Colonel Charles Shay

Obituary
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  • "Served with Col Shay at Ft Eustis, VA in the Tng Spt Ctr in..."
  • "My deepest sympathies to Judeth, Joanne, Kathleen and..."
    - Cynthia Robinson
  • "Served at Fort Carson during his tenure. He is a principle..."
    - Fran Pitaro
  • "Was an honor to know COL Shay and his wonderful family. He..."
    - Clark Taylor
  • "A mighty man, an equal lover of liberty and legato singing...."
    - Marcia Ragonetti
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Colonel Charles Shay, US Army (Ret.) died on December 7. He was an adventurer, soldier, loving father and husband, and a fixture in the Colorado Springs community since 1973, when he was first named Deputy Post Commander at Ft. Carson.

A third generation member of the IATSE, the Broadway stagehands' union, Colonel Shay grew up in Forest Hills, NY. He joined the Marines in 1944 and, after WWII, enjoyed a brief stint playing football for the University of Alabama before reenlisting: first as an aviation cadet in the newly-formed Air Force, and finally as an Airborne Ranger in the Army. Among many accomplishments was his captainship of the Army's original HALO project, which made him a pioneer in high altitude skydiving. Over a 38 year career in the Armed Services, his commendations included The Silver Star (w/2 OLC), The Bronze Star (w/3 OLC & V Device), The World War II Victory Medal, The Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart (w/2 OLC), and the Legion of Merit.

After retiring from the service, he became an executive coach and was notable in Colorado Springs for his leadership as President of the Colorado Opera Festival and board member for Opera Theater of the Rockies.

He is survived by his loving wife Joanne; his children, Judeth, Kathleen, and Patrick; his brothers, Harold and William; and his four grandsons.

A visitation will be held from 5:00 - 7:00 pm on Monday, December 14, with a Rosary following, and a Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 am on Tuesday, December 15, all at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 1830 South Corona Avenue. A reception will be held following the Mass. Interment will be at Ft. Logan National Cemetery on Wednesday, December 16. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made in his name at woundedwarriorproject.org.



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Published in The Gazette from Dec. 10 to Dec. 11, 2015
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