Friday, August 24, 2012

Charles A. Siler

Charles A. Siler, age 92, passed into the next life Friday, August 24, to join his loving parents, Dr. Charles A. and Dr. Marion Pierce Siler, brothers George and David, sister Marion Siler.

"Chuck" was  the only one of  five Siler siblings born in the USA, his four siblings were born in China where both parents worked as medical physicians under auspices of Protestant missionaries. "Chuck" at age eight returned with his family to the USA and settled in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, where he enjoyed soccer, ice skating and swimming, working as a teenage lifeguard at a Wisconsin summer camp. He was named captain of the Purdue University swimming team his senior year, graduating with a baccalaureate in Mechanical Engineering and advancing to graduate from the Chrysler Master's in Engineering program.

The outbreak of World War II in December 1941 kept him at Chrysler where he directed his keen and innovative talents toward aircraft engines. He continued in that career role when commissioned in the US Navy in 1944. When released from active duty, he resumed civilian employment with a Wisconsin job at West Bend Aluminum Co. as it ramped up production of outboard motors sold under the Sears & Roebuck "Elgin" brand. Chuck moved with his wife and three children, Norman, Carolyn and Barbara, to Racine in 1950 when he took a Massey-Harris engineering position for five years, then another five years with Twin Disc Co. He headed Harley-Davidson Motor Co. research and development as assistant chief engineer starting in 1960 and applied his engine expertise to Wankel rotary engines at Outboard Marine Corp. research center in Milwaukee, awarded a patent there during the early 1970s. He adopted Racine as his hometown and returned to it in the late 1970s before relocating to suburban Minneapolis where he retired after a stint with Toro and part-time work at Sears. He returned to his hometown with his second wife Dorothy in 2004, who preceded him in eternal rest in 2006.

Charles A. Siler is survived by his three children by his first wife, Elizabeth, who recently observed her 93rd birthday.  Survived by son Norman, Kenosha County, daughter Carolyn, Franksville, and daughter Barbara, of Texas; by four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren; and his sister Margaret (Don) Faust of California. He was cared for and nourished by the Lincoln Lutheran network of advanced aging services at Becker-Shoop, and in his final days by Allay Hospice.

Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, August 28, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. at the funeral home with Reverend Brad Van Fossen officiating.  Interment with full military honors will follow at Graceland Cemetery.  Relatives and friends may meet Tuesday at the funeral home  from 12:30 p.m. until time of service at 1:30 p.m.

803 Main St., Racine   (262) 634-7888

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