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With sadness, the family of beloved husband and father Charles W. Nunnelley announces his passing at the age of 81 on January 20, 2022, peacefully at home in Los Alamos, New Mexico, with his wife and children. Charlie is survived by his wife Nancy; son Jeff of Rio Rancho; daughter Wendy (Joe Candelora) of New York City; step-granddaughter Brianna Wilkins of Newton, Kansas; and nieces and nephews Ron Zimmerman, Teshia Schweedler, Bobbi Gonzales, Cleo Nelson, Fritz Mellenthin and Rosetta Scanlon of Colorado and Phyllis Power, Dora Kirkpatrick, and Frieda Pate of Texas and their children. He was preceded in death by his father E. Ray Nunnelley; his mother Polly Nunnelley; and his five sisters, Marie Daves, Anita Bailey, Mable O. Mellenthin, Cleo Zimmerman, and Geraldine Kelton.
Charlie was born on May 13, 1940 in Albuquerque. His family moved to Truth or Consequences when he was little, where he lived until he graduated from Truth or Consequences High School. He moved to Los Alamos in 1958 to become an apprentice electrician with the IBEW 611 union, doing electrical work at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and he married Nancy DeSato on November 11, 1962. Some of his favorite LANL projects were the construction of the Van de Graff facility in his early years as an electrician, where he worked side-by-side with the scientists to meet their electrical needs, and the construction of the supercomputer facility. Over the years he moved up in the profession, working as a general foreman with Hughes Electric for the Santa Fe capital building remodel, the new Santa Fe Opera house, and the new fab at Intel in Rio Rancho. Charlie played a leadership role in the 611 local for years and was rightly proud of his role establishing retirement benefits for union members.
While he was a man of few words, he cared deeply about both of his children, helping to launch son Jeff in his vocation of truck-driving, and closely following his daughter Wendy's academic achievements and business executive career. He was a loving and supportive husband to Nancy throughout their nearly 60 year-marriage. Improving the family home was a labor of love, starting with Charlie personally building a retaining wall to make a level backyard for Jeff to play and Wendy to learn to walk. He also built a greenhouse for Nancy and a basement and other additions to the home.
Charlie was an avid outdoorsman. He loved hunting and fishing around New Mexico and Colorado as well as camping with friends and family. He loved all dogs and was devoted to his series of West Highland Terriers (eventually he also learned to love a cat).
A graveside service will take place Saturday, February 26 at Sandia Memory Gardens, 9500 San Pedro NE, Albuquerque, NM, starting at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Heart Association.
Saturday, February 26, 2022
Starts at 1:00pm (Mountain time)
Sandia Memory Gardens
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