Charles Francis Bruns was born on 27 April 1919 at home at Villa Grove, Champaign Cty, IL. As a baby, his bright yellow curly hair got him the nickname “Chickie” which was later shortened to Chick and stayed with him throughout his life.
He attended Grant School, Danville, Vermilion Cty, IL, for grades 1-3. His family moved to Champaign where he was a paper boy for the News Gazette from age 10 till he entered the 9th Grade; at one point he had 2 routes delivering over 200 papers daily. He attended Holy Cross Grade School for grades 4-8 where he served as an alter boy, learned Latin from the nuns and graduated in 1933. In 1934 he attended Champaign High School where he played basketball, baseball, track. As a part time job on weekends, he ran the switchboard for the News Gazette. He graduated in May, 1938
Before the war, Chick played in the Corn Belt and EI (Eastern Illinois) baseball league where he had a 2 week tryout for the Chicago Cubs. He was employed in June 1938 by Joseph Kuhns & Co. for 2 years.
Chick joined the Army on July 31, 1941 departing from Chicago, IL and took his basic training at Fort Lenard Wood, MO. He served with the 3rd Division, 10th Engineer Battalion, A company throughout WWII and was active during the invasions of North Africa, Italy, Sicily, France and Germany. He ended military service on August 15, 1945 at the rank of Technical Sargent.
They had 2 sons, Charles Frances, Jr. and John Fleshner (editor of this BLOG). Chick & Rita were members of Holy Cross Catholic Church where chick served as an usher for most of his life. Chick retired in May 1984 from the News Gazette after 39 years. His job had changed from working with metal line-o-type to cut and paste layout. 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 on 13 January 1999 in 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. 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) .