboy, local mechanics, and neighbors. If he could do nothing else, Dad would spend his time sitting on the porch and interacting with occasional neighbors or just looking out the front window and talking with family. He was a true people person and friend to many. I miss my father, my constant support, and my friend.

I love you Dad.

Anthony Kandare

October 24, 2018

I vaguely remember a grizzly-looking bearded man giving me a hug when he returned from Antarctica with everyone gathered around him. Even then people were drawn to him. I was told I had hung up on him when he called from Antarctica (after waiting a long time in the cold, and then waiting again). That was Dad - a man larger than life who was always there for his family and whom everyone loved.

Dad had a way of saying volumes in a few words, and sometimes with just a look or grimace. When I was ready to fly to Australia to serve a two-year mission for the LDS church to which Dad was not a member, he gave me a big hug and said, “No matter what, you can always come home. Just call. I will find a way to bring you back.” I knew he meant it, and it meant so much to me. He always had my back however he could.

Later, as an adult, I was going through tough times with intense divorce-related struggles. Mom and Dad were very loving and supportive throughout those ordeals. On several occasions Dad said something like, “No one else knows what it’s like, unless it’s happened to them. I know. We’re here for you son.” I knew that Dad had had his own experiences with a loved one changing overnight. The love and support from his actions and from those few words were priceless.

Kyle Kandare

October 24, 2018

I loved visiting Granddad and Nana. Granddad was funny and always told jokes. He was happy to see me and was interested in how I was doing. He liked to take me to McDonald’s or 7-11 and tell me stories about when he was young or stories about my Dad. I think he wanted to see me and other people happy around him. I love him and wish I knew him better.

(age 11)

Debby Kandare

October 23, 2018

When I first met the whole, lovely Kandare family during the Christmas of 1989, I knew immediately I wanted to be a part of it. Granddad was a large part of that. From day one, he welcomed me wholeheartedly into the family and became more like a true Father than a Father-in-law.

When I would walk in, he would greet me like a long lost friend, “HEyyy, DEB-rahhhh! How you doin’?” He had some other things he said that I vividly remember, such as (and my kids learned this first-thing) “There’s the Golden Arches!” (To this day I think that whenever I pass a Mickey D’s). Granddad would also say, “Eat your DOOF!”

At Christmastime he would say Slovenian names and phrases. Santa sounded like “McCloushe” and the other phrase sounded like “Kay-Daylish”. The kids thought that was so funny. He was always repairing a car or helping us in some way, and we could never, ever leave without Granddad quietly slipping each of the kids a bill of some sort...sometimes I got one too :)

Many others of us have said that Granddad treated them like a best friend or something similar, and I have to agree. Before he started having more serious health issues, he took me by myself to Denny’s :), where we proceeded to polish off hearty breakfasts, and linger far longer than the actual time it took to eat.

Then Granddad began to talk. He told me of his beloved Mother, Frances, and what it was like for him growing up. He spoke generally about the wars he was in (I remember the huge Pythons he would see and fear in Vietnam), and the places he went, and about meeting Nana. Through it all I just listened and asked a few questions when I had them. When he wound down he told me how grateful he was for me and thanked me for listening. He felt like he could talk to me like a real friend.

That day meant so much to me, as did so many others with him. I'm so grateful for Granddad and all the love he gave to all of us. I know one day I will see him again. Until then...<3

Tristan Kandare

October 23, 2018

Some of the best moments I shared with Granddad were in the morning. He would wake me up with a soft tap on the door followed by, “Micky D’s... Five minutes”. The McDonalds visits weren’t just about the food. It was our time to talk about whatever we wanted to. “Who’s on first, what’s on second” was usually how the conversations began lol. He would always ask what I wanted to do or what my plans were, and at the time I didn't have much of a plan, so he would throw tons of advice.

After breakfast we would spend the day doing any chores that he needed my help with. If there wasn't any at the time, we would either watch old war movies (while he explained everything that was happening) or I would be ordered to go dig a hole somewhere until dinner haha. It was the little things that I loved about Granddad. He was always there for me. I will never forget that and I can't wait to see him again.. Love you Granddad

William Kandare

October 23, 2018

I liked spending time with Granddad because we always did something fun and with the family. Nana would always make us those big dinners and Granddad would take us to McDonald’s for breakfast. Then he’d say “eat your doof!”

We would watch Band of Brothers together, Law and Order or Judge Judy. If we weren’t watching one of Granddad’s or Nana’s favorite T.V. shows, Granddad would tell stories of when he was younger or about traveling in the Navy. Once he told me about coming home with a huge beard after being in Antarctica for so long that he scared his kids. Sometimes he talked about his dog Butch.

My Dad would tell us how when they were kids, they used to sneak in Granddad’s bedroom to get the change off his dresser. They had to be careful not to startle him awake, or else he might wake up confused where he was. Now that I’m in the military, I wish he was here to talk to about it, and to see what all of his grandchildren are doing, not just the ones that followed his footsteps and joined the military.

Granddad taught me how to work and how to have discipline. I think he would be very proud of all of his kids and his grandkids and what we are all doing with our lives.

Love you Granddad.

Laura Kandare

October 23, 2018

One of my fondest memories I have about Dad was the first time we met. Wes and I were just engaged and Dad gave me a big hug and welcomed me into the Kandare family. He always made me feel and treated me like a daughter. He was always funny and kind and so happy to see Logan and Blake when we were visiting.

Thanks Dad for your great example of love, for your service to your country and your family legacy.

your daughter-in-law,

Laura P. Kandare

Anna Kandare

October 22, 2018

Dear Granddad,

Thank you for being the best Granddad ever. I remember all the times you would take me to 7-Eleven to get a Slurpee and some snacks.

The times I remember the most were our Sundays together. If it happened to be a Sunday when we would go to 7-Eleven (you’d get coffee, maybe milk and some snacks or other food and drink, and I’d get a slurpee), we would be questioned by Nana when we returned home. She would want to know if you bought anything for me or if I bought anything because it was Sunday (as I wasn’t supposed to shop on the Sabbath). You would always tell Nana that you bought it and that it was your idea, so that she would get mad at you and not me :) I think Nana always knew, but she never said.

I would love to rewind time and go back to all the fun I had when I was younger. Thank you for all that you have done for me in my life from SML fun to fun at your house, or to breakfast to dinner, or to waking up to sleeping. In other words thank you for EVERYTHING you ever did for me! I love and miss you Granddad, but I know I will see you again.



Zak Kandare

October 22, 2018

In late 2017, I took a family history class to complete one of undergrad credit requirements. The purpose of this class is to learn the skills necessary to do my own family history. Before this time, I have never done any work or learned about my family.

One of the first things I did was learn about the Kandare side of the family. Where did we come from? How long have we been in the United States? What is our story? I was amazed to learn about my Granddad’s story and his family. I learned things that have never been shared in my family before. Not because we didn’t want to share these stories, but because we simply forgot about. As I learned in the class, the professor made a very interesting point. It isn’t all about what has happened. A large part of our family history is what our history is. What are our memories?

My youngest brother was born while we were in Texas. The earliest memory I have is looking outside and seeing Granddad in our front yard. I was very young, but I remember him visiting when my brother was born.

Probably one of the greatest lessons that I have learned in my life is making my own s’mores. When I was young, we went to visit Granddad and Nana at Smith Mountain Lake. I remember one evening he took me in his arms and taught me how to make s’mores. I say it is one of my more important lessons because one of the first dates with my wife was making s’mores at my apartment. The ones we made on the date were much better than the ones that I made as a five-year old. Granddad will be missed. He has had a large impact in my life and his memory will live on through his name.




This is the home that Charles grew up in Crosby, Pennsylvania, and a place where many family vacations were spent.


Charles' Mother, Frances Ozbolt Kandare.


John Joseph Kandare
(Charles' Father)


Charles, with his beloved Mother.


Charles, his two brothers (William and Frank), with their Mother.


Charles left home at the age of eighteen and joined the Army, where he served for two years. Later he joined the Navy and served many tours around the world, including Antarctica.