Charles ‘Chuck’ L. Denslow

Charles ‘Chuck’ L. Denslow
May 31, 1926 – June 13, 2013
SOUTH BEND — Charles Louis Denslow, 87, of South Bend passed away June 13, 2013 at 11:05 a.m. at Center for Hospice Care in Elkhart. His wife was at his side as he listened to his “Big Band” music.
Chuck was born in South Bend, May 31, 1926 and lived in South Bend most of his life. His parents, Howard and Marie (Bailey) Denslow, two sisters, Dorothy (Paul) Moss and Delores (Bob) Bowers, and one brother, Jack (Agnes) Petersen, his first wife Janice (mother of Judy and Cindy) all preceded him in death.
He attended summer school prior to his junior year at Central High School and had enough credits to graduate, but chose to stay with his class of 1945. Following his junior year, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. While in the Marines, he served in the Pacific. After returning home, he enlisted in the Reserves. He was the first enlisted Marine in the local Reserve unit and served there for over 20 years. He then transferred to the inactive Reserves. His final retirement in 1986 ended a career of more than 40 years of serving his country.
While in the Reserves, he graduated from the South Bend College of Commerce. Additional schooling also included IUSB, Notre Dame, and St. Mary’s. In 1974 he graduated from Ivy Tech School of Nursing. Upon graduation he worked at Memorial Hospital, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center and Elkhart General Hospital. His nursing career also included home health care with babies and small children. He retired from nursing in 1991.
Chuck loved music and was a drummer in numerous dance bands in the area. He loved the “Big Band” era and all the old songs from the ‘30s and ‘40s. Only when Parkinsons took over his hands did he finally put the drum sticks away and spent his many hours listening to the music.
Chuck was always a big volunteer. He served as a Boy Scout leader in several capacities for 25 years. He earned the Vigil Order of the Arrow and St. George medal, the highest adult award given.
He volunteered for the Big Brother program and had a Little Brother for seven years. Upon retiring he became a full-time volunteer serving up to 12 different places at one time. He called himself “A Professional Volunteer”. Among those places were the St. Joseph Medical Center, Michiana Community Hospital, College Football Hall of Fame, Northern Indiana Center for History, Studebaker Museum, Military Honor Park, Leighton Center for Seniors, Ronald McDonald House, Retired Senior Volunteer Services, Beginning Experience, Morris Performing Arts Theater, South Bend Civic Theater and his church.
Chuck leaves behind his loving wife, Nancy Kemp-Denslow, two daughters: Judy (Ron) Gerstenschlager of Mishawaka, and Cindy (Rick) Nash of Mishawaka, two stepdaughters: Tammy Miller of New Paris and Nanette Guard of Madisonville, Tenn. Also surviving are his grandchildren Cherie (Kevin) Luhrsen, Rhonda Rau (Shane Sales), Tanya Rau, Shelly (Dan) Miller, David Gerstenschlager and stepgrandchildren Tina (Ron) Kellogg, Rick Nash, Nicole and Angie McFarland, Robert, Suzie and Ryan Guard. Additionally surviving are several great-grandchildren and stepgreat-grandchildren, a great-great-granddaughter, a stepgreat-great-grandson as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Chuck was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Mishawaka.
Friends and family may visit Monday, June 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the McGann Hay, University Chapel, 2313 E. Edison Road, South Bend. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, June 18 at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Mishawaka with additional viewing one hour prior to service. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park in Granger. Military graveside honors at the Memorial Park will be accorded to Charles by the Marine Corps League and the American Legion.
Condolences may be sent to the family via the condolence page at
Memorial contributions may be made to the Center for Hospice Care.