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Charles Melvin Deardorff

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“Wow! I was looking for his address, etc. on the internet, and I discovered this obituary. So sad. I lost track of Mel about 5 years ago when my...Read More »
1 of 1 | Posted by: Ronald Allen, PhD - Carmichael, CA


Charles Melvin Deardorff was born April 9, 1934, in El Reno Oklahoma, to Julissa and George Deardorff, the third of four children. Mel, as he was known in his younger days, was raised in Lubbock, Texas, attended Lubbock High School and graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in mathematics. At Texas Tech, he served as Business Manager of the Student Council, one of the four campus wide student body offices. He was also President of the Student Union Board and President of the Regional Association of Student Unions. In addition he was active in the AFROTC, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, Texas Tech Chamber of Commerce, and was Junior Class Favorite. In 1955, he married Gwen Williams, and they had twin sons in 1957. After graduation he served as a lieutenant in the United States Air Force, was trained in meteorology at Oklahoma State University, and served three years in Weisbaden, Germany, as well as short assignments in Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu and Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock.

After returning to Lubbock, he worked in the family-owned Deardorff Produce Company, served as campus minister for the First Christian Church, and pursued a PhD in counseling psychology at Texas Tech. In 1965, he and Gwen had another son, Dell, who was tragically lost in a drowning accident at 2 1/2 years old. In 1970, Charles moved to Palo Alto, CA, to complete his internship in psychology. He lived in San Francisco after completing his degree, working as a marriage and family counselor and as an associate administrator at Ming Quong Children's Center. He married Cynthia Hall on Dec. 24th, 1980, and they moved to Half Moon Bay where he worked as a realtor for Coldwell-Banker.

He was an avid photographer throughout his life (having his own darkroom for many years), and delighted in capturing the lives of his loved ones in hundreds of images throughout their lives. He is survived by his sons George and Glenn, and grandchildren Heather, Forrest and Dylan.

The light of your gentle and joyous spirit shines forever in our hearts.
Your life was a true testament to triumph of spirit over body.
Though your body made life so challenging for you, your spirit never failed.
You were always such a source of joy and caring for your loved ones.
Know that you will always be loved and remembered in return.

Charles Melvin Deardorff: April 9, 1934 - April 25, 2013