In Memoriam

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Charles Despres ’67

Born in Washington, D.C., Chuck developed a proficiency in languages while living in Pakistan from ages 10 to 13, where the U.S. government employed his father. Rather than attend the international school, Chuck attended local schools where he learned Urdu and Hindi and was exposed to local religions. It was the beginning of his lifelong love of international cultures and languages.

After attending Reed, Chuck received a BA in Chinese history from Stanford University. He taught English to medical students in Hong Kong, and upon returning to the United States received his teaching credential from UC Berkeley. He taught and was school principal in Edgewood, California, and married Lyn Taylor. They had two sons, Seth (deceased) and Eli. Chuck also taught English as a second language in the Sunnyvale Elementary School District.

He enjoyed traveling and learning with his second wife, Catherine, and the couple drove across the United States with their dogs, stopping to check out historical landmarks and out-of-way towns. Chuck led with his heart, and wherever they stopped for a meal, he’d leave with new friends. Cathy and his son, Eli, survive him, in addition to his siblings, John and Lani, daughter-in-law Kim Roberts, and grandchildren.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2016

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