Charles Albert Splitgerber, 88, died in San Diego, California, on Tuesday, January 5, 2016. The cause of death was a stroke.

Born along with his twin sister Mary Ellen on April 4, 1927, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Chuck spent his formative years in Plymouth, Wisconsin. After high school, he enlisted in the Navy and served on Guam for a year during World War II. After his return, Chuck attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he met his wife of 65 years, Muriel Helen Knapp. They married April 15, 1950. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1950.

Chuck began his career in education as a teacher and a coach in Flint, Michigan. He continued teaching and coaching in Highland Park, Il. He became a guidance counselor at Deerfield High School. After receiving his Master’s Degree in education administration from Michigan State University, he accepted the position of principal of Portage Senior High School (1966- 1973). In 1974, Chuck earned his Ph.D. in education from the University of Wisconsin Madison, subsequently serving as principal of Waukesha North High School during its first year of operation (1974- 1975). In 1976, Chuck turned his attention to business, operating Trier’s Concession Services, which sold wholesale concession supplies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for approximately 26 years. He retired in 1997 to San Diego, California where he played tennis and pursued genealogy, tracing his family history back hundreds of years. Chuck and Muriel traveled to Europe several times to research their ancestry, and returned to Wisconsin every summer to visit family. They enjoyed a circle of good friends and regularly hosted Christmas parties and other social events.

Chuck was genuinely interested in everyone. He was an intellect that loved a good conversation, an athlete who used both physical and mental technique, a math whiz who used to work his children’s assigned math problems just for fun, a WWII vet who later amassed an impressive library about both world wars, an educator who pursued innovative change, an eternal optimist even when circumstances suggested otherwise, and of course, a fan of the Green Bay Packers and the Wisconsin Badgers.

Survivors include brother Thomas Clark Splitgerber and his wife Judy of San Diego, California; son Michael Charles Splitgerber and his wife Fran (daughter Andrea) of Pardeeville, Wisconsin; son Scott Joseph Splitgerber (children Jake Ryan Splitgerber and Emma Louise Splitgerber) of Williamsburg, Virginia; daughter Tracy Dee Splitgerber of Arroyo Grande, California; and faithful cat Tootsie of San Diego, California.

Chuck was preceded in death by Muriel Helen Knapp Splitgerber and Mary Ellen Splitgerber Kaufmann. Memorial contributions are welcome to the UW Foundation, U.S. Bank Lockbox, Box 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807. Please direct your donation to the Great People Scholarship.

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