Charles ‘Chick’ Bruns who kept this WWII diary, took all the photographs, collected post cards and shared loving letters with his parents died today at the age of 98.
Chick was a lifelong resident of Champaign and graduated from Champaign High School where he was a recognized athlete. Chick played in the Corn Belt and EI (Eastern Illinois) baseball leagues as a young man and even had a 2 week tryout for the Chicago Cubs.
Chick served in the Army during WWII, was a Sergeant in the 3rd Division, 10th Combat Engineers and participated in 5 invasions; Africa, Sicily, Italy, Anzio and France. He was awarded the Purple Heart, French Croix De Guerre with Palm and 2 Presidential Unit Citations.
Upon returning home after the war, Chick married Rita Marie Fleshner in 1946 and had 2 sons Charles, Jr.and John (editor of this site) . Chick worked for the New Gazette where he retired after 39 years in 1984. He also served for 35 years as the Secretary/Treasure for the local 444 International Typographical Union.
After Rita’s death in 1995, Chick married Marian Edgar Ingerrsol in 1999 at Scottsdale, AZ, where they spent winters. After Marian’s death in 2009, Chick continued to live in their University Ave. apartment in Champaign.
During his life, Chick served as a cub scout and boy scout leader. He enjoyed hunting and golfing with his sons & grandsons. He was an active member of the Holy Cross Church congregation where he still served as an usher. Chick was a Life Member of the Knights of Columbus since 1945; Life Member of the VFW #5520; Life Member of the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) .
Chick was preceded in death by both of his wives Rita Bruns & Marian Ingersol Bruns; a daughter-in-law Lucinda Bruns and a granddaughter Cassandra Bruns.
Chick is survived by his 2 Sons: Charles & Patricia ( Champaign, IL ) and John & Suzanne ( Cissna Park, IL ); 7 Grandchildren: Jesse, Nicholas, Margaret, Jason, Kelly, Jessica, Justin and 9 Great Grandchildren.
Chick is also survived by his 3 Stepdaughters: Julia Ingersoll Wall ( Williamsburg, VA); Alice Genevieve (Genie) Vuagniaux & Earl ( Edwardsville, IL ); and Carroll Ingersoll Cranch & Thomas ( Chesterfield, MO). Additionally, Chick is survived by 22 Step Grandchildren and 26 Step Great Grandchildren.