Obituary: Charles ‘Chuck’ Patrick Cundy
Charles (Chuck) Cundy, 76, of Cora, Wyo., departed this world on April 21, after combating cancer. Chuck was born Dec. 23, 1946, to Jack and Florence Cundy in Rock Springs. He was raised in Powell and proud to be a Wyoming native. His junior year of high school, the family moved to Fort Collins, Colo., where Chuck graduated from Fort Collins High School in 1965. After attending Colorado State University for one year, he joined the Air Force and was a Military Policeman and Sentry Dog Trainer.
Chuck was interested in aviation since childhood and earned his private pilot’s license while in the Air Force. After the service he attended Metropolitan State College in Denver, where he earned a degree in aviation management. Chuck attained various pilot ratings/licenses in college: Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics, commercial pilot licenses, and Multi-Engine and Instrument ratings.
His first job was flying corporate jets for Johns Manville Corporation out of Denver. Not only did he fly corporate executives to the United States and Europe, but other passengers such as the Guru Maharaj Ji, Dr. DeBakey, who pioneered open-heart surgery, and oil wildcatter Tiger Mike Davis.
At the original Frontier Airlines, Chuck taught pilots Aircraft Systems on the Convair 580. There he attained a Type Rating in the Convair 580.
In 1980, Sea Airmotive in Anchorage bought some 580s from Frontier and hired Chuck as a bush pilot and pilot instructor. It was the most enjoyable flying Chuck experienced as a pilot, operating Twin Otters and King Air 200s throughout Alaska, carrying a variety of cargo and dropping smoke jumpers. While in Alaska he got his Air Transport rating.
Back in the Lower 48, Chuck again worked for Frontier Airlines in Denver, training pilots on the Convair 580. After Frontier Airlines folded in 1985, Chuck became an airport operations manager for Stapleton Airport and later Denver International Airport.
After being a bachelor for 40 years, he met his wife, Betty, through mutual friends. They were married in 1987 and decided not to have children. Theirs was a consummate, enduring love; they made a great team in life.
In 1996, Chuck and Betty purchased land outside Pinedale. Chuck helped build the home they moved into in 2006. He was thrilled to be back in Wyoming. He was a member of Tip Top Search and Rescue, Pinedale Snow Explorers, Rock Springs Snowpokes, American Legion and the Rendezvous Pageant. He was a great proponent of ranching, supported the agriculture industry in the West and took great pride in irrigating his land and producing a hay crop for ranchers.
Chuck lived a life of adventure and adhered to the words of T.S. Eliot: “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
Favorite recreation included hunting, fly fishing, camping, backpacking, golf, skiing and snowmobiling. The couple embarked on several road trips in their fifth-wheel throughout the United States. International journeys included Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Morocco, Africa and Europe.
Many words describe this man: genuine, patriotic, inventive — but one describes him best: principled. He prided himself on sticking to his guns, being honest and ethical and not being politically correct. Many friends, but most of all, his cherished wife, Betty, will miss this intelligent and brave man. Donations in his memory may be made to Kickin’ Cancer.