Charles Edwin Ennis, a man who loved life, passed away late Friday night, September 30, 2016. Chuck was born on August 1, 1938 and raised in Escalon, California. He was the second of three boys born to Edwin and Bessie Ennis. Early exposure to polio left him with a weak left leg and an uncertainty of being able to walk. He overcame this challenge, as he did many in his life, with relentless determination and toughness. After graduating from Escalon High School in 1956, he earned a scholarship to play football at San Jose State University. He was a three-year starter at Tackle on both offense and defense and earned his degree in Education in 1960. He met his wife, Donna Lou VreNon of Reno, Nevada and Santa Clara University, on a blind double date where they were not set-up with each other. His first words to her were, “Well, aren’t you a pretty little redhead.” They were married in Escalon August 19, 1961 and had three boys, Michael, Steven and Gregory. Chuck joined the faculty at Tracy High School in 1964, where he taught health education, driving training, and math, and coached football, wrestling and swimming/diving. He drove his 1945 Willys jeep or rode his bike to work everyday for 36 years, until he retired in 1998. Referring to his health education (Sex-Ed) and driving training, Chuck would often joke he taught “front seat and back seat.”
Chuck had a passion for being active and having fun. If he wasn’t pouring concrete, cutting wood, working on his house or backpacking in the Sierras, he was partying with friends and family, playing his guitar and singing Merle Haggard songs. His idea of fun was working up a sweat with friends and family on some outdoor project during the day and then enjoying their camaraderie that night. Up until his stroke in April 2012, he would swim a mile of backstroke most every day. Chuck loved life. He loved meeting new people, learning new things, music, sports, family and friends. He was always positive, even when confronted with paralysis from his stroke. He was generous even when he had little and kind to everyone. He was the first one to go to work and the last one to close a party.
He will be remembered with love and admiration by his wife of 55 years, his three sons, his three daughters-in-law, Cindy, Sheila and Jacqueline, his eight grandchildren, his two brothers, James and David, and their families, and by countless friends, former students and players. A public Celebration of Chuck’s Life will be held Saturday October 15th at the Boathouse at River Islands in Lathrop, CA from 2 p.m. to 5p.m. Flowers are not necessary. If you want to do something, you can make a donation to your favorite charity.
The Escalon (Calif.) Times
Oct. 5, 2016