Remembering former CTC president, Chuck Walles (1938-2014)

The following was written by Patty Conrad, retired corporate secretary of Covenant Trust Company.

Charles A WallesWhen President Emeritus Chuck (“Only my mother used to call me Charles.”) Walles joined Covenant Estate Planning Services/Covenant Trust Company in 1991, he brought his entrepreneurial business leadership and experience of service in the United States Coast Guard to his new ministry. He first served as estate planning officer for mid-America and then was named director of Estate Planning Services and vice president for marketing of Covenant Trust Company in 1995.

Chuck loved the work. He faced the tough issues without flinching, based on a firm faith that God would show him the right way. He was never afraid to stand up and be heard. If something needed to be said, Chuck was the one to say it.

When he took over as Executive Director/President in September 2001, the first task he gave me was to copy and distribute copies of “The Rules of This House” to every staff member. The first two rules read like this: “We obey God. We love, honor, and pray for one another.”

Chuck’s service in the United States Coast Guard permeated the rest of his life. He didn’t hear General Douglas MacArthur’s speech at West Point: “Duty, Honor, Country — those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be,” but he lived the truth of those words. He was a patriot who loved this country deeply. Chuck’s integrity was unquestioned. He led by example in always trying to do what was right. He would often tell us: “Everything has to pass the smell test! If you have to ask if it’s the right thing to do, it probably isn’t. Do the right thing.”

Chuck believed in putting family first. But to him, this meant not only his own family, but the CEPS/CTC family as well. That included not only staff, but clients. These were Chuck’s “people” and he dedicated his life and energy to looking after them. He understood family obligations, but always in the context of duty to other responsibilities as well.

Passion was not a quality lacking in Chuck Walles. His decision to join Covenant Trust Company had a significant impact on not only his own life, but on his many clients and ministries throughout the Covenant. During his time with us, Chuck touched many lives and many hearts—we will not soon forget him.

We are a better company and better people for having known and worked with Chuck. Peace to his memory.

2 thoughts on “Remembering former CTC president, Chuck Walles (1938-2014)

  1. Chuck and I went through Coast Guard boot camp together in January through M arch of 1961. We both played trombone and returned for a few months while he awaited assignment to OCS and I waited for advanced training in Groton, Connecticut. Earlier this year I found him on line and we got together to renew memories of when we lived off base together–four of us in a 3 bedroom apartment. ach of us was in a different 4-section duty assignment and on duty for24 hours, so only
    Three of us were off duty at any time.

    On Father’s Day 1961 we drove to San Jose to see someone from my home town of Tonica, IL. Bud Hawley was an officer on the USS Nautilus, America’s first atomic submarine, and was teaching at San Jose State.

    I brought Chuck some USCG band recordings and DVDs. We agreed that we should quickly get together again. I immediately began reviewing all my trombone CDs to share with him on our next time together and sent him which dates wouldn’t work for us. We checked our messages each morning eagerly awaiting a reply.

    Upon receiving Darlene’s call I was and remain stunned. In many ways Chuck and I were more like brothers than just close friends. I wish my brother Godspeed and smooth sailing with a steady wind at his back.

    • Hello, Randy. Thanks for sharing a few of your memories of Chuck. It’s great to hear that you were able to catch up with him recently. He was a great man and we’re all thankful for the positive impact he made at Covenant Trust — not just on the business, but on the people he worked with and the clients he served.

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