Obituary: Charles “Chuck” Walles

LAKE GENEVA, WI (October 18, 2014) — Retired president of Covenant Trust Company Charles “Chuck” Walles, 76, died this morning. He had been in hospice care.

A memorial service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Sunday, November 2, in Anderson Chapel on the campus of North Park University.

Chuck was born February 22, 1938, in Glen Ellyn. He married his wife, Darlene Dick, in June 1967. She survives.

He graduated Wheaton Academy and Wheaton College.

At a ceremony honoring Walles at the 2010 Covenant Annual Meeting, denomination President Gary Walter told delegates that he and Chuck had discussed how “success is about the life I live, but significance is what lives on because of the life I lived.” On Saturday, Walter said, “Chuck lived a life of significance that will continue to advance the gospel. He embodied what it meant to be fully committed to God, to family, and the work of Jesus in the world.”

Chuck was chair of Anchor Covenant Church in Lake Geneva when Pastor Bruce Bruns began his ministry. In a Facebook post, Bruns shared, “Chuck was [my son] Jack’s confirmation buddy and over four years, knowing that the move was hard on Jack, and middle school was proving harder, Chuck checked in with Jack constantly: ‘How are you doing? How’s school? Are you making friends?’ He bought Jack a Cubs t-shirt two years ago for Christmas. Both Darlene and Chuck made a move that was difficult for the whole family easier for everyone.”

Chuck joined Covenant Trust Company (CTC) in 1991 as financial services representative for the Mid-America region. He was named vice president for marketing in 1995 and became executive director of Covenant Estate Planning Services and president of CTC in 2001.

At the time, Chuck said, “It is a passion for the diverse ministries of our church that drives and energizes me. I believe the best model of leadership is that of a servant. It’s the foundation on which everything else is built.”

He retired in 2010. In the nine years that he was president, distributions to Covenant causes through CTC grew by more than $100 million.

Before joining CTC, he served on the North Park University Board of Directors and served as chair of Plymouth Covenant Church in Plymouth, Minnesota.

In addition to his wife, survivors include two daughters, Wendy Kalestad (Brian) and Heather van Blyenburgh (Theodore); and a son, Derek Walles (Carin), and eight grandchildren, Nathan, Lily, Michelle, Doreen, Delen, Bennett, Charlotte, and Mavis.

To watch a video of Chuck being honored at the 2010 Annual Meeting, click here.

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About the Author

Edward is an award-winning journalist and author. Besides being the executive minister of Communication at The Evangelical Covenant Church, he is author of Birmingham Revolution: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Epic Challenge to the Church and Reconciliation Blues: A Black Evangelical’s Inside View of White Christianity. Ed’s mission, both professionally and personally, is to be a bridge-builder, bringing people together across racial, denominational, and cultural lines.

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8 Comments

  1. Chuck was passionate about his faith in Christ. I recall numerous times over the years hearing Chuck speak to congregations and other gatherings about the importance of leaving a legacy gift as one important way to honor God and support ministry in the future.

    That was to be expected, one might suggest, given Chuck’s role as president of Covenant Trust Company, which over the years has assisted many thousands of Covenanters in creating estate plans that not only benefit and protect family members at the passing of a loved one, but also benefit important ministries for years to come.

    However, there was nothing ordinary about Chuck’s message. He reflected a deep passion for the Lord and the ministries of the Covenant that serve as the hands and feet of Jesus in reaching out to a world in desperate need of hope and the Good News of Christ.

    In reflecting on Chuck’s life this week, I have been impressed with the thought that there is another “legacy” message to be gleaned from Chuck’s time with us: Leaving a legacy is not just about the gift that we give, but even more importantly the life that we live. Chuck’s life – and the passion with which he lived it – continues to inspire me, and to encourage me to raise the bar in my own spiritual journey.

    “What kind of legacy will you leave?” Chuck would have asked. That’s a good question to ponder.

  2. I served on the Board of Alaska Christian College with Chuck. He was a friend. Chuck shared his passion for ministry and was always an encouragement to all. Peace to his memory.

  3. As people mourn the the loss of Chuck, he is celebrating in the kingdom and has heard the words “well done, good and faithful servant.” He served me, our church, our denomination but most importantly, he served his Savior. PTHM.

  4. The Brush family will miss you Chuck. Your wise, loving and down-to-earth demeanor will be remembered always.

  5. My thanks to God for using CTC President Chuck Walles in 1998 to establish a great CRUT investment for our family, ECCAK and the PNW Conference.

  6. I’m so sad to hear of Chuck’s passing. I experienced him as being such a positive and engaging man, kind and courteous. We have lost a dear friend.

  7. Chuck Walles was such an important friend and co-worker with my husband, Jim, during the years we were in Chicago – always busy but available, and that continued after we moved here to Minnesota and almost to this day. God bless his memory.

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