Charles Everett Maki, 91, of Woodbury, Minn., passed away peacefully, surrounded by family at Saint Therese of Woodbury on April 11, 2019.
He was born on January 28, 1928, to Finnish immigrants in Virginia, Minn., a place he was always proud to call home. Chuck was an industrious youth, working as a laborer, and distinguished himself as both a scholar and musician. His talent on the piano allowed him to earn a living as part of the Collegian Orchestra, a dance band that played regularly in bars and halls on the Iron Range. He enlisted in the Navy the day after graduating high school near the end of World War II, attaining the rank of Petty Officer 3rd Class. After completing service, he remained in the Naval reserves and returned home to attend Virginia Junior College, where he met his future wife, Bertha Norha of Embarrass, Minn. They were wed in July of 1949. After attaining an associate degree, he earned entrance to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he completed his baccalaureate. In his early career as an electrical engineer he contributed to the U.S. atomic weapons program at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, and to the NASA Apollo Program as a Honeywell Corp. Chief Engineer. He furthered his education with a master’s degree in engineering from Yale and an MBA from Arizona State University. In his later career as a telecommunications and electronics manufacturing executive, Chuck traveled the world and earned a reputation for honesty, integrity, and professional skill wherever his path led him. He retired from his position of executive vice president and general manager at Landis & Gyr North America (Lafayette, Ind.) in 1990. Wherever he called home, Chuck was regularly involved in both community and church. In retirement, he dedicated himself to his wife Bertha, enjoying their summer home on Lake Vermilion, and mastering the art of furniture design and building. He is survived by his beloved wife of 69 years, Bertha; sons Peter (Winifred), Paul (Susan), Robert (Susan), Karl (Kristin), and daughter Beth (Rock) Crawford, 14 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his infant daughter Ruth Ann, his parents Elmer and Lydia (Rivers), and his sister Evelyn Petri. Chuck will be remembered as a man of uncommon intelligence and graciousness, who could seemingly accomplish anything he applied himself to.
His funeral will be held on Saturday, April 27, at King of Kings Lutheran Church, 1583 Radio Drive, Woodbury, Minn. After gathering at noon, the service will begin at 1 p.m. with lunch to follow. Arrangements by Wulff Woodbury Funeral Home, Woodbury, Minn. 651-738-9615