He was born October 22, 1941, in Jersey City, New Jersey to the late Robert and Dorothy (Lantz) Fenning. In 1963 he married the love of his life, Barbara, and together they raised their two children Laurie and Greg.
Charles was dedicated to protecting his country; he served in the United States Navy from 1960 to 1964 as an air-crewman on the P-2 Neptune during the Cold War. After his service in the Navy, he transitioned to the United States Coast Guard where he was an ASM for four years. He attended Officer Candidate School and in 1969 he gained his wings as an H-52 Helicopter Pilot in the United States Coast Guard. While in the Coast Guard he completed three deployments to Alaska where he served as the helicopter pilot on multiple ice-breakers, flying scientists from the ship to the glaciers to conduct research.
In 1981 he retired after serving over 21 years with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He received many honors, but his greatest accomplishments were always when he could save someone from their worst day.
His adventurous spirit could not be tamed in the civilian world. After retiring Chuck and Barbara bought a 5th wheel R.V and took to living around the country full time. Over the last 31 years, he was able to spend warm winters in Florida with friends who were as close as family and summers exploring all parts of the country. He would tell you that his favorite destinations would be anywhere to spend quality time with his children and grandchildren. He had a skill for building model airplanes and a greater knack for repairing them after an eventful flight. He loved getting to spend days at the airfield flying his newest model.
He was preceded in death by his parents, step-mother Hannah and grandsons, Bryan and Corey Fortner.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara Alice Fenning; daughter, Laurie Hamar and husband Jeff of Brackney, PA; son, Gregory Fenning and wife Robin of Bedford, VA; sister, Justine Mutinsky of Congers, NY; 10 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to Gary Sinise Foundation for wounded warriors and first responders via their website: www.garysinisefoundation.org.
LCDR Charles Lantz Fenning will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.